Philologists

Philologists study the history of language. We have compiled a list of prominent philologists, living and dead, from all over the world. The list includes famous philologists like Max Muller, James Prinsep, E.A. Wallis Budge, John Philoponus and many more.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Max Müller

Max Müller.
4
Famous As: Scholar, Philologist
Birthdate: December 6, 1823
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dessau, Duchy of Anhalt, German Confederation
Died: October 28, 1900

Max Müller was a German-born Orientalist and philologist. Müller is credited with co-founding the western academic disciplines of religious studies and Indian studies. In 1874, he was honored with the Pour le Mérite. He received the prestigious Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art in 1875. In India, the Goethe Institutes are named in his honor.

 2 James Murray

James Murray.
6
Famous As: Lexicographer
Birthdate: February 7, 1837
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Denholm, Scotland
Died: July 26, 1915
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 3 Jacob Grimm

Jacob Grimm.
4
Famous As: Philologist
Birthdate: January 4, 1785
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hanau, Germany
Died: September 20, 1863

Part of the legendary folklorist duo known as the Brothers Grimm, Jacob Grimm gave to the world Grimm’s Fairy Tales, along with his younger brother, Wilhelm Grimm. The son of a lawyer, he, too, had initially studied law. He also contributed immensely to Germanic linguistics, with his Grimm's law.

 4 J. R. R. Tolkien

J. R. R. Tolkien.
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 3, 1892
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bloemfontein, South Africa
Died: September 2, 1973

Considered one of the greatest authors, JRR Tolkien is popularly called the father of the modern fantasy literature. He is best known for his high fantasy classic works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, which is set in a conceived world called the Middle-Earth. Many years after his death, Tolkien continues to be one of the best-selling writers.

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 5 Giacomo Leopardi

Giacomo Leopardi.
4
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: June 29, 1798
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Recanati, Italy
Died: June 14, 1837

Giacomo Leopardi was one of the greatest lyric poets of the 19th century. Born into a noble family, he mastered several languages and wrote many works by 16, in spite of suffering from a cerebrospinal ailment. Remembered for his iconic works such as A Silvia, he died during a cholera epidemic.

 6 Selma Ergeç

Selma Ergeç
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 1, 1978
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hamm, Germany
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 7 James Prinsep

James Prinsep
4
Famous As: Antiquarian
Birthdate: August 20, 1799
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: County of Essex, England
Died: April 22, 1840
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 8 E. A. Wallis Budge

E. A. Wallis Budge
4
Famous As: Egyptologist
Birthdate: July 27, 1857
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bodmin, England
Died: November 23, 1934
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 9 Erich Auerbach

Erich Auerbach
4
Famous As: Literary critic
Birthdate: November 9, 1892
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: October 13, 1957

 10 William Jones

William Jones
4
Famous As: Philologist
Birthdate: September 28, 1746
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 27, 1794
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 11 Vladimir Propp

Vladimir Propp
3
Famous As: Folklorist
Birthdate: April 29, 1895
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: August 22, 1970

 12 Mildred Harnack

Mildred Harnack
4
Famous As: Literary historian
Birthdate: September 16, 1902
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Died: February 16, 1943

 13 Sibawayh

Sibawayh
4
Famous As: Grammarian
Birthdate: 0760 AD
Birthplace: Beyza, Iran
Died: 0796 AD

 14 George Perkins Marsh

George Perkins Marsh
4
Famous As: Environmentalist
Birthdate: March 15, 1801
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Woodstock, Vermont, United States
Died: July 23, 1882
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 15 Justus Lipsius

Justus Lipsius
4
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: October 18, 1547
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Overijse, Belgium
Died: March 23, 1606

 16 Al-Khalil ibn Ahmad al-Farahidi

Al-Khalil ibn Ahmad al-Farahidi
4
Famous As: Philologist
Birthdate: 0718 AD
Birthplace: Oman
Died: 0791 AD
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 17 Wolfgang Iser

Wolfgang Iser
3
Famous As: Literary critic
Birthdate: July 22, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Marienberg, Germany
Died: January 24, 2007

 18 William F. Albright

William F. Albright
3
Famous As: Archaeologist
Birthdate: May 24, 1891
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Coquimbo, Chile
Died: September 19, 1971

 19 John Philoponus

John Philoponus
3
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: 0490 AD
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: 0570 AD

 20 J.B. Bury

J.B. Bury
3
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: October 16, 1861
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Clontibret, Ireland
Died: June 1, 1927

 21 Michael Witzel

Michael Witzel
3
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: July 18, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Swiebodzin, Poland

 22 Aleksei Losev

Aleksei Losev
3
Famous As: Philosopher, Philologist
Birthdate: September 23, 1893
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Novocherkassk, Russia
Died: May 24, 1988

 23 Elias Lönnrot

Elias Lönnrot
3
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: April 9, 1802
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sammatti, Finland
Died: March 19, 1884

 24 Samuel ibn Naghrillah

Samuel ibn Naghrillah
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: 0993 AD
Birthplace: Córdoba, Spain
Died: 1056 AD

Considered the most politically influential Jew in Muslim Spain, Samuel ibn Naghrillah was also an eminent Talmudic scholar, poet, grammarian, philologist and soldier. Beginning his life as a merchant in Córdoba, he later moved to Granada, where his linguistic and calligraphic skills caught the attention of the vizier; he was appointed first as assistant vizier and on latter on as the vizier.

