BENARY, Ferdinand

BENARY, Franz Simon Ferdinand. Kassel 22.3.1805 — Berlin 7.2.1880. German Indologist and Orientalist. Professor in Berlin. Born in Kassel in a Jewish family,  as a son of the banker Salmon Levy (1770-1828; from 1818 Benary) and Gutheil Meilert (1778-1833), brother of —> Agathon B., himself took Christianity in 1829. From 1824 studied at Bonn and Halle, where Gesenius impressed him strongly, and from 1827 at Berlin theology and Oriental languages. From 1829 PD für orien­tali­sche Sprachen at Berlin, at the beginning concentrated at Sanskrit. He was serious­ly thinking of accepting a chair of Oriental languages in St. Petersburg, but, in order to keep the talented youth in Berlin, he was given an ao. Professorship of Old Testament Exegesis, and this office he held until his death. Dr.Theol. h.c. 1835 Halle, because of his Levirate book. Married Johanna Volkmar (1823–1857), three sons and two daughters.

Benary was in fact more interested in Indology and linguistics, but after having got the chair of Exegesis he concentrated on Old Testament exegesis and Semitic philology following the tradition of Gesenius. Thus he studied on Phoenicean inscriptions of Cyprus. His Nalodaya edition, characterized as a good achievement in its time, was founded on the Indian ed. princeps (Khidirapura 1813) and included the Subodhini commentary.

Publications: Nalodaya. Sanscritum carmen Calidaso adscriptum una cum Pradschna­kavi Mithilensis scholiis. Ed. et interpretatione latina et annotationibus criticis instruxit. 22+130 p. B. 1830.

Reviews of Dursch’s Ghat‘akarparam, HALZ 1829:1, 561-573; of Stenzler’s Brahma-Vaivarta-Puráni specimen, HALZ 1830:2, 117-124.

De Hebraeorum levitate.  70 p. B. 1835; articles on Semitic languages and exegesis.

Sources:  Baentsch, A.D.B. 46, 1902, 346f.; Windisch 95; briefly in German Wikipedia.

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