SONNE, Wilhelm

SONNE, Wilhelm Günther Heinrich. Ilfeld/Harz 22.2.1820 — Wismar 3.5.1873. German IE Scholar. Schoolteacher in Wismar. Son of a teacher, later Director of Ilfeld Gymnasium, himself educated at Göttingen Gymnasium 1831-32 and Hannover Lyceum (with G. F. Grotefend as Director). From 1839 studies of classical philology and philosophy at Göttingen, privately also Romance languages, English and Sanskrit. Teacher’s examen 1842 in Hannover. For a while tutor, e.g. in Lauenburg, from 1845 teacher at Stadtgymnasium in Wismar, from 1868 until his death its Director.

Sonne was a noted pioneer of IE linguistics and comparative mythology. His main work was the great study of Ṛgveda 1, 50. Like Pott, he was often led into long, but also useful, excursions. He was one of the first to appreciate the Ṛgveda rightly and to draw Yāska and Sāyaṇa among his sources.

Publications: diss. Epilegomena zu Dr. Th. Benfey’s Wurzellexicon. 64 p. 1839-42, publ. in Wismar school program. 4+64 p. 1847.

– “Charis”, KZ 10, 1861, 96-136, 161-187, 321-366 & 401-427; a few further writings.

– “Sprachliche und mythologische Untersuchungen, angeknüpft an Rigveda I, 50”, KZ 12, 1863, 267-298, 336-374; 13, 1864, 401-445; 14, 1865, 1-33, 321-343; 15, 1866, 81-142, 367-387, 433-443.

Sources: H. Klenz, A.D.B. 34, 1892, 625f.; Windisch 625f.

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