VAMBÉRY, Ármin (Arminius[z], Hermann, orig. Hermann Hamburger [or Bamberger]). Szerdahely (ENS) or Szentgyörgy (now Svätý Jur in Slovakia) (Wiki) 19.3.1832 — Seebenstein, Austria (ENS) of Budapest (Wiki) 15.9.1913. Hungarian Traveller and Oriental scholar. Professor in Budapest. Born in a poor orthodox Jewish family, lost early his father. He had Jewish education, but later abandoned religion. He had to leave the local school when 12 and do various jobs. From 1846 three years gymnasium in Pozsony (Bratislava), then studies at Vienna and Budapest he worked in Constantinople as tutor and secretary in Turkish families. In 1861-64 conducted an exploration financed by Hungarian Academy in Armenia, Persia, Bukhara and Samarkand, travelling in Muslim costume. From 1865 Professor of Oriental Languages at Budapest University.
As a scholar Vámbéry was more or less self-taught. He was one of the pioneers of Turkic and Altaic studies also interested in Finno-Ugric linguistics and in Central Asian history and culture. He believed in a close relationship between Hungarian and Turkic. He was a polyglot who knew many European and Asian languages.
Publications: Travels in Central Asia. 17+443 p. L. 1864, Reise in Mittelasien. Lp. 1865, also transl. into several other languages; Skizzen aus Mittelasien. Lp. 1868.
– Uigurische Sprachmonumente und das Kudatku bilik: uigurischer Text mit Transscription und Übersetzung nebst einem uigurisch-deutschen Wörterbuche und lithografirten Facsimile aus dem Originaltexte des Kudatku bilik. 4+268 p. Innsbruck 1870.
– Geschichte Bocharas. 1-2. Stuttgart 1872, English 1873.
– Die primitive Cultur des Turko-Tatarischen Volkes auf Grund sprachlichen Forschung erörtert. 8+276 p. Lp. 1879; Das Türkenvolk in seinen ethnologischen und ethnographischen Beziehungen Beziehungen geschildert. 12+638 p. Lp. 1885.
– The coming struggle for India, being and account of the encroachments of Russia in Central Asia, and of the difficulties sure to arise therefrom to England. 214 p. L. 1885.
– Noten zu den alttürkischen inschriften der Mongolei und Sibiriens. 119 p. MSFOu 12. Helsingfors 1898.
– Translated: Travels and Adventures of the Turkish Admiral Sidi Ali Reis in India, Afghanistan, Central Asia, and Persia During the Years 1553-1556. 18+123 p. L. 1899.
– Many further works, including two autobiographies: Arminius Vámbéry, His Life and Adventures. 12+350 p. L. 1883; Struggles of My Life. 8+492 p. 4 pl. L. 1904.
Sources: *D. Mandler, Arminius Vambéry and the British Empire: Between East and West. Lanham 2016; E.N. Setälä, FUF Anz. 13, 1913, 49-51; Wikipedia with three portraits (more in *Hungarian version, both with further references).
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