Ewald, Georg Heinrich August

Ewald, Georg Heinrich August one of the most learned Orientalists of our century, was born at Gottingen, November 16, 1803. In 1820 he entered the university of his native city, and three years later received the degree of doctor of philosophy. After teaching for some time at the Wolfenbiittel gymnasium, he returned in 1824 to Gottingen, became repetent at the university, and in 1827 was made professor. In 1837 he was expelled from his position for having signed, with six other professors, a protest against the revocation of the liberal constitution of 1833, which Ernest Augustus, king of Hanover, effected. In 1829 and 1836 he had visited France and Italy, and now (in 1838) he visited England. In the same year he was appointed professor at Tubingen, where he remained for ten years. The bitter feuds with his colleagues made his stay there very unpleasant, and it was a relief when, in 1848, he was recalled to Gottingen. In 1867 he refused to take the oath of allegiance to the king of Prussia, and this refusal was punished by his exclusion from the faculty of philosophy, although he was still allowed his salary and the privilege of lecturing. This latter privilege was withdrawn in 1868, on account of utterances against the king. He died of heart disease, May 4, 1875. Ewald's writings have found about as many admirers abroad as at home. The value of much of his learning is seriously impaired by his dogmatic spirit. His independence often degenerates into self-conceit. His violent rationalism is conspicuous. His literary activity began in 1823, with the Composition der Genesis Kritisch untersucht, and only closed with an autobiography written during the last months of his life, which has not been published. Of his many writings we mention, De Metris Carminum Arabicorum (Brunswick, 1825): — Das Hohelied Salomo's ubersetzt und erklart (1826; 3d ed. 1866): — Libri Wakedii de Mesopotamiae Expugnatae Historia pars (1827): — Kritische Grammatik der Hebr. Sprache (eod.), subsequently enlarged, and Ausfuhrliches Lehrbuch der Hebr. Sprache des Alten Testaments (1844; 8th ed. 1870; Engl. transl. by Nicholson, Lond. 1836; of the syntax alone, from 8th ed. by Kennedy, Edinb. 1879): — Hebrdische Sprachlehre fur Anfinger (1842; Engl. transl. from 3d ed. by Smith, Lond. 1870): — Abhandlungen zur orientalischen und biblischen Literatur (1832): — Grammatica Critica Ling. Arab. (1831-33, 2 volumes): — Die poetischen Bucher des Alten Bundes (1835- 39; 3d ed. 1868; Engl. transl. Lond. 1880 sq.): — Propheten des Alten Bundes (1840, 1841; 2d ed. 1867, 1867, 3 volumes; Engl. transl. Lond. 1876-81, 5 vols.): — Geschichte des Volkes Israel (1843-59, 7 volumes; 3d ed. 1868; Engl. transl. corresponding to volumes 1-4): — History of Israel (Lond. 1867-74, 5 volumes): — Die Alterthumer des Volkes Israel (1848; Engl. transl. Antiquities of Israel, Lond. 1876): — Die drei ersten Evangelien ubersetzt und erklart (1850): — Das ethiopische Buch Henokh (1854): — Das vierte Buch Ezra (1860): — Die Sendschreiben des Apostels Paulus ubersetzt und erklart (1857): — Die Johanneischen Schriften (1861, 1862): — Die Bucher des Neuen Testaments (1870, 1871): — Die Theologie des Alten und Neuen Bundes (1870-75, 4 volumes): — Jahrbucher der biblischen Wissenschaft, 1-11, 1848-61, containing a number of essays which are still very valuable. In connection with L. Dukes he published, Beitrage zur Geschichte der liltesten Auslegung des Spracherklarung des Alten Test. (1844, 3 volumes). See Herzog-Plitt, Real-Encyklop. s.v.; Lichtenberger, Encyclopedie des Sciences Religieuses, s.v., Zuchold, Bibl. Theol. 1:341-344; Furst, Bibl. Jud. 1:261; Steinschneider, Bibl. Handbuch, s.v. (B.P.)

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