WEBER, Albrecht

WEBER, Albrecht Friedrich. Breslau 17.2.1825 — Berlin 30.11.1901. German Indologist. Professor in Berlin. Son of Benedikt Weber, a Professor of Economics. Educated at monastery school in Rossleben, learned Greek and Hebrew. In 1842-45 studied classical and Oriental philology at Breslau (under Stenzler), for a while at Bonn (1844, Lassen and Gildemeister) and Berlin (1845, Bopp). Ph.D. 1845 Breslau. Further studies in London and Paris in 1846-48, especially on the manuscripts of the White Yajurveda. PD 1848 Berlin. From 1856 ao. Professor at Berlin, in 1867 succeeded Bopp as ord. Professor there, taught until his death (but unlike Bopp, only Indology, IE studies had now a separate chair). From 1857 member of Prussian Academy. In last years he suffered of an illness of eyes and at the end was nearly blind. Married 1849 Emma Althanss, six children (three died young).

Weber was one of the most many-sided, productive and competent Indologist of his time. His Yajurveda editions belong to the very beginning of scholarly Vedic studies in Europe. For the PW he recorded ritual texts. The Chambers manuscript collection opened him access to many unpublished texts. His catalogue of Berlin manuscripts was exemplary and his history of Sanskrit literature the first adequate work of its kind. Unlike his predecessors he had a liking for late dates (often too late). He was keen to find Greek influences in Indian culture and many of his hypotheses in this area have been dropped long since. From this viewpoint he studied Indian astronomy, epics, narrative literature and drama (accepting independent origin, but supposing strong influences). In his Kṛṣṇa studies he considered the possibility of connections with Christ. He was a pioneer of Jaina studies, but still saw Jainism to some extent as a Buddhist sect. Among his other interests were grammar (Patañjali), Prākrit (Hāla), and Buddhism.

Weber was a demanding, even harsh critic, who was engaged in several scholarly controversies: in the 1850s with Höfer and Max Müller, in the 1860s with Haug, in the 1870s with Pischel (who later became his successor at Berlin University). He was a national liberal democrate, who opposed to antisemitism and Social Democracy. He was popular teacher, who had many students from everywhere in Europe. Among his numerous students where Bréal, Bugge, De Gubernatis, Delbrück, Eggeling, Gaidoz, Giussani, S. Goldschmidt, Hanusz, Jacobi, Johaentgen, Kern, Kielhorn, Klatt, E. Kuhn, E. Leumann, Ludwig, Minaev,Oldenberg, Pertsch, J. Schmidt, Siecke, Sieg, Siegfried, Storck, Thibaut, and Whitney.

Publications: Diss. Yajurvedae specimen cum commentario primus edidit. Wratislawae 1845, rev. publ. as Vājasaneya-Sanhitae specimen cum comm. pr. edidit. 1-2. B. 1846-47; “Über die Literatur des Samaveda”, ISt 1:1, 1849, 25-67.

Edited and to a great extent wrote: Indische Studien 1-18, 1850-98.

– “Bemerkungen über den Taittirīya-Veda, astromische [sic!] Data aus den beiden Yajus und eine Stelle des Taittirîya Brâhmaṇa über die Mondhäuser”, ISt 1:1, 1849, 68-100; “… über die acht und zwanzig naxatra”, ZKM 7, 1850, 244-276.

– “Zwei Sagen aus dem Çatapathabrâhmaṇa über Einwanderung und Verbreitung der Ârier in Indien nebst einer geographisch-geschichtlichen Skizze aus den Weissen Yajus”, ISt 1:2, 1850, 161-232; “Über das Śāṅkhāyanabrāhmaṇa”, ISt 2, 1851, 283-315; “Alphabetische Verzeichniss der Anuvâka- und Brâhmaṇa-Anfänge des Yajur-Veda”, ISt 3, 1855, 283-324; “Einiges über das Kâṭhakam”, ISt 3, 1855, 451-479; “Über das Vaṇçabrâhmaṇa des Sâmaveda”, MbBeAW 1857, 493-507.

– “Analyse der in Anquetil du Perron’s Uebersetzung enthaltenen Upanischad”, ISt 1, 1850, 247-302, 380-456 & 2, 1853, 1-111 & 9, 1865, 1-173; “Ueber den Zusammenhang indischer Fabeln mit griechischen”, ISt 3, 1855, 327-373.

