Richard Pischel

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Richard Pischel

Richard Pischel (born January 18, 1849 in Breslau ; † December 26, 1908 in Madras , India ) was full professor for comparative linguistics and Indology at the University of Halle from 1885 to 1902 .


Richard Pischel, who was born in Breslau in 1849, attended the Maria-Magdalenen-Gymnasium in his hometown from 1858 to 1867 . He then studied Indology at the University of Breslau , where he completed his doctorate with Adolf Friedrich Stenzler in 1870 with a study of reviews of the Sakuntala des Kalidasa and later submitted his habilitation on the Prakrit grammarians.

In 1875 Pischel accepted the call to the University of Kiel . There he published the Sakuntala based on the Bengali review and text editions of the Prakrit grammarist Hemacandra.

Ten years later he was successfully appointed to the University of Halle . Here he worked closely with Karl Friedrich Geldner in the field of Veda studies . From 1886 to 1902 Richard Pischel was also the managing director and librarian of the German Oriental Society . In 1889 he was elected a corresponding member of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences .

In 1900 he published the "Grammar of the Prakrit Languages" and was appointed rector of the University of Halle . Two years later, Pischel succeeded Albrecht Weber for the Chair of Indology at the Friedrich Wilhelms University in Berlin. There he prepared the Prussian Turfan expeditions and supervised their evaluation with his students. At that time he lived in the heart of Berlin's New West on Passauer Strasse . In 1902 he became a full member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences and in 1907 a corresponding member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences . From 1905 he was also a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg .

In 1908 Richard Pischel accepted the invitation of the University of Calcutta to give a lecture cycle on the Central Indo-Aryan languages , but died on arrival in Madras . The University of Calcutta honored him with the purchase of his private library as well as with the Pischel Memorial Hall to this day.


  • Wilhelm Solf , (1862–1936) doctorate in 1885, translation of old Indian love poetry, later after studying law, a German diplomat, colonial official and politician ( DDP ) during the Weimar Republic . His wife Hanna Solf was a resistance fighter in the Third Reich and headed the so-called Solf Circle .
  • Friedrich Schrader , (1865–1922) doctorate in 1889, translation of the Karmapradipa (Part I.), later deputy editor-in-chief of the German-language Istanbul daily newspaper Ottomanischer Lloyd (1908–1917) and, among other things, features correspondent for the Frankfurter Zeitung , lived in Istanbul from 1891 .
  • Baron Alexander von Staël-Holstein , (1877–1937) doctorate in 1900, translation of the Karmapradipa (Part II.), Later professor of Indology, Tibetology, and Chinese phonetics at the University of Peking , active there from 1918.
  • Richard Schmidt , (1866–1939) doctorate in 1890, translator of the Kama Sutra , from 1910 professor in Münster .
  • Karl Eugen Neumann , (1865–1915) doctorate in 1891, did his doctorate with a thesis on a Pali text, one of the first practicing Buddhists of modern times in the western hemisphere, revered today especially in Europe as the founding father of modern western Buddhism.


Selected publications

  • 1870: De Kalidasae Sakuntali recensionibus. Dissertation Wroclaw.
  • 1874: De grammaticis Pracriticis. Habilitation in Wroclaw.
  • 1877: Kalidasas Abhijñanasakuntala. The Bengali Review. With critical notes. Kiel.
  • 1880: The Desinamala of Hemacandra. Edited with critical notes,… by RP and G. Bühler (BSS 17). Bombay.
  • 1889: Vedic Studies. Vol. 1. Stuttgart (with Geldner).
  • 1894: Contributions to the knowledge of the German gypsies . Hall aS: M. Niemeyer
  • 1897: Vedic Studies. Vol. 2. Stuttgart (with Geldner). Vol. 3: 1901 (ibid).
  • 1900: Grammar of the Prakrit languages. Strasbourg.
  • 1906: Life and Teaching of the Buddha. Leipzig.


  • YES 10. Ser. XIII, 1909/10, 164-167
  • E. Waldschmidt: Journal of the German Oriental Society 109, 1959, 21-30.
  • Friedrich Wilhelm:  Pischel, Richard. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 20, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-428-00201-6 , p. 481 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • DBE, German Biographical Encyclopedia
  • Annual report 1867 of the high school in St. Maria Magdalena, Breslau
  • Finck, F N .: RICHARD PISCHEL: AN OBITUARY. Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society (Jan 1, 1908), pp. 288–292 (with picture)

Web links

Wikisource: Richard Pischel  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Holger Krahnke: The members of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen 1751-2001 (= Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Philological-Historical Class. Volume 3, Vol. 246 = Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Mathematical-Physical Class. Episode 3, vol. 50). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2001, ISBN 3-525-82516-1 , p. 190.
  2. ^ International India Exploration Society. In: Journal for comparative linguistic research in the field of Indo-European languages. 38th vol., 4th volume (1905), p. 564.
  3. ^ Foreign members of the Russian Academy of Sciences since 1724. Richard Pischel. Russian Academy of Sciences, accessed October 16, 2015 .