I wonder what the scholar whose centennial we are celebrating in this symposium would have thought of its program—“to investigate the state of current research and delineate its prospects as it develops into a full-fledged field of its own”. It is true, Franz Rosenthal had done something of that sort himself, when he answered the call of the Lidzbarski Foundation, in 1938, to render an account of Die Erweiterung unserer Kenntnisse der aramäischen Dialekte seit Theodor Nöldekes Veröffentlichungen —“ein Thema,” as Josef van Ess remarks in his in memoriam Franz Rosenthal, “ein Thema, wie es deutscher nicht sein konnte”—a subject as German as can be. 1 Rosenthal had then compiled in a very short time a meticulous and magisterial investigation of the recent history and of current research in a field in which he had already produced excellent work, and he became the second recipient of the Lidzbarski medal—not, however, of the prize money. 2 On the other hand, Rosenthal’s mature scholarship would have, I am sure, stayed away from an enterprise such as this one, particularly in view of the prospective tasks to be established and of a complex collaboration to be organized in cultivating the field
Intellectual History of the Islamicate World – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2015
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