Wilhelm Geiger

Updated on: 30.07.2008

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1856-1943

Wilhelm Geiger studied the Avesta and the culture of ancient Iran. Later, he became interested in Buddhism and the culture of Ceylon. Geiger's contributions were outstanding in both fields. His interests were not confined to philological and historical subjects. He also studied contemporary political problems and contributed articles to daily newspapers.

Wilhelm Ludwig Geiger was born on 21.7.1856 in Nuernberg. He studied classical and Oriental philology in Erlangen, Bonn, and Berlin. He obtained a doctorate for the thesis Die Pehlevi Version des Ersten Capitels des Vendidad ("The Pehlevi Version of the first Chapter of the Vendidad"). Geiger passed his state examination in Greek and Latin at the same time. He worked for-some time as school teacher and then qualified as a university professor. In 1891, he became professor of Indo-European languages in Erlangen. From 1920 to 1929 he held the chair of Aryan languages at Muenchen. Three journeys to Ceylon enabled Geiger to see the country and meet the people of the island. However, he never visited either Iran or India. After his retirement, he continued writing almost until the last day of his life. He died in Neubiberg near Muenchen on 2.9.1943.

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