SEETZEN, ULRICH JASPER° (1767–1811), German explorer. He studied medicine in Goettingen. During his extensive travels in the Near East, he visited Palestine (1802), Mecca and Medina (1810), and Yemen (1811), where he was poisoned. His diaries were edited posthumously by Kruse and Fleischer (1854–59). Seetzen was the first of the scientific explorers of the 19th century. His knowledge of Arabic and his courage enabled him to visit unexplored regions, such as the Dead Sea. He was the first European to note the ruins of Masada (Sabba) ,although he did not identify the site.
J.P.J. Olivier, in: M. Weippert and S. Timm (eds.), Meilenstein (1995) 164–71; H. Weippert, in: ibid., 324–32; J. Schienerl, Der Weg in den Orient. Der Forscher Ulrich Jasper Seetzen… (2000).
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.