OPPERT, GUSTAV SALOMON (1836–1908), German Orientalist and Indologist. Born in Hamburg, younger brother of the assyrologist Julius (Jules) Oppert and of Ernst Jacob Oppert, merchant and traveler, Oppert studied languages, literature, philosophy, and history in Bonn, Leipzig, and Berlin. He worked in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and was appointed assistant librarian at Queen Victoria's Library in Windsor. In 1872 he was appointed professor of Sanskrit and comparative philology at the Presidency College in Madras, India where from 1878 to 1882 he also served as editor of the Madras Journal of Literature and Science. After traveling through India, the Far East, and the U.S. he accepted a teaching post at Berlin University in Dravidian languages.
He also produced a number of works in folklore, general philology, ancient Hindu culture, studies of South Indian manuscripts; travel accounts, and editions of various classics of Sanskrit culture in the areas of philosophy, poetry and philology.
Like his brother Jules, Gustav Oppert devoted himself to various Jewish causes. He was a trustee of the Hochschule fuer die Wissenschaft des Judentums and bequeathed his estate to this organization.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: JC (March 20, 1908), obituary. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: DBE, 7 (1998) 501; J. Jacobson, in: YBLI, 7 (1959), 67–72; 8; L.H. Grey, in: JE, 9 (1903), 419–420; Lexikon der hamburgerischen Schriftsteller bis zur Gegenwart, 5 (1870), 610–611; G. Pelger, in: EAJS Newsletter, 11 (2001–2002), 15–23; V. Stache-Rosen, German Indologists. Biographies of Scholars in Indian Studies (1990), 81–82; Sechsundzwanzigster Jahresbericht der Lehranstalt fuer die Wissenschaft des Judentums zu Berlin (1908), 63–67; Wininger, in: JNB, 4 (1979), 584; Zeitschrift fuer Ethnologie, 40 (April 23, 1908), obituary, 260.
[Ephraim Fischoff / Gregor Pelger (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.