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LOEWE, LOUIS:

English Orientalist and theologian; born at Zülz, Prussian Silesia, 1809; died in London 1888. He was educated at the yeshibot of Lissa, Nikolsburg, Presburg, and at the University of Berlin. Stopping at Hamburg on his way to London, he was entrusted with the classificationof the Oriental coins in the Sprewitz cabinet. Soon after his arrival in London he was introduced to the Duke of Sussex, who in 1839 appointed him his "Orientalist." He then traveled in the East, where he studied Arabic, Persian, Coptic, Nubian, Turkish, and Circassian. In Cairo he was presented to the khedive, Mohammed Ali Pasha, for whom he translated some hieroglyphic inscriptions. While in Palestine he was attacked by Bedouins, who took everything he had with him, including his collections and note-books. On his return he met at Rome Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore, who invited him to travel with them to the Holy Land. When in 1840 Sir Moses went on his Damascus expedition, Loewe accompanied him as his interpreter. In the firman granted for the relief of the accused, Loewe discovered that the word "pardon" ("'afw") was used instead of "acquittal," and it was due to Sir Moses' exertions that the change to "acquittal" was made.

Altogether, Loewe accompanied Sir Moses Montefiore on nine different philanthropic missions. When Jews' College was opened in 1856, he was nominated principal; and when Sir Moses Montefiore opened a theological college at Ramsgate in 1869, he made his friend principal of that institution, which position Loewe retained until three years after the death of his patron.

Loewe wrote: "The Origin of the Egyptian Language," London, 1837; a translation of J. B. Levinsohn's "Efes Dammim," ib. 1841; a translation of David Nieto's "Maṭṭeh Dan," ib. 1842 (awarded the York Medal); "Observations on a Unique Coptic Gold Coin," 1849; a dictionary of the Circassian language, 1854; as well as several sermons and a Nubian grammar (the latter still in manuscript).

Bibliography:
  • Celebrities of the Day, April, 1881;
  • J. H. Loewe, A Catalogue of the Library of the Late Dr. L. Loewe, 1890.
J. H. Hir.
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