Edited: White Yajur-veda. 1. Vājasaneyi-Sanhitā in the Mādhyandina- and the Kānva-Çākhā, with the commentary of Mahīdhara. 95+898 p. B. 1850; 2. Çatapatha-brāhmaṇa in the Mādhyandina-çākhā with extracts from the commentaries of Sāyaṇa, Harisvāmin and Dvivedaganga. 13+1194 p. L. 1855; 3. Çrautasūtra of Kātyāyana. With extracts from the commentaries of Karka and Yājñikadeva. 785+16+332 p. B. 1856; Taittirīya-Saṁhitā. 1-2. 12+416, 6+405 p. Ind. Studien 11-12.  B. 1871-72.

Akademische Vorlesungen über indischen Literatursgeschichte. 6+284 p. B. 1852, 2nd ed. 1876, also in French and English; Verzeichniss der Sanskrit-Handschriften der Königlichen Bibliothek, Berlin. 1. 481 p. B. 1853; Verzeichniss der Sanskrit- und Prâkrit­hand­schriften der kgl. Bibliothek, Berlin. 1-3. 8+10+27+1363 p. B. 1886-92.

Edited: “Caranavyûha: Uebersicht über die Schülen der Veden”, ISt 3, 1855, 247-283; “Der Kâṇḍânukrama der Âtreyî-Schule des Taittirîya-Veda”, ISt 3, 1855, 374-401; “Vâjasaneyiprâtiçâkhya”, ISt 4:1, 1857, 65-171 & 177-333.

Transl.: Malavika und Agnimitra. Ein Drama des Kālidāsa in 5 Akten. 48+107 p. B. 1856; edited & transl. “Vajrasûcî des Açvaghosha”, ABeAW 1859, 205-264.

Edited and translated: “Zwei vedische Texte über Omina und Portenta”, ABeAW 1858, 313-413; “Über den Vedakalender, Namens Jyotisham”, ABeAW 1862, 1-130; “Die Râma-Tâpanîya-Upanishad”, ABeAW 1864, 271-373; “Über ein zum weissen Yajus gehöriges phonetisches Compendium, des Pratijñāsūtra”, ABeAW 1871:2, 69-118.

Ueber das Çatrunjaya Màhàtmyam. 115 p. A.K.M. 1:4. Lp. 1858.

With A. Schiefner: “Über ein indisches Würfel-Orakel”, MbBeAW 1859, 158-180, again with transl. in Weber, Ind. Streifen 1, 1868, 274-307.

– “Gargāsaṁhitā – Auszüge”, MbBeAW 1859, 158-180; “Über die Aufzählung der vier Zeitmaasse bei Garga”, MbBeAW 1862, 705-714; “Ueber das Jyotirvidâ­bharaṇam”, ZDMG 22, 1868, 708-730, 23, 1869, 308f. & 24, 1870, 393-402.

Transl. “Dhammapadam. Die älteste buddhistische Sittenlehre”, ZDMG 14, 1860, 29-86.

– “Vedische Hochzeitssprüche”, ISt 5, 1862, 177-266; “Collectanea über die Kasten­verhältnisse in den Brâhmaṇa und Sûtra”, ISt 10, 1868, 1-160; review of Haug’s Aitareyabrāhmaṇa, ISt 9, 1865, 240-380; “Zur Kenntnis des vedischen Opferrituals”, ISt 10, 1868, 321-396 & 13, 1873, 217-292; “Ueber den padapâṭha der Taittirîya Saṁhitâ”, ISt 13, 1873, 1-128.

Ueber die Metrik der Inder. Zwei Abhandlungen. 457 p. ISt 8. B. 1864 (with Piṅgala, Chandaḥsūtra ed. & tr.); Ueber das Râmâyaṇa. ABeAW 1870; “Das Mahâbhâshya des Patañjali. Benares 1872”, ISt 13, 1873, 293-496; “Die Recensionen des Çakuntalâ”, ISt 14, 1876, 161-311.

Ueber ein Fragment der Bhagavati. Ein Beitrag zur Kenntniss der heiligen Sprache und Literatur der Jaina. ABeAW 1865, 367-444 & 1866, 155-352.

Ueber die Kṛishṇajanmâshṭami (Kṛishṇas Geburtsfest). ABeAW 1867:1, 217-366.

