SCHULTZE, Benjamin

SCHULTZE, Benjamin. Sonnenburg (now Słonsk in Poland) 1689 — 25.11.1760. German Missionary and Precursor of Indology. In India 1719-43. From Sonnenburg in Neumark. After studies of Theology at Halle (from 1711) he joined the Lutheran Trankebar Mission in 1719 and participated in the conclusion of the Tamil Bible. Ordained priest in Trankebar 1720. He did not get well along with his colleagues and left the mission in 1726. He settled down in Cuddalore, Pulicat, and in 1728 in Vepery, Madras, and worked as a teacher and missionary for the English Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. Learned Telugu in Madras. Returned to Germany in 1743 because of health problems. He becamedirector of orphan housein Halle and participated in the preparation of Tamil and Telugu types and in printing of parts of the Bible with them. He knew Tamil, Hindustani, and Telugu and wrote much on and in Telugu, but most of his works remained in manuscripts.

Schultze is rather controversial figure and the value of his work has been deemed in different ways. His colleagues accused him for deficient linguistic competence. His Gramm. Hindostanica includes the Persian alphabet and transcription and an account of Devanagari, but he did not understand retroflexes and the ergative ne con­struction of transitive verbs.He noted the similarity of numerals in Sanskrit and some European languages.

Publications: A collection of Tamil hymns, 1723; transl. the Old Testament into Tamil, 1725; later on transl. the New Testament into Telugu and parts of the Bible into Dakhni.

Viri plur. Reverendi Benjamin Schultzii Missionarii Evangelici Grammatica Hindostanica collectis in  diuturna inter Hindostanos Commoratione in justum Ordinem redactis ac larga Exemporum [sic!] Luce perfusis Regulis constans et Missionariorum Usui consecrata. Edidit et de suscipienda barbararum Linguarum Cultura Praefatus est D. Jo. Henr. Callenberg. 8+84 p. Halae Saxonum 1744  (Dakhni), republ. Halle 1986.

With J. F. Frisch: Orientalisch- und occidentalischer Sprachmeister. Leipzig 1748.

Conspectus litteraturae Telugicae, vulgo Warugicae. Halle 1747.

Grammatica Telugica. Written in 1728, remained manuscript, publ. 6+195 p. Halle 1984.

Die auf der Küste Coromandel in Ost-Indien befindliche grosse und berühmte Stadt der Englische Nation Madras oder Fort St.George, in Vorstellung der Gemüthbeschaffenheit, der Sitten, der Aufführung, des Verhaltens der eigentlichen Art der Eingeborenen, etc. Halle 1750 (text both in German and English).

Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; Pauly, Køb. Univ. 8, 1992, 516; *G. Duverdier, “L’oeuvre en télugu de B. S.”, BEFEO 53, 1976, 265-312; H.-W. Gensichen, Indian Church History Review 20, 1986, 96; *J. Mehlig, “B.S’s Activities in India”, GDR Review 20, 1975, 33-35; Mohanavelu 1993, 194; *A. Norgaard, “Missionär B.S. als Leiter der Trankebarmission (1720-26)”, Neue Z. f. Missionswiss. 33, 1977, 181-201; H. Pelikan, Die “Grammatica Hindostanica” des B.S. Halle 1987; Wikipedia.

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