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Bernhard Geiger

GEIGER, BERNHARD (1881–1964), Austrian philologist. Geiger, born in Bielitz (Bielsko), Upper Silesia, attended the universities of Vienna, Bonn, and Heidelberg. Originally his field of study was Hebrew, but one of his teachers in Vienna aroused his interest in Iranian and Sanskrit, and it was in those languages that he made his principal contributions to scholarship. From 1909 to 1938 he taught at the University of Vienna, being forced to leave that position by the Nazis. In 1938 he immigrated to the United States and from 1938 to 1951 was professor of Indo-Iranian philology at the Tibetan-Iranian Institute (later the Asia Institute), New York. In 1951–56 he taught Indo-Iranian at Columbia University. In 1949 the shah of Iran conferred upon him the Order of Humayoun.

Geiger's publications include Die Amәša Spәntas (1916); Die Religion der Iranier (1929); and Middle Iranian Texts (1956; repr. from The Excavations at Dura-Europos, Final Report, 7 pt. 1 (1936), 283–317). Geiger was one of the contributors to the volume of Additamenta to A. Kohut's Aruch Completum (1937), being mainly responsible for the detailed philological study of talmudic words of Iranian origin.


S. Winninger (ed.), Grosse Jüdische Nationalbiographie, vol. 7 (1936), 568.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.