TYCHSEN, Thomas Christian

TYCHSEN, Thomas Christian. Horsbüll, Schleswig (now Hordbøl near Tønder in Slesvig) 8.5.1758 — Göttingen 23.10.1834. German Greek and Oriental Scholar and a Numismatician. Professor in Göttingen. Son of a minister, taught by father and at Husum Gymnasium. From 1777 studies of theology, classics and Oriental languages at Kiel, from 1779 languages at Göttingen under Heyne and Michaëlis. During the lectures of Heyne he befriended with Heeren and Fr. Müller. Graduated 1783. In 1783-84 travelled with Professor Molden­hauer of Copenhagen, on a scholarship from the King of Denmark, in France, Spain, North Italy and Austria. From 1785 taught at Göttingen, first as ao. Professor of Theology, from 1788 until his death ord. Professor of Philosophy. From 1789 member of Göttingen Ges. d. Wiss., 1806 Hofrath, 1815 Danne­brog knight, 1817 hon. Dr.theol. Married in the early 1790s, 3 children.

During his Grand Tour Tychsen studied the manuscripts of Quintus Smyrnaeus in Paris and examined the King of Spain’s collection of Islamic coins. As a student of Michaëlis, he understood that the teacher was turning senile and concentrated on Oriental studies, especially on Arabic and ancient Iran, although also worked on Hebrew. In a few cases he even discussed Indian things. His fame was mainly founded on numismatics. Among his students were the Hebraist W. Gesenius and —> Ewald. In bibliographies, etc., he is often confused with —> Oluf Gerhard Tychsen, but they were not even related.

Publications: Wrote much on classical philology, theology, Hebrew, Egyptology, numismatics, Arabic, Spanish, etc., e.g.:

Ueber den Luxus der Atheniensier und dessen Einfluss auf den Staat. 1781; Grundriss einer Archäologie der Hebräer. 1. Göttingen 1789; “De commerciis et navigationibus Hebraeorum ante exilium”, Comment. Soc. Goett. 16, 1812, 150-179; edited: Quinti Smyrnae Posthomericorum libri XIV. 108+366 p. Argentorati 1807.

Commentationes de numis orientalibus in biblioteca regia Goettingensi adservatis. Göttingen 1789 (including some Indian coins, see Abh. d. hist. & philol. Abth. 10, 21ff.).

– “De religionum zoroastricarum apud exteras gentes vestigiis comment.”, Comment. Soc. Goett. 11, 1791, 112ff. & 12, 1794, 1ff.

– “De numis indicis, maxime in bibl. regia Goettingensi academica adservatis”, Comment. Soc. Goett. 14, 180?, 158-162; “De numis veterum Persarum in numophylachio serenissimi Ducis Gothano adservatis”, Comment. recentiores Soc. Goett. 1, 1813, 1-26; “Regum Sassanidarum numi”, Ibid. 2, 1813, 1-24; “…Arsacidarum”, Ibid. 3, 181?, 3-56; “De numis Graecis et barbaris in Bochara nuper repertos, imprimis numo Demetrii Indiae regis”, Ibid. 6, 1813-27 (1828), 3-16, 1 pl.

– “De Afganorum origine et historia”, Comment. Soc. Goett. 16, 1812, 43-64.

– “De inscriptionibus Indicis et privilegiis Judaeorum et Christianorum S. Thomae in ora Malabarica”, Comment. rec. Soc. Goett. 5, 1823, 3-60.

Grammatik der arabischen Schriftsprache. 8+263+40 p. Göttingen 1823.

– “De origine ac fide antiquae Persarum historiae, qualis a scriptoribus orientalibus traditur”, Com­ment. Soc. Regiae Goett. recentiores, cl. hist et philol. 6, 1823-27 (1828), 17-58.

Sources: C.E. Carstens, A.D.B. 39, 1895, 51; Heeren, Comment. Soc. scient. Gottingiensis recentiores 8, 183?, 1-8; Das Gelehrte Deutschland; briefly in https://www.uni-goettingen.de/de/thomas+christian+tychsen/104144.html with portrait; Wikipedia.

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