1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Böhtlingk, Otto von

BÖHTLINGK, OTTO VON (1815–1904) German Sanskrit scholar, was born on the 30th of May (11th of June O.S.) 1815 at St Petersburg. Having studied (1833–1835) Oriental languages, particularly Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit, at the university of St Petersburg, he continued his studies in Germany, first in Berlin and then (1839–1842) in Bonn. Returning to St Petersburg in 1842, he was attached to the Royal Academy of Sciences, and was elected an ordinary member of that society in 1855. In 1860 he was made “Russian state councillor,” and later “privy councillor” with a title of nobility. In 1868 he settled at Jena, and in 1885 removed to Leipzig, where he resided until his death there on the 1st of April 1904. Böhtlingk was one of the most distinguished scholars of the 19th century, and his works are of pre-eminent value in the field of Indian and comparative philology. His first great work was an edition of Panini’s Acht Bücher grammatischer Regeln (Bonn, 1839–1840), which was in reality a criticism of Franz Bopp’s philological methods. This book Böhtlingk again took up forty-seven years later, when he republished it with a complete translation under the title Paninis Grammatik mit Übersetzung (Leipzig, 1887). The earlier edition was followed by Vopadevas Grammatik (St Petersburg, 1847); Über die Sprache der Jakuten (St Petersburg, 1851); Indische Sprüche (2nd ed. in 3 parts, St Petersburg, 1870–1873, to which an index was published by Blau, Leipzig, 1893); a critical examination and translation of Chhandogya-upanishad (St Petersburg, 1889) and a translation of Brihadaranyaka-upanishad (St Petersburg, 1889). In addition to these he published several smaller treatises, notably one on the Sanskrit accents, Über den Accent im Sanskrit (1843). But his magnum opus is his great Sanskrit dictionary, Sanskrit-Wörterbuch (7 vols., St Petersburg, 1853–1875; new ed. 7 vols., St Petersburg, 1879–1889), which with the assistance of his two friends, Rudolf Roth (1821–1895) and Albrecht Weber (b. 1825), was completed in twenty-three years.