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Theodor Noldeke

Theodor Noldeke (March 2, 1836 - 1930), German Semitic scholar, was born at Harburg, and studied at Göttingen, Vienna, Leiden and Berlin.

In 1859 his history of the Koran won for him the prize of the French Académie des Inscriptions, and in the following year he rewrote it in German (Geschichte des Korans) and published it with additions at Göttingen. In 1861 he began to lecture at the university of this town, where three years later he was appointed extraordinary professor. In 1868 he became ordinary professor at Kiel[?], and in 1872 was appointed to the chair of Oriental languages at Strassburg, which he resigned in 1906.

Noldeke’s range of studies has been wide and varied, but in the main his work has followed the two lines already indicated by his prize essay, Semitic languages, and the history and civilization of Islam. While a great deal of his work (e.g. his Grammatik der neusyrischen Sprache, 1868, his Mandäische Grammatik, 1874, and his translations from the Arabian of Tabari, 1881-1882) is meant for specialists, many of his books are of interest to the general reader.

Several of his essays first appeared in the Encyclopædia Britannica, and his article on the Koran, with some others, was republished in a volume called Oriental Sketches. The articles dealing with Persia were republished in a German volume, Aufsatze zur persischen Geschichte (Leipzig, 1887). Among his best-known works are:

  • Das Leben Mohammeds (1863)
  • Beiträge zur Kenntnis der Poesie der alten Araber (1864)
  • Die alttestamentliche Literatur (1868)
  • Untersuchungen zur Kritik des Alten Testaments (1869)
  • Zur Grammatik des klassischen Arabisch (1896)
  • Fünf Mo'allaqat, übersetzt und erklärt (1899-1901)
  • Beiträge zur semitischen Sprachwissenschaft (1904).

He has contributed frequently to the Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenländischen Gesellschaft, the Göttingische gelehrte Anzeigen and the Expositor.

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.

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