SPEYER, Jacob Samuel

SPEYER, Jacob Samuel (Speijer). Amsterdam 20.12.1849 — Leiden 1.11.1913. Dutch Indologist. Professor in Amsterdam, Groningen and Leiden. Born in a Jewish family, son of the elder J. S. Sp. and Elizabet Calisch. Educated in Amsterdam, studied classics at Athenaeum there, then Sanskrit at Leiden (under Kern). Ph.D. 1872 Leiden. In 1873-79 taught Latin at gymnasium in Amsterdam. In 1879-88 Lektor of Sanskrit at Amsterdam, the first to teach Sanskrit there. From May 1888 eo. Professor at Amsterdam, from December 1888 Professor of Sanskrit and Latin at Groningen. In 1903 succeeded Kern as Professor of Sanskrit at Leiden, taught there until his death. Married Henriette Marianne Cohen, one daughter.

Speyer was a good teacher (he started the teaching of Sanskrit at Amsterdam and Groningen) and a scholar who understood to publish his works in major languages. His Sanskrit Syntax became a much used handbook. He had many interests: grammar (syntax), Buddhism, narrative and dramatic literature, Old Javanese, epigraphy. Much time was spent in showing the confusion and errors of theosophy. Among his students were Huizinga, Faddegon, N. J. Krom and Lulius van Goor.

Publications: Diss. De ceremonia apud Indos quae vocatur jātakarma. 134 p. Lugduni Bat. 1872.

– “Bemerkungen zu den Gṛhyasûtra”, BTLV 27:1, 1879, 155-201.

– “Le mythe de Nahusha”, OC 6, Leiden 1883, 3:2, 1885, 81-120.

Sanskrit Syntax. 402 p. Leiden 1886; Vedische und Sanskrit Syntax. 96 p. Grundr. 1:6. Strassburg 1896.

“Le dieu romain Janus”, RHR 26, 1892, 1-47; “Ein syntaktisches Kleeblatt”, IF 31, 1912-13, 108-119.

Translated: The Jātakamāla or garland of birth-stories of Āryasūra. 350 p. S.B.B. 1. L. 1895; edited: Avadanaçataka. A century of edifying tales belonging to the Hinayana. 1-2. 388+112+238 p. Bibl. Buddh. 3. St.P. 1906-09.

– “Kritische Nachlese zu Açvaghosha’s Buddhacarita”, Med.KNAW 3:11:3, 1895, 340-356; “Notes on the text of Saundarananda”, ibid. 4:6:2, 1913, 125-139; “Some critical notes on Aśvaghoṣa’s Buddhacarita”, JRAS 1914, 105-118.

– “Critical remarks on the text of the Divyāvadāna”, WZKM 16, 1902, 103-130, 340-361.

Studies about the Kathāsaritsāgara. 180 p. VKNAW 8:5. Amsterdam 1908.

De Indische theosophie en hare biteekenis voor ons. 354 p. Ld. 1910, German Lp. 1914.

– “Ein altjavanische mahāyānistische Katechismus”, ZDMG 67, 1913, 347-362; Javanese Buddhist inscriptions publ. in Dutch in VKNAW 1904.

Other articles and reviews.

Sources: *W. Caland, Jaarboek K.N.A.W. 1914, 37-77; *B. Faddegon, Jaarboek van de Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde 1915, 259-309; J.Ph. Vogel, JRAS 1914, 227-232; full bibliography in Dutch Indology homepage; Wikipedia with portrait; parents and family in geni.com.

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