PISCHEL, Richard. Breslau 18.1.1849 — Madras 26.12.1908. German Indologist. Professor in Kiel, Halle and Berlin. Son of Ernst Gottfried P., a manufacturer of surgical instruments, and Emilie Haertel (d. 1857). After school in Breslau studied Sanskrit (under Stenzler) and classical philology at Breslau. Ph.D. 1870 Breslau. After war service further studies at Berlin and in 1872-73 in London, studying manuscripts. PD 1874 Breslau. From 1875 eo. and from 1877 ord. Professor of Sanskrit and comparative linguistics at Kiel, on a new chair. From 1885 Pott’s successor at Halle, in 1900 Rector of the University. From 1902 Weber’s successor as Professor of Sanskrit at Berlin. In 1908 he accepted an invitation from Indian government to lecture on MIA in Calcutta, but became ill during the voyage and died in Madras soon after arriving in India for the first time in his life. Geheimer Regierungsrat 1904. He was succeeded by Hultzsch at Halle and by Lüders at Berlin. Married 1877 Klara Maria Elise Lorenz (1851–1933), three sons.

In his dr. dissertation Pischel showed the value of the previously despised Bengali recension of the Śakuntalā. With Geldner he created a new school in Vedic studies accepting the then disparaged Indian tradition as important source. Their viewpoint was an extremist one, but had healthy influence after the random etymologisizing of Roth and others. However, before everything else Pischel was the “maestro di color che sanno” of MIA studies. A century later his Prākrit Grammar is still an indispensable tool. He introduced the critical study of dramatic Prākrits and in Berlin started the study of Turfan fragments, finding the first remains of the Sanskrit canon. In the famous argument about the origin of Indian drama he defended Indian origin against Weber, Windisch, et al., but his idea of puppet play as its earliest form remained without support. In addition he was also interested since the 1870s in Pāli, in NIA and in gipsy language and culture.

Pischel was a sharp critic, which deteriorated his relations with some colleagues (e.g. Weber and Hillebrandt), but he had also close friends (e.g. Geldner). Among his students were H. Thiessen (Ph.D. 1880), W. Solff (1886), R. Fick (1888), Fr. Schrader (1889), Richard Schmidt (1890), K. E. Neumann (1891), Konow (1893), R. Simon (1899), A. von Stael-Holstein (1900), H. Stönner (1901), Siegling (1906), Beckh (1907), O. Stursberg (1907) and R. Fuchs (1907). W. Printz and J. Nobel completed their Ph.D. under Lüders.

Publications: Diss. De Kâlidâsae Çâkuntali recensionibus. 1. 67 p. Vratislaviae 1870; habil.diss. De grammaticis Prâcriticis. 43+3 p. Vratislaviae 1874

– “Ueber eine südindische Recension des Çâkuntalam”, NGGW 1873, 189-215; Die Recensionen der Çakuntalâ. 27 p. Breslau 1875 (an answer to Weber’s criticism).

Edited: “Kâḷidâsa’s Vikramorvaçiyaṁ nach drâviḍischen Hss.”, MbBeAW 1875, 609-670; Kālidāsas Abhijñānaśakuntala. 11+210 p. Kiel 1877; 2nd ed. ed. by C. Cappeller. 18+260 p. H.O.S. 16. Cambridge, Mass. 1922 (1924).

– “Zur Kenntnis der Śaurasenī”, Kuhns Beiträge 8, 1876, 120-150; Die deçîçabdâs bei Trivikrama”, BB 3, 1879, 235-265; 6, 1881, 84-105; 13, 1888, 1-21; “Der Accent des Prakrit”, KZ 34, 1897, 568-576 & 35, 1899, 140-150.

Edited: Hemacandra’s Grammatik der Prâkrit-Sprachen (Siddhahemacandram adhyâya VIII). Mit kritischen und erl. Anmerkungen hrsg. 1-2. 14+236, 7+248 p. Halle 1877-80.

Edited with Bühler: Hemacandra: Deśīnāmamālā. 1. 11+300 p. B.S.S. 17. Bombay 1880.

Edited & transl. The Assalāyana Sutta. 42 p. L. – Chemnitz 1880 (Majjh. Nikāya).

Edited with Oldenberg: The Thera and Therī-Gātha. Stanzas ascribed to Elders of the Buddhist order of Recluses. 15+221 p. L., P.T.S. 1883 (117-216 ThīG by P.)..

