ROZENBERG, Otton Ottonovič (Otto Rosenberg)

ROZENBERG, Otton Ottonovič (Otto Karl Julius Rosenberg). Friedrichstadt, Kurland (Jaunjelgava, Latvia) 7.7.1888 — Tallinn 26.11.1919. Russian (Baltic German) Buddhologist. Son of city archivist Otto R. and Augusta Weidenbaum. Grew up and matriculated (1905) in St.Petersburg. Studied Sanskrit (under Ščerbatskoj) and Chinese at St.Petersburg, graduated 1910. Further studies at Bonn (Jacobi) and Berlin ( Japanese under Lange). In 1912-16 in Japan studying local Buddhism and the Abhidharmakośa. Ph.D. 1918 St.Petersburg. In 1919 he became Professor at St.Petersburg University, but died soon. A specialist of Vasubandhu and the Abhidharma literature. He married 1912 Elfrida Wegener (1888–1953).

There are several contradicting traditions about Rozenberg’s end, but but his colleague Ščerbatskoj and his only student Baev in their obituaries tell, how Judenič’s army sieging the city cut him off from St.Petersburg and he had to escape to Estonia, where he soon fell ill in scarlet fever and died of heart attack. A letter by S. Eliseev confirms this. His widow moved to Finland and finally died in Helsinki. Wild rumours combining him with the Nazi ideologist A. Rosenberg are completely unfounded.

Publications: Published a Survey of Buddhist terms and names arranged according to the radicals with Japanese readings and Sanskrit equivalents, and an Arrangement of Chinese characters according to an alphabetical system with a Japanese dictionary of 8000 characters, and a list of 22,000 characters. Both Tokyo 1916.

Diss. Vvedenie v izučenie buddizma po japonskim i kitajskim istočnikam. 1. Svod’ leksikografičeskago materiala. Tokyo 1916; 2. Problemy buddijskoj filosofij. Petrograd 1918, German tr. Die Probleme der buddhistischen Philosophie. Materialien zur Kunde des Buddh. 7. Heidelberg 1924 (translated by his widow).

O mirosozertsamii sovremennogo Buddizma na Dal’nem Vostoke. 72 p. Peterburg 1918, German tr. by Ph. Schaeffer, Die Weltanschauung des modernen Buddhismus im Fernen Osten. 47 p. Materialien zur Kunde des Buddh. 6. Heidelberg 1924.

A. N. Ignatovič (ed.): Trudy po buddizmu. 295 p. M. 1991.

Sources: *A.N. Ignatovič, Trudy. 1991, 6-17 (above); K. Kollmar-Paulenz & J.S. Barlow (eds.), O.O.R. and his contribution to Buddhology in Russia. 13+81 p. Wiener Studien zur Tibetologie und Buddhismuskunde 41. Vienna 1998 (including extracts translated from the life appended by Ščerbatskoj to the 1924 German book); *M. Läänemets, “Budolog Otto Rosenberg ja Eesti”, Tuna 1, 2001, 65-75.; *S. F. Ol’denburg, Mysl’ 1, 1922, 157f.; Roerich, JGIS 12, 1945, 93; *Vigasin 2008, 444-498, with his letters from Japan; *Vigasin et al., Istorija otečestvennogo vostokovedenija s serediny XIX veka do 1917 goda. Moscow 1997, 428-430; not in Miliband 1977/95; Russian Vikipedija with further Russian references.

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