Friedrich Carl Andreas

Friedrich Carl Andreas

Friedrich Carl Andreas (14 April 1846 in Batavia – 4 October 1930 in Göttingen) was an orientalist of German, Malay and Armenian parentage (descendant of the Bagratuni or Bagratid royal family (Armenian: Բագրատունի). He was the husband of psychoanalyst Lou Andreas-Salomé.

He received his education in Iranian and other oriental studies at several German universities, obtaining his doctorate at Erlangen in 1868 with a thesis on the Pahlavi language. Following graduation, he continued his research of Pahlavi in Copenhagen. From 1875 he spent several years conducting field studies in Persia and India, during which time, he also worked as a postmaster.[1][2]

From 1883 to 1903 he gave private lessons in Turkish and Iranian in Berlin,[3] and afterwards became a professor of Iranian philology at the University of Göttingen. Here, he was tasked with deciphering manuscript fragments that were collected by the German Turfan expeditions in western China.[1][2][4]

Not a prolific author of books, he preferred to share his knowledge with students and colleagues orally. His primary focus were the Iranian languages in their development from antiquity to the present; e.g. Afghan, Balochi, Ossetian and Kurdish languages. He was also thoroughly familiar with Sanskrit, Hindustani, Arabic, Aramaic, Hebrew, Armenian and Turkish. In addition, he was considered an excellent decipherer of manuscripts and inscriptions.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Andreas, Friedrich Carl In: Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB). Band 1, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1953, ISBN 3-428-00182-6, S. 284.
  2. ^ a b Andreas, Friedrich Carl Iranica Online
  3. ^ Rilke and Andreas-Salomé: A Love Story in Letters by Rainer Maria Rilke, Lou Andreas-Salomé
  4. ^ His research of the "Turfan fragments" was made possible by way of a set of photographs supplied to him from Berlin.[1]