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Theodor° Noeldeke

NOELDEKE, THEODOR° (1836–1930), German Orientalist. Born in Harburg, near Hamburg, Noeldeke taught from 1872 until 1906. Best known for his prizewinning Geschichte des Qorâns (1860), he was an acknowledged expert on the comparative philology of the Semitic languages and published grammars of New Syriac (1869), Mandaean Aramaic (1874), and Syriac (1880). His expertise in this field was fully revealed in his Beitraege zur semitischen Sprachwissenschaft (1904) and its supplement (1910).

Noeldeke was also a distinguished scholar in the biblical and rabbinic fields. Among his works in this sphere are Ueber die Amalekiter und einige andere Nachbarvoelker der Israeliten (1864); "Die Geschichte der Juden in Arabien" (in Beitraege zur Kenntnis der Poesie der alten Araber, 1864); Die alttestamentliche Literatur (1868), a French edition of which, by H. Derenbourg and J. Soury, appeared in 1873; and Untersuchungen zur Kritik des Alten Testaments (1869). Noeldeke, whose pupils included Louis *Ginzberg, was a prolific writer on Islamic history and Arabic and Persian culture, his general works including Orientalische Skizzen (1892; Sketches from Eastern History, 1892). He also published Die Inschrift des Ko e nigs Mesa (1870), an explanatory work on the Mesha Stele; an essay on the Aramaic papyri of Assuan (1907); and various introductions and annotations to books by other scholars, for example, Friedrich Schulthess' Grammatik des christlich-palaestinischen Aramaeisch (1924).


M. Frenschkowski, in: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon, vol. 6 (1993), 979–83.

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