ROSEN, Friedrich August. Hannover 2.9.1805 — London 12.9.1837. German Indologist and Oriental Scholar in the U.K. Professor in London. Son of Friedrich Ballhorn R. (1774–1845), a lawyer and juridical author, and Charlotte Eisendecher (d. 1818), brother of the diplomat and Arabic scholar Georg Rosen (1820–1891). After gymnasium in Göttingen started 1822 study of theology and law at Leipzig, soon interested in Semitic languages. In summer holiday 1825 saw Sanskrit books bought by his father and together with him began to study them. Now moved to Berlin to study under Bopp. Ph.D. 1826 Berlin. In 1827 further studies under Silvestre de Sacy in Paris, but soon got the new chair of Oriental Languages at London University (soon University College). His main duty, however, was to teach Persian and Arabic, from 1829 also Hindustani, to youngsters going to India. There were hardly any students interested in scholarship and he was rather disappointed, although continuously also taught Sanskrit. As his health was rapidly decreasing, he gave up his chair and intended to return home, but became ill and died soon in the age of 32.
The Radices was the standard work, until Westergaard published his more extensive work. FR was the first to understand the importance of the Veda and to start its study. His edition of the first part of the RV remained the only one for 10 years. There was the small beginning of 39 hymns published by Stevenson in 1833, but FR was philologically much better. Of course his edition, too, was premature and full of errors. The accents he simply left out. The edition contains the first Aṣṭaka, the commentary only 31 hymns. His papers contained much material for the continuation, which Lassen planned to publish, but then Max Müller’s edition made it unnecessary. FR examined the ms. of Haughton’s Bengali dictionary. He was also an Arabic scholar and edited the earliest known Arabic text on algebra. He studied often manuscripts in London collections. At the time of his death he was preparing an edition of Ibn Khallikan and a book on Indian law. In England he became a disciple and friend of old Colebrooke.
Publications: diss. specimen: Corporis radicum sanscriticarum prolusio. 54 p. B. 1826, the whole work: Radices sanscritae illustratas. 20+378 p. B. 1827.
– edited: Rigvedae specimen. 27 p. L. 1830; Rigvêda-Sanhi`tâ, liber primus, Sanskritè et Latinè. L. 1838 (contains the first aṣṭaka).
– anonymously: Catalogue of the Sanskrit Manuscripts collected during his residence in India by the late Sir Robert Ch, with a brief memoir by Lady Chambers. 1838.
– edited: The Hindoos. 1-2. Library of Entertaining Knowledge. 183? (wrote himself on literature); wrote on Oriental subjects in Penny Cyclopedia.; reviews of Yaj’n’adattavad’a by Chézy in Jb. f. Wiss. Kritik 1828:1, 127-139, and of Indralokágamana by Bopp, ibid. 1827:2, 303-316.
– ed. & tr. The Algebra of Mohammed ben Musa. 16+208+123 p. 1831; with others: Catalogus codd. mss. orientalium qui in Museo Britannico asservantur. 1. Codd. Syriacos et carshunicos complectens. 1838 (not mentioned on the title page).
Sources: Windisch; J. Klatt, A.D.B. 29, 1889, 192-195; G. Peiger, N.D.B. 22, 2005, 50f.; bust in Rau 13, also in Indology in G.D.R. 1978; Wikipedia with drawing (more details in German).