Eduard Sachau

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C. Eduard Sachau
Eduard Sachau.png
Born(1845-07-20)20 July 1845
Died17 September 1930(1930-09-17) (aged 85)
Scientific career
FieldsOriental studies
Notable studentsJosef Horovitz
Eugen Mittwoch

Carl Eduard Sachau (20 July 1845 – 17 September 1930) was a German orientalist.


He studied oriental languages at the Universities of Kiel and Leipzig, obtaining his PhD at Halle in 1867. Sachau became a professor extraordinary of Semitic philology (1869) and a full professor (1872) at the University of Vienna, and in 1876, a professor at the University of Berlin, where he was appointed director of the new Seminar of Oriental languages (1887).[1][2]

He travelled to the Near East on several occasions (see his book Reise in Syrien und Mesopotamien, published 1883) . He is especially noteworthy for his work on Syriac and other Aramaic dialects. He was an expert on Persian polymath Al-Biruni and wrote a translation of Kitab ta'rikh al-Hind, Al-Biruni's encyclopedic work on India.[3][4] Also, Sachau wrote papers related to Ibadism.[5]

While a student at Kiel, he became part of the fraternity Teutonia Kiel (1864). He was a member of the Vienna and the Prussian Academy of Sciences, and an honorary member of the Royal Asiatic Society in London and the American Oriental Society. He worked as a consultant in the planning and construction of the Baghdad Railway. Among his better known students was Eugen Mittwoch, a founder of modern Islamic studies in Germany.[6]

He received the honorary degree Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) from the University of Oxford in October 1902, in connection with the tercentenary of the Bodleian Library.[7]


  • Inedita Syriaca. Eine Sammlung syrischer Übersetzungen von Schriften griechischer Profanliteratur, 1870 – A collection of Syriac translations of writings from Greek secular literature.
  • Chronologie orientalischer Völker, 1878, English translation. Chronology of Ancient Nations, 1879 – Translation of Abū l-Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī's al-Āthār al-bāqiya ʿan al-qurūn al-ḫāliya (Vestiges of the Past, 1000).
  • Reise in Syrien und Mesopotamien, Leipzig, F.A. Brockhaus, 1883 – Journey to Syria and Mesopotamia.
  • Muhammedanisches Recht nach schafiitischer Lehre, Stuttgart, Berlin, W. Spemann, 1897 – Islamic law according to Shafi'i doctrine. German translation and explanation of Mukhtasar Abī Shujāʿ according to Ibrāhīm al-Bājūrī with the original Arabic text.
  • Am Euphrat und Tigris : Reisenotizen aus dem Winter 1897-1898, Leipzig : J.C. Hinrichs, 1900 – The Euphrates and Tigris, travelogue in the winter of 1897-1898.
  • "Three Aramaic Papyri from Elephantine, Egypt" in Smithsonian Institution Annual Report (1907): 605-11. [Translated and abstracted, by permission, from Drei Aramäische Papyrusurkunden aus Elephantine by Eduard Sachau in the Abhandlungen der Königlich Preußischen Akademie der Wissenschaften for the year 1907.]
  • Alberuni's India. An account of the religion, philosophy, literature, geography, chronology, astronomy, customs, laws and astrology of India about A.D. 1030, (published in English) London, K. Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., 1910.
  • Die Chronik von Arbela, ein Beitrag zur Kenntnis des ältesten Christentums im Orient, Berlin, Verlag der Königlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, in Kommission bei Georg Reimer, 1915 – The chronicle of Arbela, a contribution to the knowledge of the oldest Christianity in the Orient.
  • Arabische Erzählungen aus der Zeit der Kalifen, München: Hyperionverlag, 1920 – Arabic tales from the time of the Caliphs.[8]

Papers related to Ibadism[edit]

  • Sachau, Eduard: (1894) Muhammedanisches Erbrecht nach der Lehre der ibaditischen Araber von Zanzibar und Ostafrika. Sitzungsberichte der Königlich Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin, VIII (1894), 159-210.
  • Sachau, Eduard: (1898a) [Yaḥyà ibn Khalfān al-Kharūṣi] Das Gutachten eines muhammedanischen Juristen über die muhammedanischen Rechtsverhältnisse in Ost-Afrika. Mitteilungen des Seminars für Orientalische Sprachen an der königlichen Friedrich Wilhelms- Universität zu Berlin, Jahrgang I (1898), Abt. III, 1-8.
  • Sachau, Eduard: (1898b) Über eine arabische Chronik aus Zanzibar. Mittheilungen des Seminars für Orientalische Sprachen an der königlichen Friedrich Wilhelms-Universität zu Berlin, Westasiatische Studien (Berlin), I. Band, Abtheilung 2 (1898), 1-19.
  • Sachau, Eduard: (1899) Über die religiösen Anschauungen der ibadhitischen Muhammedaner in Oman und Ostafrika. Mittheilungen des Seminars für Orientalische Sprachen an der königlichen Friedrich Wilhelms-Universität zu Berlin, Westasiatische Studien (Berlin), Band II, 2. Abtheilung (1899) 47-82.


  1. ^ Die Nachfolger der Exegeten: deutschsprachige Erforschung des Vorderen by Ludmila Hanisch
  2. ^ Plett - Schmidseder by K. G. Saur Verlag GmbH & Company, Walter De Gruyter Incorporated
  3. ^ WorldCat title Kitab al-Biruni fi tahqiq ma lil-Hind, etc.
  4. ^ Brockhaus' Kleines Konversations-Lexikon
  5. ^ Custers, Martin H. (2016). Al-Ibāḍiyya: A Bibliography. 3 (Second revised and enlarged ed.). Hildesheim-London-N.Y.: Olms Publishing. pp. 591–592. ISBN 9783487153544.
  6. ^ "Paragraph based on translated text from an equivalent article at the German Wikipedia".
  7. ^ "University intelligence". The Times (36893). London. 8 October 1902. p. 4.
  8. ^ WorldCat Identities Most widely held works by Eduard Sachau

External links[edit]