SPRENGER, Aloys. Nassereith, Tyrol 3.9.1813 — Heidelberg 19.12.1893. Austrian Oriental Scholar, in India 1842-56. then Professor in Bern. Son of a customs officer, gymnasium in Innsbruck. Studied medicine and Oriental languages at Vienna, then from 1836 in London. British citizen 1838. Dr.Med. 1840 Leiden. In 1842 went to India. Director of Madrasa in Delhi, then 1848-49 in Lucknow studying Islamic manuscripts of the Royal Library. In 1850-56 Director of Calcutta Madrasa. In 1854 on furlough visited Egypt, Syria and Mesopotamia. In 1856 retired because of ill health and returned to Europe (differently Procházka, because he lost his position). He brought a great collection of Arabic manuscripts (now in Berlin). Professor of Oriental languages at Bern in 1857-81, then living in Heidelberg. Hon. dr. Oxford, Rome and Giessen. Married.
Sprenger was one of the best specialists of Islamic traditions and Arabic and Persian literature of India. His biography of Muḥammad is famous in the history of Islamic studies (although now wholly antiquated). In Calcutta he was also the secretary of A.S.B.
Publications: Diss. De originibus medicinae sub caliphate. 31 p. Lugd. Bat. 1840.
– English-Hindustany Grammar. 1845 (mentioned by Procházka, but not by Grierson et al.).
– “Early Hindústány Poetry”, JASB 22, 1853, 442-444.
– A Catalogue of the Arabic, Persian and Hindústány mss. of the Libraries of the King of Oudh. 1. Persian and Hindústány Poetry. 8+645 p. Calcutta 1854.
– In collaboration with Indian scholars edited a number Arabic texts in Bibl. Ind.; articles on Arabic literature in JASB.
– The Life of Muhammad from original sources. 210+18 p. Allahabad 1851; Leben und die Lehre des Mohammed. 1-3. Berlin 1861-65.
– Post- und Reiserouten des Orients. 28+159 p. Lp. 1864; Die alte Geographie Arabiens. 343 p. Bern 1875; other works.
Sources: Fück 1955, 176-179; *A. Haffner, A. S. Ein Tiroler Orientalist. 8 p. Innsbruck 1913; *N. Manti, A.S. Der Orientalist und Islamhistoriker. 1993; S. Procházka, Ö.B.L. 13, 2007-10, 49; JRAS 1894, 394f.; Wikipedia with bust.
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