Leo Wiener

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Leo Wiener (1862–1939) was an American historian, linguist, author and translator.


Wiener was born in Russia, of Polish-Jewish origin, and spent the early part of his childhood in Russia, before coming to the United States alone, with the purpose of creating a vegetarian commune in Belize. Then, after having travelled and worked around the country, he went to Kansas City, Missouri, and started working as a teacher.[1]

He was a polyglot, and knew more than twenty languages.[citation needed]

Beginning in 1896, Wiener lectured on Slavic cultures at Harvard University and became the first American professor of Slavic literature. He translated 24 volumes of Leo Tolstoy's works into English.[2] He taught George Rapall Noyes.

He was the father of MIT mathematician Norbert Wiener.

Major works as author[edit]

  • French Words in Wolfram Von Eschenbach. 1893. 
  • Popular poetry of the Russian Jews. 1898. 
  • The history of Yiddish literature in the nineteenth century. 1899. 
  • The Ferrara Bible. 1900. 
  • Anthology of Russian Literature from the Earliest Period to the Present Time. 1902–1903. 
  • Gypsies as fortune-tellers and as blacksmiths. 1909. 
  • Philological fallacies: one in romance, another in Germanic. 1914. 
  • Commentary to the Germanic laws and mediaeval documents. 1915. 
  • An Interpretation of the Russian People. 1915. 
  • (translator) of Josef Svatopluk Machar's (1916). Magdalen. 
  • Contributions Toward a History of Arabico-Gothic Culture. 1917–1921. 
  • Africa and the discovery of America. 1922.  Vols. I-III.
  • The contemporary drama of Russia. 1924. 
  • The philological history of "tobacco" in America. 1925. 
  • Mayan and Mexican origins. 1926. 


  1. ^ Conway, Siegelman (2005). Dark Hero of the Information Age. Basic Books. Retrieved 10 Nov 2010. 
  2. ^ Tolstoy, Lev N. (1904). The Complete Works of Count Tolstoy (Translated from the Original Russian and edited by Leo Wiener). I. Boston: Dana Estes & Company. pp. iii–iv. Retrieved July 12, 2017 – via Internet Archive. 

External links[edit]