On January 23, 2014, we lost a teacher, a mentor, and a friend. Wolfhart P. Heinrichs was born on October 3, 1941, into a family of philologists. His father H. Matthias was a Germanist, and his mother Anne a scholar of Old Norse who attained a full professorship at the Freie Universität in Berlin at the age of 80. Wolfhart began his studies in his hometown of Cologne. His university years included much traveling and many languages. After semesters spent at Bonn and Tübingen, he joined the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. He then studied at Frankfurt and finally at Giessen, where he received his doctorate in 1967. Along the way, he learned Latin, Greek, French, English, Hebrew, Arabic, Persian, Syriac, Old South Arabian, Ethiopic, Ottoman, and Uigur. He also studied Hausa, and he is fondly remembered for reciting a text in it complete with clicks, at parties. After stints in Beirut and Istanbul, and a first foray into Neo-Aramaic, Wolfhart returned to teach at Giessen. In 1977, he was offered a professorship in Arabic at Harvard University. Three years later, he married Alma Giese, a fellow scholar of Arabic and Islam, and an accomplished
Journal of Abbasid Studies – Brill
Published: Jun 10, 2014
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