– “Das Volk der Zigeuner”, Dt. Rundschau 36, 1883, 353-375, English transl. in JGLS N.S. 2, 1909, 293-320; “Beiträge zur Kenntnis der deutschen Zigeuner”, Festschrift zur 200-j. Jubelfeier Univ. Halle 1894, 111-160.

Edited: Rudraṭa’s Çṛngâratilaka and Ruyyaka’s Sahṛdayalīlā. 32+104 p. Kiel 1886; “Die Hofdichter des Lakṣmaṇasena”, AGGW 39, 1893, 1-39.

– “Vedica”, ZDMG 40, 1886, 111-126.

With Geldner: Vedische Studien. 1-3. Stuttgart 1889-1901.

A. F. Stenzler: Elementarbuch der Sanskrit-Sprache: Grammatik, Texte, Wörter­buch. Fortgeführt von R. Pischel (6th ed. 4+116 p. 1892, 8th 1908), umgearbeitet von K. F. Geldner. 122 p. 17th ed. B. 1980; English transl. by R. Söhnen, Primer of the Sanskrit Language. 157 p. L. 1992.

Beiträge zur Kenntniss der deutschen Zigeuner. 50 p. Halle 1894.

Grammatik der Prakritsprachen. 428 p. Grundr. 1:8. Strassburg 1900; A Grammar of the Prākrit Languages. Translated from German by Subhadra Jhā. Delhi – Varanasi – Patna 1965.

Edited & transl. “Two Prâkṛit poems at Dhâr”, EI 8, 1905-06, 241-260, 2 pl.

Die Heimat des Puppenspiels. 28 p. Hallesche Rektoratsreden 2. Halle 1900, English transl. L. 1900; “Das altindische Schattenspiel”, SBeAW 1906, 482-502.

Materialien zur Kenntnis des Apabhraṁśa. AGGW N.F. 5. 1902, 3-86.

– “Bruchstücke des Sanskritkanons der Buddhisten aus Idykutšari, Chinesisch-Turkestān”, SBeAW 1904:1, 807-827; “Neue Bruchstücke…”, SBeAW 1904:2, 1138-1145; “Die Turfan-Rezension des Dhammapada”, SBeAW 1908, 986-995.

– “Der Ursprung des christlichen Fischsymbols”, SBeAW 1905, 506-532.

Leben und Lehre des Buddha. 127 p. Lp. 1909, 2nd ed. 1910, 4th ed. by J. Nobel. 122 p. Lp. 1926.

A great number of smaller articles and reviews in ZDMG, SBeAW, Ved. St., KZ, BB, GGA, etc.; N. Balbir & G.-J. Pinault (edd.), Kleine Schriften. 1–2. 92+1269 p. Glas.-Stiftung 48. Wb. 2020.

Sources: N. Balbir & G.J. Pinault, long introduction to Kl. Schr. 2020, ix-lxvii; A.B[allini], RSO 2, 1908/09, 506f.; Barnett, JRAS 1909, 553-557; *D. Borchers, Lex. gramm. 1996, 731f.; *A. Bouché-Leclercq, CRAI 53, 1909, 10-12; Buckland, Dictionary; *F.N. Finck, JGLS 2, 190?, 289-292 (with photo); Geldner, newspaper obituary republ. in Pischel’s Kl. Schr. 2, 1222-1226; *Konow, IA 38, 1909, 25-2?; *S.F. Ol’denburg, Izv.Imp.A.N. 6:3, 1909:2, 129-132; Renou, Maitres 1928, 41-54; Schubring, “To the Memory of a Great Indologist”, I-AC 7:2, 1958, 116-119; Schulze, ABeAW Ged.-Rede 2, 1-16; *Stache-Rosen 1990, 108f.; *E. Waldschmidt, “R.P. zum Gedächtnis”, ZDMG 109, 1959, 25-30 (also in E.W., Kleine Schriften. 1989, 37-41); *JA 10:13, 1909/10, 164-167; bibliography in Sanskrit Studies in G.D.R. 2, 1979 (more complete in Kl. Schr.); briefly D.B.E. 7, 1998, 670; Wikipedia; photo Rau 52, others in Indology in G.D.R. 1978 and Intern. Taschenb. der Orientalisten 1910.