German Oriental Society

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Logo of the German Oriental Society

The Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft (DMG) is the oldest scientific association of German orientalists. It was founded on October 2, 1845 in Darmstadt ; its current seat is in Halle (Saale) . In contrast to the archaeological German Orient Society , its members deal primarily with the languages ​​and cultures of the Orient and with parts of Asia , Oceania and Africa .


Medal for the 25th anniversary of DMG for the leading founding members Hermann Brockhaus , Heinrich Leberecht Fleischer, August Friedrich Pott and Emil Rödiger , 1870. The motif on the front comes from Theodor Grosse and shows the exploration of the Orient through the personified Germania .

The Arabist and Orientalist at the University of Leipzig, Heinrich Leberecht Fleischer (1801–1888), is considered to be the main founding father of DMG. From 1886 to 1902, the important Indologist and founder of modern Prakrit research, Richard Pischel , professor at the University of Halle , was secretary of the DMG.

The scientific method of transcription from Arabic to Latin script ( DMG romanization ) in the context of Arabic, Persian and Turkish texts, which is still used today , was adopted at the International Congress of Orientalists in Rome in 1936. In addition, the DIN standard 31635 based on it now exists . In the case of Ottoman Turkish , the transliteration of İslâm Ansiklopedisi of 1940, which is similar to DMG transliteration, has established itself in oriental studies .

A "dissolution" of DMG that was sometimes claimed during the post-war period and a subsequent "re-establishment" in 1948 did not take place. The DMG magazine continued to exist without interruption. At the first general meeting after the war in June 1948, DMG only called its scientific activity “interrupted”, but Scheel and Hartmann had maintained the external operations. The seat was moved to Mainz .

DMG has had its headquarters in Halle (Saale) since September 28, 2006 , previously in Leipzig . The DMG holds its member meetings at the German Orientalist Day such as 2010 in Marburg or 2017 in Jena.


Research institutions

The 1960 opened Nepal Research Center (internat. Nepal Research Center NRC) in Kathmandu / Nepal was until 1974 under the name of research firm Nepal Himalayas known.

The Orient Institute in Beirut / Lebanon, founded in 1961, has been sponsored by the Max Weber Foundation since 2002 . It has branches in Cairo (since 2010) and in Istanbul (since 1987). The latter has been an independent institute since 2009.

The DMG library is located in the Villa Kaehne in Halle (Saale). Their holdings (around 64,000 titles) can be researched via the University and State Library of Saxony-Anhalt .

According to § 12 of its statutes, the German Oriental Society appoints Mr. D. Eduard Reuss, professor of theology in Strasbourg, as its full member.


  • since 1847: Journal of the German Oriental Society . (ZDMG). Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, ISSN  0341-0137 , digitized volumes 1 (1847) to 163 (2013); Digital copies of some full volumes at .
  • since 1857: Treatises for the customer of the Orient . (AKM). Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, ISSN  0567-4980 .
  • since 1964: Beirut texts and studies . (BTS). Ergon, Würzburg, ISSN  0067-4931 .

Community projects

  • Cataloging of Oriental Manuscripts in Germany (KOHD)
  • Directory of Oriental Manuscripts in Germany (VOHD)

Funded projects

  • The comparison tables of the Mohammedan and Christian Era , ed. by Ferdinand Wüstenfeld, 1854
  • Dictionary of Classical Arabic Language (WKAS)

German Orientalist Day

Since 1921, DMG has organized the German Orientalist Day (DOT), a congress of German and foreign orientalists, every three to five years. Up to 2017 there were 33 Orientalists Days, the last ones in Bamberg (2001), Halle (Saale) (2004), Freiburg im Breisgau (2007), Marburg (2010), Münster (2013) and Jena (2017). The 34th German Orientalist Day is planned for 2021 in Berlin .

Within the DOT, Anton Baumstark founded the Christian Orient section in 1929 .

Research award of the German Oriental Society

Since 1998, the German Oriental Society has been awarding the German Oriental Society's research prize at regular intervals on the occasion of the German Orientalist Day. The prize is awarded for outstanding research work by young academics in a cultural and scientific-oriented research area of ​​oriental studies represented by DMG and is currently endowed with 5000 euros.

