Edward Ullendorff

Edward Ullendorff FBA (1920–2011) was a British scholar and historian. He was a prominent figure in Ethiopian Studies and also contributed work on the Semitic languages more generally.

Edward Ullendorff

Born(1920-01-25)25 January 1920
Zurich, Switzerland
Died6 March 2011(2011-03-06) (aged 91)
Oxford, England
Dina Ullendorff
(m. 1943)
Academic background
Alma mater
ThesisThe Relationship of the Modern Semitic Ethiopian Languages to Ethiopic (Geʽez) (1952)
Doctoral advisorG. R. Driver[1]
Academic work
Sub-disciplineEthiopian studies
Notable studentsHugh Pilkington[2]
Notable worksThe Ethiopians (1966)


Born on 25 January 1920[3] in Zurich, Switzerland,[4][5] Ullendorff was educated at the Graues Kloster in Berlin, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and the University of Oxford.

Ullendorff was first lecturer, and then Reader, in Semitic Languages at the University of St Andrews (1950–1959), Professor of Semitic Languages at the University of Manchester (1959–1964). From 1964 to 1979, he was professor Ethiopic at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), and then professor Semitic Studies from 1979 to 1982. Prior to his death in 2011, Ullendorff was Professor Emeritus at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.[6]

In 1971, Ullendorff served as president of the Society for Old Testament Study.[6]

Ullendorff married Dina Noack in 1943. She provided lifelong support for his academic research and translated Melanie Oppenhejm's 'Theresienstadt' under her own name. Dina Ullendorff died in 2019.

Edward Ullendorff died on 6 March 2011.[1]


The British Academy has established the "Edward Ullendorf Medal", so that beginning in 2012 it is "awarded annually for scholarly distinction and achievements in the field of Semitic Languages and Ethiopian Studies."[7]

Selected worksEdit



  1. ^ a b https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/sites/default/files/15%20Ullendorff.pdf
  2. ^ Ullendorff, Edward (22 October 1986). "Dr Hugh Pilkington". The Times (62595). London. p. 22.
  3. ^ "Professor Edward Ullendorff - Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph. London. 17 April 2011.
  4. ^ "Edward Ullendorff obituary - The Guardian". The Guardian. London. 19 May 2011.
  5. ^ "Obituary: Edward Ullendorff, 1920-2011 - Bulletin of the SOAS". Bulletin of the SOAS. Cambridge. October 2011.
  6. ^ a b Appleyard, David L. (1 October 2011). "Edward Ullendorff, 1920–2011". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. 74 (3): 463–468. doi:10.1017/S0041977X11000784. ISSN 1474-0699.
  7. ^ "Edward Ullendorff Medal". The British Academy.


  • Who's Who 2007
  • Simon Hopkins, "Bibliography of the Writings of Professor Edward Ullendorff", in: Journal of Semitic Studies XXXIV/2 (1989), pp. 253–289.
  • Dina Ullendorff, "Bibliography of the Writings of Professor Edward Ullendorff (1988-99)", in: Journal of Semitic Studies XLV/1 (2000), pp. 131–136.
  • Northeast African Studies. Vol. 12, No. 1, 2012, pp. 309–310. Image of Ullendorf.[permanent dead link]