BEER, Eduard Friedrich Ferdinand. Bautzen 15.6.1805 — Leipzig 5.4.1841. German Epigraphist and Semitic Scholar, a Pioneer of Cuneiform Studies. Son of a master tailor, Leonhard B., gymnasium in Bautzen. Studied Oriental languages at Leipzig from 1824. Father’s death in 1827 brought financial problems, and he had to work as proof reader. From c. 1833 PD for Orientalische Philologie at Leipzig, 1838 ao. Professor ibid. without salary, on account of his cuneiform criticism. He was the founder of Nabataean epigraphy (the first to read more or less correctly Sinai inscriptions), and was also interested in Punic and other Semitic inscriptions. Also knew Sanskrit.
Publications: hab. diss. Inscriptiones et papyri veteres Semitici quotquot in Aegypto reperti sunt. I. 1833; Inscriptiones veteres litteris et linguis hucusque incognitis ad montem Sinai magno numero servatae. I. 1840; articles on Semitic epigraphy.
– a long and important review of Old Persian Cuneiform studies by Burnouf, Lassen, and Grotefend in Hallesche Litteraturzeitung 1838, nos. 1–6.
Sources: C. Siegfried, A.D.B. 2, 1875, 247f.; F. Stummer, N.D.B. 1, 1953, 735; *F. H. Weissbach, Reallex. d. Assyriologie 1, 467; *M. Müller, WZULeipzig 1979:1, 75; German Wikipedia.