Georg Friedrich Grotefend


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Grotefend, Georg Friedrich

 

Born June 9, 1775, in Munich; died Dec. 15, 1853, in Hannover. German philologist who established the principles for the decipherment of Old Persian cuneiform.

Grotefend began his studies while he was a schoolteacher in Göttingen. He selected two inscriptions of the Persian Achaemenid kings as the basis for his decipherment. Proceeding from the recurrence in these inscriptions of the word he guessed to be “king” and guided by a logical chain of reasoning, in 1802 he read the beginning of the first inscription as “Darius, great king, king of kings, son of Hystaspes, the Achaemenid” and the beginning of the second as “Xerxes, great king, king of kings, son of Darius the king, the Achaemenid.”

REFERENCES

Friedrich, J. Deshifrovka zabytykh pis’mennostei i iazykov. Moscow, 1961. (Translated from German.)
Flittner, N. D. Kul’tura i iskusstvo Dvurech’ia i sosednikh stran. Leningrad-Moscow, 1958.

I. M. D’IAKONOV

References in periodicals archive ?
Ranging in date from 1857 to 1866, the letters, which were written to and from historian Peter le Page Renouf, Edwin Norris, Henry Fox Talbot, Samuel Birch, Georg Friedrich Grotefend, Basil Henry Cooper, and others relate to nineteenth-century archaeological and linguistic discoveries, events in Ireland, and his family.