H. W. F. Saggs

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Henry William Frederick Saggs (1920–2005) was an English classicist and orientalist.

Biography[edit]

He was born in East Anglia in 1920. He studied theology at King's College London, graduating in 1942 and receiving a major injury in the Second World War. His brother, Arthur Roy Saggs, a sergeant in the RAF, known as Roy, died on 4 January 1945 in South Africa on a training flight. He was 20.

His obituary in The Independent newspaper describes him as "one of the outstanding Assyriologists of his generation".

Continuing his biblical and linguistic studies after the war at King's College, he was awarded his PhD degree by the School of Oriental and African Studies in London in 1953 and became Lecturer in Akkadian. By the mid-1960s, Saggs's many publications on Akkadian texts, combined with his skill in other Semitic languages made him one of the leading international scholars in the field. He was asked in 1966 to take the Chair of Semitic Languages in University College, Cardiff and was Professor from 1966 to 1983.

He wrote a series of books designed for the layman which were very successful and which continue in print and in wide use. The Greatness That Was Babylon (1962) is described by his Independent obituary as "a scholarly classic of the 20th century". He also wrote The Might That Was Assyria (1984).

References[edit]