Georg Heinrich Bernstein

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Georg Heinrich Bernstein (January 12, 1787 - April 5, 1860) was a German orientalist.


He was born at Cospeda, near Jena. He studied at the universities of Jena, Leipzig, and Göttingen, and in 1812 became assistant professor of oriental literature at the University of Berlin, and in 1821 full professor at Breslau. He died at Lauban.


He made many journeys to the great libraries of Europe, visiting Oxford, London, Cambridge, Florence, Rome, Naples, and Venice, and gathering scientific material drawn chiefly from manuscript sources. His greatest philological activity was displayed in the publication of Syriac texts, the most noteworthy being the Chronicle of Bar Hebraeus (1822) and portions of the same author's Horreum Mysteriorum (Treasury of Secrets; 1858).

In the domain of Arabic literature, he is known for his edition of the Poem of Safi ed-diṇ (1816). He also published a new and entirely revised edition of Kirsch's Chrestomathia Syriaca (1832–36), which was long used as a textbook at universities. It was Bernstein's intention to publish an elaborate Syriac dictionary, of which, however, only the first part appeared (1857).