Lidzbarski was born in Poland to a Hasidic Eastern Jewish family, and from 1889 to 1892 studied semitic philology in Berlin. There he converted to evangelical Christianity and changed his first name to "Mark". In February 1896 he graduated his doctorate in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Kiel. In 1907 he succeeded William Ahlwardt as professor at the University of Greifswald, in 1917 became professor in Göttingen as successor to Enno Littmann. From 1912 he was a corresponding member, and in 1918 a full member of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences.
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