Dietz-Otto Edzard

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dietz-Otto Edzard (born August 28, 1930 in Bremen ; † June 2, 2004 in Munich ) was one of the most important German ancient orientalists of the 20th century .

Dietz-Otto Edzard grew up in his native Bremen, where he also passed the Abitur at the old grammar school in 1950 . In 1950/1951 he first attended the interpreting school in Heidelberg . Following his interest in languages ​​and history, he studied French , Turkish , Assyriology , Semitic Studies and Ancient History at the University of Paris (1951–1952) and the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg (1952–1955) . His formative teachers were René Labat and Louis Bazin (1920–2011) in Paris and above all Adam Falkenstein , with whom he studied Oriental and Semitic studies in Heidelberg , and the ancient historian Hans Schaefer . In 1955 Edzard received his doctorate . His dissertation, The “Second Intermediate Period” of Babylonia , was published two years later and was awarded the Heidelberg University medal. Even here he showed that historical studies can only be carried out on the basis of extensive philological knowledge.

In the following years Edzard worked in the Baghdad branch of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) . Here he gained practical experience as an epigraphist during excavations in Uruk . In addition, his great interest in " Iraq-Arab " developed here . Years later he wrote an article about it in the magazine of the German Oriental Society . Afterwards, Edzard was assistant to Wolfram von Sodens in Vienna as a scholarship holder of the German Research Foundation when creating an “ Accadian Concise Dictionary ”. In 1960 he completed his habilitation in Assyriology at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich and became a private lecturer there in 1961 . From September 3, 1963, until his retirement on October 1, 1998 , Dietz-Otto Edzard was professor at a newly created chair for Assyriology at the later Institute for Assyriology and Hittitology , of which he was director until 1999 and which he played a major role coined. He declined offers to the universities of Harvard (1960/61), Bochum (1966), Baltimore (1967) and Freiburg (1972).

The focus of Edzard's work was the ancient oriental languages Sumerian and Akkadian , which he always sought to research within the Semitic world of languages ​​and the history of the ancient Orient . His work on the formation of Sumerian words and verbs gave impetus. He always tried to do justice to both major Mesopotamian language groups, as well as philology and historiography . In addition to studies, Edzard also presented various source editions, especially on legal and economic documents. When a large number of documents were found during excavations in the ancient Mesopotamian city of Ebla from 1974 to 1976, Dietz-Otto Edzard was one of the most important people who worked on the findings and gave decisive impetus to Ebla research. Edzard was also involved in communicating the research results to a wider audience. He wrote world history for Fischer , Pauly the Little , the New German Biography , the Encyclopædia Britannica and for Kindler's (Neues) literary dictionary .

The extent of his work, which was enlarged until his death, was published in 2000 in a bibliography published in the Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und Vorderasiatische Aräologie with 14 monographs , 115 essays and contributions in compilations as well as well over 400 lexicon articles, 167 book reviews and annotations and translations from the French and Russian indicated. Edzard was also active as an editor, for example for the “Hittitisches hand dictionary” or from 1982 to 2000 (co-editor since 1971) for the “Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und Vorderasiatische Aräologie”. Most important here was probably the editing of the Real Lexicon of Assyriology and Near Eastern Archeology , which he was in charge of from 1972 to 2004. In 1970 Edzard organized the 18th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale , the international annual meeting of Assyriologists, in Munich .

Dietz-Otto Edzard has received numerous awards for his achievements. He had been a corresponding member of the DAI since 1961, an external member of the Royal Academy of Sciences of the Netherlands from 1976, an honorary member of the American Oriental Society from 1978 , a full member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences from 1992 and an external member of the American Philosophical Society from 1996 .

Edzard's personal inclination was collecting grammars from all over the world. He spoke various languages ​​and learned new ones until his unexpected death, most recently Mongolian and Yiddish .

Publications (selection)

  • The "second intermediate period" of Babylonia. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1957.
  • Sumerian legal documents of the III. Millennium from before the III. Dynasty of Ur (= publications of the commission for the development of cuneiform texts. Item 4; Treatises of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, Philosophical-Historical Class. New series, issue 67). Publishing house of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, Munich 1968.
  • The iterative stems of the Akkadian verb. The question of their origin, their function, their dissemination (= session reports of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, Philosophical-Historical Class. 1996, Volume 2). CH Beck, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-7696-1586-7 .
  • Sumerian Grammar (= Handbook of Oriental Studies . Department 1, Volume 71). Brill, Leiden 2003, ISBN 90-04-12608-2 .
  • History of Mesopotamia. From the Sumerians to Alexander the Great. CH Beck, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-406-51664-5 .


Web links