BERGMANN, Benjamin Fürchtegott Balthasar von. Arrasch, Livonia (now Āraiši in Latvia) 17(28).11.1772 — Blussen b. Wenden (now Blusu near Cēsis) 16(28).8.1856. German (Livonian) Priest and Traveller, a Pioneer of Lamaist Studies. Son of Gustav B. (1787 von B.; 1749–1814, priest and scholar). Educated at Domschule and Lyceum in Riga, studied Lutheran theology and philology from 1791 at Leipzig, 1793 at Jena. Tutor in Riga 1795-98 and in Moscow 1798-1802. In 1802-03 in South Russia among the Kalmucks. He was interested in ethnography and spent 15 months with the nomads. In 1804-06 asst. minister (adjunct) in Rujen (Rūjiena), Livonia, 1806-14 minister in Erlaa, and 1814-46 in Rujen. 1816 Ph.D. Dorpat. Married 1804 with Eleonore Wilhelmine Polchow (d. 1846). His Nomadische Streifereien are one of the earliest detailed and rather reliable sources on Kalmucks and their Lamaism.
Publications: Nomadische Streifereien unter den Kalmüken in den Jahren 1802 und 1803. 1-4. 352+352+302+356 p. Riga 1804-05. Wrote also on Russian history.
Sources: Napiersky, Livl. … Prediger 2, 1850; Deutsch-baltisches biogr. Lexikon. 1970; Recke & Napiersky, Livl. Schriftsteller-Lexicon 1, 1827, 129-132 (also briefly in 2 & 4); Baltisches biogr. Lexikon at www.bbl-digital.de/eintrag/Bergmann; *Latvian Vikipēdija contains a portrait.
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