Georg Jacob

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Georg Jacob (26 May 1862 – 4 July 1937) was a scholar of Islamic studies and an Orientalist. He founded Turkology as a modern academic discipline in Germany.


Jacob studied Arabic geography at the Universität Greifswald, achieving his Habilitation in 1892. In 1896 he became an Extraordinary Professor at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität in Erlangen,[1] and in 1888-90 he was assistant librarian at the Royal Library in Berlin.[2] In 1911 he was made Chair of Oriental Studies at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität in Kiel,[1] succeeding Georg Hoffmann. As (ordinarius) for 'Semitic and Islamic Philology' at the University, Jacob was the first German professor to have a chair incorporating Islamic studies, reflecting a tentative institutional willingness to allow the field of Semitic language study to expand to include the Islamic world, including the non-Semitic, Turkic-speaking world.[3] In Kiel, Jacob 'was director of the Oriental institute at the university [...], which consisted of one room serving as his office, as classroom and as library. Luckily the room had a high cieling, thus ample wall space was available for the book shelves'.[4] 1922-23 saw him serving as Rector of the University,[5] and he was the honorand of a Festschrift in 1932.[6]

Though beginning with research on Arabic history and literature, Jacob turned his attention progressively towards Persian and Turkish studies, especially the latter. His work was characterised by its wide-ranging, internationalist outlook, and 'the customs and institutions of the common people'.[7] Jacob is perhaps most noted for his research on the history of shadow-puppetry,[7] influencing the later work of Paul Kahle. Among his students was Hans Ellenberg. Jacob was rare in the German academy of his day for specialising in Ottoman-Turkish studies,[8] and was the first translator and editor of modern Turkish literature in the German-speaking world, founding the Türkische Bibliothek series published by Mayer & Müller in Berlin.

Major works[edit]

  • Das Leben der vorislâmischen Beduinen. (Studien in arabischen Dichtern, Heft III) Mayer & Müller, Berlin 1895 (
  • Das türkische Schattentheater. Berlin, 1900
  • Die Geschichte des Schattentheaters im Morgen- und Abendland. 1. Auflage 1907, 2. erweiterte Auflage 1925 (1972), ISBN 978-3764804114 (GoogleBooks)
  • Arabische Berichte von Gesandten an germanische Fürstenhöfe aus dem 9. und 10. Jahrhundert. Ins Deutsche übertragen und mit Fussnoten versehen von Georg Jacob. Berlin 1927. (

Biographical sources[edit]

  • Ernst Dammann: Erinnerungen an Georg Jacob (1862–1937). In: Klaus Kreiser (ed.): Germano-Turcica. Zur Geschichte des Türkisch-Lernens in den deutschsprachigen Ländern, Universitätsbibliothek Bamberg, Bamberg 1987, ISBN 3-923507-06-2, pp. 113–118.
  • Norbert Diekmann: Georg Jacob und seine Bedeutung für die Entwicklung der Orientalistik vom 19. zum 20. Jahrhundert. In: XXX. Deutscher Orientalistentag, Freiburg, 24–28 September 2007. Ausgewählte Vorträge. Ed. in association with the DMG by Rainer Brunner, Jens Peter Laut and Maurus Reinkowski, February 2009 (PDF).
  • Klaus Kreiser: Bektaşî-Miszellen (including: 2. Georg Jacob <1862–1937> als Begründer der Bektaşî-Studien). In: Turcica. Revue d'études turques. vols. 21–23, 1991, pp. 115–130; repr. in: Istanbul und das Osmanische Reich. Derwischwesen, Baugeschichte, Inschriftenkunde (=Analecta Isisiana 14). Isis, Istanbul 1995, pp. 243–256.
  • Klaus Kreiser: Jacob, Georg (1862–1937). Alman şarkiyatçısı ve Türkologu. In: Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslâm Ansiklopedisi, vol. 23, Istanbul 2001, pp. 567–568 (online).
  • Enno Littmann: Georg Jacob (1862–1937). In: Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft. vol. 91 (n.F. 16), Nr. 2/3, 1937, pp. 486–500.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Gerd Taube (1995)
  2. ^ Ursula Wokoeck, German Orientalism: The Study of the Middle East and Islam from 1800 to 1945 (London: Routledge, 2009), p. 132.
  3. ^ Ursula Wokoeck, German Orientalism: The Study of the Middle East and Islam from 1800 to 1945 (London: Routledge, 2009), pp. 165–66.
  4. ^ Ursula Wokoeck, German Orientalism: The Study of the Middle East and Islam from 1800 to 1945 (London: Routledge, 2009), p. 64.
  5. ^ Rektoratsreden (HKM)
  6. ^ Festschrift Georg Jacob, zum siebzigsten Geburtsdag, 26. Mai, 1932, gewidment von Freunden und Schülern, ed. by Theodor Menzel (Leipzig: Harrassowitz, 1932).
  7. ^ a b Charles C. Torrey, review of Festschrift Georg Jacob by Theodor Menzel and The Macdonald Presentation Volume, Journal of the American Oriental Society, 54 (1934), 89–91 (p. 89), DOI: 10.2307/594329;
  8. ^ Ursula Wokoeck, German Orientalism: The Study of the Middle East and Islam from 1800 to 1945 (London: Routledge, 2009), p. 166.