The previous winners are:

Known members

DMG romanization

The now common in German-speaking scientific transcription of DMG has its origins in 1935. At that time laid the transcription Commission of DMG, consisting of Carl Brockelmann , August Fischer , Wilhelm Heffening and Franz Taeschner , a Transliterationsleitfaden for the "main literary languages of the Islamic world" on the 19th International Congress of Orientalists in Rome. The DMG romanization differs from other romanization variants in that, as a transliteration, it is font-based and clearly retransferable.

arab. ( alif ) - - - - ه ﻱ / ى ــَـ ــِـ ــُـ ـءـ ٱ
pers. ( alef ) پ چ ژ ک گ ه ى
lat. (arab.) Hamzaträger (ʾ) / ā b - t ǧ - H H d r z - s š ʿ G f q k - l m n H w / ū y / ī a i u -ʾ- -'- ( Waṣla )
lat. (pers.) Hamzeträger (ʾ) / ā p č ž ż G w / ū (ō) y / ī (ē) e (i) o (u) -'- ( Waṣle )

The vowels in brackets (in Persian) indicate the pronunciation common in East Persian ( Darī , Tajik and Indo-Persian). (For further information see DIN 31635. )


  • Negotiations of the first meeting of German and foreign orientalists in Dresden . Leipzig 1845.
  • The Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft 1845–1895: an overview. Given by the managing directors…, Brockhaus, Leipzig 1895, digital copies: Internet Archive = Stanford Univ., Palo Alto, CA (USA) in the Google book search (the latter can only be viewed via US proxy)
  • Ekkehard Ellinger: German Oriental Studies at the Time of National Socialism 1933–1945 . Thèses Volume 4. Edingen-Neckarhausen 2006, ISBN 3-932662-11-3
  • Johann Fück : The Arab Studies in Europe until the beginning of the 20th century. Leipzig 1955.
  • Sabine Mangold : A "Cosmopolitan Science" - German Oriental Studies in the 19th Century . Stuttgart 2004
  • Holger Preissler: The beginnings of the German Oriental Society . In: Journal of the German Oriental Society . Volume 145, Issue 2, Hubert, Göttingen 1995, pp. 241-327
  • The Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft, committed to researching the languages ​​and cultures of the Orient, Asia and Africa and understanding the foreign since 1845 . Edited by the board of DMG, 2nd edition, Frankfurt 1998
  • German orientalists and the public around the mid-19th century . In: Stefan Wild and Hartmut Schild (eds.): Files of the 27th Orientalist Day (Bonn, 28 September - 2 October 1998) . Wuerzburg 2001
  • Burchard Brentjes : The " Turkestan Working Group " within the framework of DMG. In the meantime: 60 years of “National Soviet Republics” in Central Asia as reflected in the sciences. Halle 1985, pages 151–172. On behalf of the SS, this working group ran the training of Muslim Soviet prisoners of war to become field mullahs (clergy) for the numerous small SS and Wehrmacht associations of this type, in cooperation with Bertold Spuler .
  • Mirjam Thulin: Journal of the German Oriental Society. In: Dan Diner (Ed.): Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture (EJGK). Volume 6: Ta-Z. Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2015, ISBN 978-3-476-02506-7 , pp. 516-520.

Web links

Commons : Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
  • DMG - official homepage of the German Oriental Society Halle / Saale
  • German Humanities Institutes abroad founded by DMG: Orient Institutes in Beirut and Istanbul
  • DMG entry in the Scholarly Societies Project
  • The transliteration of the Arabic script (PDF; 1.3 MB) in its application to the main literary languages ​​of the Islamic world: memorandum to the 19th international orientalist congress in Rome / presented by the transcription commission of DMG, Brockhaus, Leipzig 1935
  • In January 1944, DMG founds a " Turkestan Working Group ", with offices in Berlin and Dresden, for the purpose of coordinating the Muslim Eastern Legions in the Wehrmacht and the SS

Individual evidence

  1. Stefan Krmnicek, Marius Gaidys: Taught images. Classical scholars on 19th century medals. Accompanying volume to the online exhibition in the Digital Coin Cabinet of the Institute for Classical Archeology at the University of Tübingen (= From Croesus to King Wilhelm. New Series, Volume 3). University Library Tübingen, Tübingen 2020, pp. 35–37 ( online ).
  3. ^ German Orientalist Days. In: DMG homepage. Retrieved November 11, 2019 .
  4. Archive link ( Memento from November 5, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  5. Thomas Schmidinger: On the Islamization of Anti-Semitism , page 7
  6. ^ Carl Brockelmann , August Fischer , Wilhelm Heffening and Franz Taeschner : The transliteration of the Arabic script in its application to the main literary languages ​​of the Islamic world . Ed .: Transcription Commission of the German Oriental Society. Commission publisher Franz Steiner GmbH, Wiesbaden 1969 ( [PDF]).