Theodor Nöldeke (born March 2, 1836 in Harburg, (Hamburg today), died December 25, 1930 in Karlsruhe) was a German orientalist and scholar. His research interests ranged over Old Testament studies, Semitic languages and Arabic, Persian and Syriac literature. Nöldeke translated several important works of oriental literature and during his lifetime was considered an important orientalist. He wrote numerous studies (including on the Qur’ān) and contributed articles to the Encyclopædia Britannica.
|Born||2 March 1836|
|Died||25 December 1930 (aged 94)|
Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
|Notable works||Geschichte Qorâns, Das Leben Mohammeds|
Among the projects Nöldeke collaborated on was Michael Jan de Goeje’s published edition of al-Tabari's Tarikh ("Universal History"), for which he translated the Sassanid-era section. This translation remains of great value, particularly for the extensive supplementary commentary. His numerous students included Charles Cutler Torrey, Louis Ginzberg and Friedrich Zacharias Schwally. He entrusted Schwally with the continuation of his standard work "The History of the Qur’ān".
In 1853 Nöldeke graduated from the Gymnasium Georgianum Lingen, Emsland, and went on to study at the University of Göttingen under Heinrich Ewald, and later at the University of Vienna, the University of Leiden and the Humboldt University of Berlin. In 1864 he became a professor at the University of Kiel and from 1872 at the University of Strasbourg until he retired aged 70. Nöldeke had ten children, six of whom predeceased him. His son Arnold Nöldeke became a judge and was a Hamburg senator during the Weimar period.
- 1859 - won the French Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres prize for his Histoire du Coran and Semitic languages, and the history and civilization of Islam.
- 1860 - Geschichte des Qorâns German edition published with additions at Göttingen.
- 1861 - lectures at the university of Göttingen.
- 1864 - extraordinary professor at the university of Göttingen.
- 1868 - ordinary professor at Kiel; Grammatik der neusyrischen Sprache published.
- 1872 - chair of Oriental Languages at Strassburg, (resigns in 1906).
- 1874 - Mandäische Grammatik published.
- 1879 - external member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences.
- 1881–1882 - translates Tabari (Arabic - German).
- 1888 - member of the Order Pour le Mérite for Sciences and Arts.
- 1892 - awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Edinburgh.
- 1893 - appointed external member of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Rome.
- 1920 - associate member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences.
- 1926 - awarded honorary membership of the Russian Academy of Sciences –he had been a corresponding member since 1885; Honorary citizen of the city of Harburg (now part of Hamburg).
Selected Works of Theodor NöldekeEdit
- Encyclopædia Britannica, several early essays and article on the Qur'an, with others, republished in the journal Oriental Sketches.
- Geschichte des Qorâns (1860; Leipzig, Dieterich, 2nd rev. ed., 1909-38; English translation by Wolfgang H. Behn: The History of the Qurʾān, Leiden: Brill 2013)
- Das Leben Mohammeds ("Life of Muḥammad", German text; Hanover, Rümpler, 1863)
- Beiträge zur Kenntnis der Poesie der alten Araber. (Hanover, Carl Rümpler, 1864)
- Die alttestamentliche Literatur (1868)
- Untersuchungen zur Kritik des Alten Testaments (1869)
- Histoire Littéraire de L'ancien Testament; French (Paris, Sandoz et Fischbacher, 1873)
- Geschichte der Perser und Araber zur Zeit der Sasaniden. Aus der arabischen Chronik des Tabari übersetzt (1879)
- Kurzgefasste syrische Grammatik (German; Leipzig, T.O. Weigel, 1880)
- Review of J. Wellhausen's Reste Arabischen Heidentums (1887) in ZDMG, Vol. 41 (1887), pp. 707–26.
- Aufsätze zur persischen Geschichte (Leipzig, 1887); articles on Persia.
- Sketches from Eastern History (London & Edinburgh, Adam And Charles Black, 1892)
- A Servile War in the East [The Zanj Slave Uprising in 9th Century Mesopotamia] (English transl., John Sutherland Black; appeared as Chap. 5 in Sketches from Eastern History; 1892)
- Zur Grammatik des klassischen Arabisch (1896)
- Fünf Mo'allaqat, übersetzt und erklärt (1899–1901)
- Articles in the Encyclopaedia Biblica (1903)
- Beiträge zur semitischen Sprachwissenschaft (1904)
- Compendious Syriac Grammar (1880, 1888, 1904 [translation])
- Kalila wa Dimna (Strassburg, Trübner, 1912)
- Israel und die Völker nach jüdischer Lehre co-authored by August Wünsche; ed., Joseph S Bloch; (Berlin, Wien, 1922)
He contributed frequently to the Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, the Göttingische gelehrte Anzeigen and the Expositor.
The Nöldeke Chronology is a "canonical ordering" of the 114 suras of the Qur'an according to the sequence of revelation. Intended to aid theological, literary, and historical scholarship of Qur'anic exegesis by enhancing structural coherence. The Nöldeke Chronology has been adopted for general guidance by some schools of current scholarship.The Egyptian Edition, crafted 1924, adaptation of Nöldeke's work.
 Nöldeke considered the suras from the perspective of content and stylistic development and linguistic origination to rearrange them in historical sequence of revelation. According to his system Sura 21: “The Prophets,” - 21st of 114 suras in the Qur'an - is renumbered '65'. His chronology further divided the suras into two periods: The Meccan (in three phases), and the Medina.
The Nöldeke Chronology of the Qur'an: Four groups of the 114 Suras:
- Group 1. First Meccan Period (48 Suras ): Surahs 96; 74; 111; 106; 108; 104; 107; 102; 105; 92; 90; 94; 93; 97; 86; 91; 80; 68; 87; 95; 103; 85; 73; 101; 99; 82; 81; 53; 84; 100; 79; 77; 78; 88; 89; 75; 83; 69; 51; 52; 56; 70; 55; 112; 109; 113; 114; 1
- Group 2. Second Meccan Period (21 Suras): 54; 37; 71; 76; 44; 50; 20; 26; 15; 19; 38; 36; 43; 72; 67; 23; 21; 25; 17; 27; 18
- Group 3. Third Meccan Period (21 Suras):32; 41; 45; 16; 30; 11; 14; 12; 40; 28; 39; 29; 31; 42; 10; 34; 35; 7; 46; 6; 13
- Group 4. Medinan Period (24 Suras): 2; 98; 64; 62; 8; 47; 3; 61; 57; 4; 65; 59; 33; 63; 24; 58; 22; 48; 66; 60; 110; 49; 9; 5
Nöldeke commentary on the Koran's Stylistic Aspect in Sketches from Eastern History, Engl. translation by John Sutherland Black, p. 32 (London & Edinburgh, 1892), (available online):
- Böwering, Gerhard (2008). "Recent research on the construction of the Qur'ān". In Reynolds, Gabriel Said (ed.). The Qur’ān in Its Historical Context. Routledge. pp. 70–87. ISBN 9780203939604.
- Ernst, Carl W. (2011). How to Read the Qur'an: A New Guide, with Select Translations. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 9780807869079.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Theodor Nöldeke.|
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:|
- Works by Theodor Nöldeke at Project Gutenberg
- Works by Theodor Nöldeke at Faded Page (Canada)
- Marco Frenschkowski (1993). "Nöldeke, Theodor". In Bautz, Traugott (ed.). Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German). 6. Herzberg: Bautz. cols. 979–983. ISBN 3-88309-044-1.
- History of Sasanian's State
- The Origins of The Koran: Classic Essays on Islam’s Holy Book, ed. Ibn Warraq, include studies by Nöldeke.