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TYCHSEN, OLAUS GERHARD:

Christian Hebraist and Orientalist; born at Tondern in Sleswick, Denmark, Dec. 14, 1734; died at Rostock, Germany, Dec. 30, 1815. He studied rabbinics at the University of Halle, and journeyed through Germany and Denmark in the years 1759 and 1760 on a fruitless mission for the conversion of the Jews, giving rise to an unseemly altercation by a conversionist sermon in the Altona synagogue. In the latter year he was called to the newly founded University of Bützow, Mecklenburg, and remained there as professor of Oriental languages till the university ceased to exist (1789), when he became chief librarian and director of the museum at Rostock. Besides many works on Arabic and Syriac archeology and philology, he published "Bützowische Nebenstunden" (6 vols., Wismar, 1766-69), containing a large amount of material regarding the text of the Old Testament, derived mainly from Jewish commentators like Rashi and from the older versions, as the Septuagint and Targum. He claimed the ability to speak "the Talmudic language," and in a special monograph denied the authenticity of the Maccabean and other Jewish coins.

Bibliography:
  • Hartmann, Oluf Gerhard Tychsen, Bremen, 1818-20;
  • Brockhaus Konversations-Lexikon;
  • McClintock and Strong, Cyc. s.v.
T. J.
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