WENZEL, Heinrich Christian Ferdinand. Mainz 7.6.1855 — London 16.6. 1893. German Indologist and Tibetan Scholar in England. Son of a physician, educated in Mainz, matriculated 1874. Studies at Jena, Leipzig and Tübingen. Ph.D. 1879 Tübingen (under Roth). Further studies at Strassburg and Oxford. Prompted by Max Müller, he studied Tibetan 1881 in Paris (Feer) and 1882 in Herrnhut (Jäschke). PD 1886 Leipzig. Moved soon to London to catalogue Tibetan manuscripts. Died in a blood poisoning.
During his brief life HW became one of the pioneers of Tibetan studies in Germany. His few publications include several works edited or prepared in collaboration with others, he also translated Russian works. His large personal library and notes were left to the D.M.G.
Publications: diss. Über den Instrumentalis im Rigveda. Tübingen 1879; hab.diss. Suhṛllekha. Brief des Nāgārjuna an König Udayana. Übers. aus dem Tibetischen. 27 p. Lp. 1886.
– edited: 2nd ed. of Jäschke’s: Tibetan Grammar. L. 1883.
– edited with others: Dharmasangraha. Buddhist technical terms: an ancient Buddhist text ascribed to Nagarjuna. Annotated by K. Kasawara, ed. by F. M. Müller and H. Wenzel. 80 p. Oxford 1885; assisted Cowell in the Buddhacarita edition.
– “A Jātaka-Tale from the Tibetan”, JRAS 20, 1888, 503-511; review of Wasilief, Notes on Buddhism, JRAS 1890, 231-242; “List of the Tibetan MSS. and printed books in the Library of R.A.S.”, JRAS 1892, 570-579; “The Legend of the Origin of the Tibetan Race”, Festgruss Roth 1893, 170-172; a few further articles (JPTS 1886; JRAS 1883-93), reviews (WZKM), and translations from Russian (JRAS).
Sources: Windisch 300f.; Janert (hab.diss. only!); *F. Babinger, Hessische Biographien 1, 1918, 304-309, with bibliography; B. Liebich, A.D.B. 41, 1896, 736-738; M. Taube, WZLeipzig 28:1, 38f.; briefly Walravens 2008, 170; Wikipedia (more in German version); photo in Rau 68.