August Dillmann

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Christian Friedrich August Dillmann
Head and torso portrait in black and white.  Depicts a light-haired man in dinner jacket and bow tie, wearing thin wire-rimmed spectacles.
Born (1823-04-25)25 April 1823
Illingen, German Confederation
Died 7 July 1894(1894-07-07) (aged 71)
Berlin, German Empire
Occupation Orientalist and biblical scholar
Nationality German
Education University of Tübingen

Signature Dr. A. Dillman

Christian Friedrich August Dillmann (25 April 1823 – 7 July 1894) was a German orientalist and biblical scholar.


The son of a Württemberg schoolmaster, he was born at Illingen. He was educated at the University of Tübingen, where he became a pupil and friend of Heinrich Ewald, and studied under Ferdinand Christian Baur, though he did not join the new Tübingen school. For a short time he worked as pastor at Gersheim, near his native place, but he soon came to feel that his studies demanded his whole time.

He devoted himself to the study of Ethiopic manuscripts in the libraries of Paris, London and Oxford, and this work caused a revival of Ethiopic study in the 19th century. In 1847 and 1848 he prepared catalogues of the Ethiopic manuscripts in the British Museum (now the British Library) and the Bodleian Library at Oxford. He then set to work upon an edition of the Ethiopic bible.

Returning to Tübingen in 1848, in 1853 he was appointed professor extraordinarius. Subsequently he became professor of philosophy at the University of Kiel (1854), and of theology in Giessen (1864) and Berlin (1869).


In 1851 he had published the Book of Enoch in Ethiopian (German, 1853), and at Kiel he completed the first part of the Ethiopic bible, Octateuchus Aethiopicus (1853–1855). In 1857 appeared his Grammatik der äthiopischen Sprache (2nd ed. by Carl Bezold, 1899); in 1859 the Book of Jubilees; in 1861 and 1871 another part of the Ethiopic bible, Libri Regum; in 1865 his great Lexicon linguæ aethiopicæ; in 1866 his Chrestomathia aethiopica.

Always a theologian at heart, he returned to theology in 1864. His Giessen lectures were published under the titles, Ursprung der alttestamentlichen Religion (1865) and Die Propheten des alten Bundes nach ihrer politischen Wirksamkeit (1868). In 1869 appeared his Commentar zum Hiob (4th ed. 1891) which stamped him as one of the foremost Old Testament exegetes.

His renown as a theologian was mainly founded on the series of commentaries, based on those of August Wilhelm Knobel's Genesis (Leipzig, 1875); Exodus und Leviticus, 1880; Numeri, Deuteronomium und Josua, with a dissertation on the origin of the Hexateuch, 1886; Jesaja, 1890. In 1877 he published the Ascension of Isaiah in Ethiopian and Latin. He. was also a contributor to Daniel Schenkel's Bibellexikon, Brockhaus's Conversationslexikon, and Johann Jakob Herzog's Realencyklopädie. His lectures on Old Testament theology, Vorlesungen über Theologie des Allen Testamentes, were published by Kittel in 1895.


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