Translated: Atharvaveda, Book 1, ISt 4, 1868, 393-430; Book 2, 1-36, MbBeAW 1870, 462-524; Book 4, ISt 18, 1898, 1-158; Book 5, ISt 18, 1898, 154-288; Book 18, SBeAW 1895:1, 815-866 & 1895:2, 253-294.

Edited: Hâla, Saptaçataka. 262 p. A.K.M. 5:3. Lp. 1870, 2nd ed. 661 p. A.K.M. 7:4. Lp. 1881; “Über das Saptaçataka des Hâla”, ZDMG 26, 1872, 735-745 & 28, 1874, 345-436; “Prâkṛit-Studien”, ISt 14, 1876, 35-96; “Über Bhuvanapâla’s Commentar zu Hâla’s Sapta­çataka”, ISt 16, 1883, 1-204.

Edited & transl.: “Pañcadaṇḍachattraprabandha. Ein Märchen von König Vikramâditya”, ABeAW 1877, 1-104.

– “Ueber die Siṅhâsanadvâtriṅçikâ”, ISt 15, 1878, 185-453; “Ueber das Campaka­çreshṭhi­kathânakam”, SBeAW 1883:1, 567-605 & 2, 885-895 (with text & tr.); “Ueber das Uttamacaritrakathânakam”, SBeAW 1884, 269-310.

– “Zu Kshemendra’s Lokaprakâça”, ISt 18, 1898, 289-412.

– “Ueber die Magavyakti der Kṛshṇadâsa Miçra”, MbBeAW 1879, 446-488, 810-814; 1880, 27-78 (with text).

– “Ueber die heiligen Schriften der Jaina”, ISt 16, 1883, 211-479; 17, 1885, 1-90; English translation by H. W. Smyth: “Sacred Literature of the Jains”, IA 17, 1888, 279-292, 339-345; 18, 1889, 181-184, 369-378; 19, 1890, 62-70; 20, 1891, 18-29, 170-182, 365-376; 21, 1892, 14-23, 106-113, 177-185, 210-215, 293-311, 327-341 & 369-373 (concluded).

Über den Pârasîprakâça des Kṛishṇadâsa. 121 p. ABeAW 1887:1; Über den zweiten, grammatischen Pârasîprakâça des Kṛishṇadâsa. 91 p. ABeAW 1888:3 (a Persian grammar in Sanskrit).

 “Über den Vâjapeya”, SBeAW 1892, 765-813; “Über die Königsweihe, den Râjasûya”, ABeAW 1894:2, 1-158; “Vedische Beiträge”, SBeAW 1894-1900 (8 parts).

– “Zur indischen Religionsgeschichte”, Deutsche Revue 24, 1899, 199-229, English in IA 30, 1901, 239-257 & 288-310.

Numerous small articles and reviews in ISt, ZDMG, MbBeAW, SBeAW, ABeAW, partly collected in: Indische Skizzen. 6+150 p. B. 1857; Indische Streifen. 1-3. 8+386, 15+495, 16+645 p. B. 1868-69 & Lp. 1879; “Literarisch-kritische Streifen”, ISt 18, 1898, 413-525.

Sources: *C. Bendall, JRAS 1902, 228f.; H. Falk in Framke et al. 2014, 7-9; W. Morgenroth, “A.F.W. – A pioneer of Indology”, IT 3-4, 1975-76, 321-338 and *“A.F.W. – ein Bahnbrecher der Indologie”, AoF 5, 1977, 97-112; *S.F. Ol’denburg, “Pamjati A. Vebera”, Izv. Imp. AN 5:15, 1901:5, xivf.; A Parpola, “Publications of the great Indologist Fr. Albrecht Weber”, StO 97 (Fs. Halén), 2003, 189-219; Sengupta 1996, 121-126; Stache-Rosen 1990, 64-67; Stache-Weiske 2017, 195-200, 567; Windisch 319-361; M. Winternitz, Biogr. Jb. und Deutscher Nekrolog 6, 1901, 346–356 (= Kl. Schr. 1991, 909-919; *G. Zeller: “Der Dritte im Bunde – Albrecht Weber und das Petersburger Sanskrit-Wörterbuch”, H. Brückner & K. Steiner (ed.), 200 Jahre Indienforschung – Geschichte(n), Netzwerke, Diskurse. Wb. 2012, 95-116; *TP N.S. 2, 1901; Wikipedia, with more details and two photos in German version; photo in Rau 32 (also in Indology in G.D.R.), another in Sardesai, still another in Leumann 1909, 29.

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