Theodor Nöldeke

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Theodor Nöldeke
Signature Theodor Nöldeke.PNG

Theodor Nöldeke (born March 2, 1836 in Harburg , today Hamburg , † December 25, 1930 in Karlsruhe ) was an important German orientalist .


Nöldeke graduated from high school Georgianum in Lingen in 1853 and studied at the universities of Göttingen , Vienna , Leiden and Berlin . He became a professor in Kiel in 1864 and then held a professorship at the University of Strasbourg from 1872 until he retired at the age of 70. Nöldeke wrote numerous studies (including on the Koran ) and also wrote articles for the Encyclopædia Britannica . He also dealt with Old Testament research, Semitic languages, and Arabic, Persian, and Syrian literature. Nöldeke was also involved in the fundamental Tabari edition de Goejes and also obtained a translation of those sections of Tabari's universal history that dealt with the Sassanid period . The translation is still of great value today, especially as he made numerous comments.

Nöldeke, who also translated several other important works of oriental literature, was already considered a very important orientalist during his lifetime. Among his numerous students was Friedrich Schwally , whom he entrusted with the continuation of his standard work History of the Qoran .

His estate is in the Tübingen University Library .


Nöldeke was holder of the order Pour le mérite for science and arts (from 1888) and since 1879 a foreign member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences . In 1885 he was elected a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences ; In 1926 he became an honorary member of this academy. In 1892 he was awarded the University of Edinburgh , the honorary doctorate . In 1893 he was appointed a foreign member of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Rome. From 1920 he was an extraordinary member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences . In 1926 he became an honorary citizen of the then city of Harburg (today part of Hamburg).


Nöldeke had ten children, but six of them died before him. His son Arnold Nöldeke became a judge and was a Hamburg senator during the Weimar period .

Works (in selection)

  • History of the Qoran , 1860. New edition Hildesheim 2005. ISBN 3-487-00105-5
  • Contributions and New Contributions to Semitic Linguistics. 1981. ISBN 90-6022-184-2
  • The Iranian National Epic , 1920, = 2nd edition of the article published in Grundriß der Iranischen Philologie (1895–1901) (approx. 110 pages)
  • Oriental sketches , 1892
  • Sketches from Eastern History , 1977. ISBN 0-87991-461-0
  • The Life of Muhammad , 1863
  • Contributions to the knowledge of the poetry of the ancient Arabs , 1864
  • Old Testament Literature , 1868
  • Studies on the Critique of the Old Testament , 1869
  • History of the Persians and Arabs at the time of the Sasanids. Translated from the Arabic Chronicle of Tabari , 1879 (reprint Leiden 1973)
  • On the grammar of classical Arabic , 1896
  • Five Mo'allaqat, Translated and Explained , 1899–1901
  • James A. Crichton (Translator): Compendious Syriac grammar. With a table of characters by Julius Euting, 1904
  • Mandean grammar; with a lithographed tablet of the Mandaean characters , 1875


  • Marco Frenschkowski : Nöldeke, Theodor. In: BBKL 6 (1993), 979-983
  • Bernhard Maier : the early days of oriental studies. Theodor Nöldeke's life and work as reflected in his letters. Ergon-Verlag, Würzburg 2013 (Working materials on the Orient, Volume 29), ISBN 978-3-89913-970-9 .
  • Georges Tamer (translator): Tarikh al-Qur'an. Arabic translation and edition by Theodor Nöldeke / Friedrich Schwally et al., History of the Qoran. Provided with an introduction and extended registers . Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Beirut 2004 (the distribution of the Arabic translation is forbidden in some Arab states).

Web links

Commons : Theodor Nöldeke  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Theodor Nöldeke  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Federal Archives, Central Database of Legacies . Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  2. ^ Foreign members of the Russian Academy of Sciences since 1724. Theodor Eduard Bernhard Nöldeke. Russian Academy of Sciences, accessed October 9, 2015 (Russian).
  3. Archived copy ( memento of the original from July 14, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /