BRELOER, Bernhard. Herne, Westfalen 8.11.1894 — Tbilisi 20.4.1947. German Indologist. Professor in Berlin. Son of a mill owner. Participated in the WW I. Studied a brief time at Jena, then at Bonn (under Jacobi and Kirfel) and München (W. Geiger) Indology, also classical philology, and musicology. Ph.D. 1921. Then studied law at Berlin under Josef Partsch. Dr.iuris 1927 Bonn. From 1927 PD for Indology at Bonn. In 1930 visited India. In 1935 succeeded Lüders as the Professor of Indology at Berlin University. Participated in the WW II as officer from 1940, but could also continue teaching until 1941 and briefly in summers 1943 and 44. In 1945 Russian prisoner of war, died in a camp in Georgia in undernourishment and illness. In 1935 married, two sons and one daughter.
The dissertation in 1922 was already an important contribution, in which he showing that Indian classical music is founded on pure pentatonic theory. Later he made important contributions to the interpretation and juridical terminology of the Arthaśāstra. On basis of Megasthenes and the Arthaśāstra he showed that landed property and slavery in the sense known in the classical world were unknown in India. But he was also prone to speculative ideas and theories. Beside Sanskrit he also taught Marāṭhī at Berlin. He was an active Nazi, who pressed his colleagues to politics and dispelled them from Berlin with his ways (as testified by Alsdorf). Although a newcomer, he was already made the Dean of faculty in 1935. In his later years he concentrated more and more in politics. At Berlin he moved Indology from IE Seminar to Oriental Seminar.
Publications: Diss. phil. Die Grundelemente des altindischen Musik nach dem Bhāratīyanāṭyaśāstra. Text, Übers. u. Erkl. 48 p. Bonn 1922; diss. iur. Das Grundeigentum in Indien. 135 p. Bonn 1927.
– Kauṭalīya-Studien. 1. Grundeigentum in Indien. Bonn 1927 (above); 2. Altindisches Privatrecht bei Megasthenes und Kauṭalya. 189 p. Bonn 1928; 3. Staatsverwaltung im alten Indien. 1. Finanzverwaltung und Wirtschaftsführung. 20+586 p. Lp. 1934.
– “Zum Kauṭalīya-Problem”, ZII 7, 1929, 205-232; “Megasthenes über die indische Gesellschaft”, ZDMG 88, 1934, 130-163; “Megasthenes über die indische Stadtverwaltung”, ZDMG 89, 1935, 40-67; “Drei unbekannte Megasthenesfragmente über die pravrajyā”, ZDMG 93, 1939, 254-293; “Die Śākya”, ZDMG 94, 1940, 268-294; “Taxiles der Amātya”, ZDMG 95, 1941, 333–337.
– “Studien zu Pāṇini”, ZII 7, 1929, 114-135; “Die 14 pratyāhāra-sūtras des Pāṇini”, ZII 10, 1935, 133-191.
– Alexanders Kampf gegen Poros. 208 p. Bonner Orientalistische Studien 3. St. 1934; Alexanders Bund mit Poros. Indien von Dareios zu Sandrokottos. 256 p. Sammlung Orientalistischen Arbeiten 9. Lp. 1941.
– With F. Bömer: Fontes historiae religionum Indicarum. 228 p. Fontes historiae religionum ex auctoribus Graecis et Latinos collectos 7. Bonnae 1939.
Sources: Framke in Framke et al. 2014, 94–99, 107f.; H. Losch, N.D.B. 2, 1955, 580; briefly in D.B.E. 2, 1995, 108; German Wikipedia; photo in Sardesai, another in Rau 124.
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