 25 Friedrich Schlegel

Friedrich Schlegel
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: March 10, 1772
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hannover, Germany
Died: January 12, 1829

 26 Motoori Norinaga

Motoori Norinaga
3
Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: June 21, 1730
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ise Province, Japan
Died: October 5, 1801

 27 Isaac Casaubon

Isaac Casaubon
3
Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: February 18, 1559
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland
Died: July 1, 1614

 28 Johann Jakob Bachofen

Johann Jakob Bachofen
3
Famous As: Antiquarian
Birthdate: December 22, 1815
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland
Died: November 25, 1887

 29 Frederic W. H. Myers

Frederic W. H. Myers
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: February 6, 1843
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Keswick, England
Died: January 17, 1901

Frederic W.H. Myers was a 19th-century classicist and a Victorian psychical researcher. The essayist’s best-known work remains his posthumously published 2-volume collection Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death. He also penned award-winning poems. Rumors claim he was homosexual but also had a relationship with his cousin's wife.

 30 Leopoldo Lugones

Leopoldo Lugones
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: June 13, 1874
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Villa de María del Río Seco, Argentina
Died: February 18, 1938

 31 William Barnes

William Barnes
5
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 22, 1801
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bagber, England
Died: October 7, 1886

 32 Fujiwara no Teika

Fujiwara no Teika
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 1162 AD
Birthplace: Kyoto, Japan
Died: September 26, 1241

Fujiwara no Teika was a Japanese anthologist, literary critic, calligrapher, novelist, scribe, and poet. Widely regarded as one of the greatest Japanese poets of all time, Fujiwara no Teika was very influential during the late-Heian and early-Kamakura periods. Considered the greatest exponent of the waka form, Fujiwara no Teika's ideas dominated classical Japanese poetry for centuries after his death.

 33 Mukhtar Auezov

Mukhtar Auezov
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 28, 1897
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Abay District, East Kazakhstan
Died: June 27, 1961

 34 Ludwig Uhland

Ludwig Uhland
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: April 26, 1787
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tübingen, Germany
Died: November 13, 1862

 35 Frederick James Furnivall

Frederick James Furnivall
3
Famous As: Philologists
Birthdate: February 4, 1825
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Egham, England, United Kingdom
Died: July 2, 1910

 36 Charles du Fresne, sieur du Cange

Charles du Fresne, sieur du Cange
3
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: December 18, 1610
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Amiens, France
Died: October 23, 1688

Charles du Fresne, sieur du Cange was a French historian, linguist, and philologist. He received training to be a lawyer and was admitted to the Paris bar in 1631. Following a successful legal career, he assumed the office of treasurer of France. He knew many languages and was also a distinguished historian of the Middle Ages and Byzantium. 

 37 Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff

Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff
3
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: December 22, 1848
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Province of Posen, Poland
Died: September 25, 1931

 38 Rasmus Rask

Rasmus Rask
3
Famous As: Linguist
Birthdate: November 22, 1787
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Denmark
Died: November 14, 1832

 39 Laura Borràs

Laura Borràs
3
Famous As: Politician, Philologist
Birthdate: October 5, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

 40 Germà Colón

Germà Colón
3
Famous As: Philologist
Birthdate: November 30, 1928
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Castellón de la Plana, Spain
Died: March 22, 2020

Spanish philologist Germà Colón is remembered as one of the greatest experts of linguistic historiography. Apart from penning iconic works such as The Landscape of Catalan Lexicography, he also taught at various universities and was awarded the St. George's Cross by the Catalan government. He eventually died of COVID-19.

 41 Eugene Aram

Eugene Aram
3
Famous As: Philologist
Birthdate: 1704 AD
Birthplace: Ramsgill, England, United Kingdom
Died: August 16, 1759

 42 Alexander John Ellis

Alexander John Ellis
3
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: June 14, 1814
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hoxton, Middlesex, England
Died: October 28, 1890

 43 Louis Lucien Bonaparte

Louis Lucien Bonaparte
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 4, 1813
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Thorngrove, England
Died: November 3, 1891

 44 Eldad ha-Dani

Eldad ha-Dani
3
Famous As: Merchant
Birthdate: 0851 AD
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: 0900 AD

 45 Ramón Menéndez Pidal

Ramón Menéndez Pidal
3
Famous As: Philologist
Birthdate: March 13, 1869
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: A Coruña, Spain
Died: November 14, 1968

 46 Pedro Henriquez Urena

Pedro Henriquez Urena
3
Famous As: Essayist
Birthdate: June 29, 1884
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Died: May 11, 1946

 47 Ndre Mjeda

Ndre Mjeda
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: November 20, 1866
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Shkodër, Ottoman Empire
Died: August 1, 1937

 48 Zhang Binglin

Zhang Binglin
3
Famous As: Philologists
Birthdate: January 12, 1869
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Yuhang District, Hangzhou, China
Died: June 14, 1936

 49 Sahiba Gafarova

Sahiba Gafarova
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: March 19, 1955
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Shamkhor, Azerbaijan SSR, USSR

 50 Antoine Meillet

Antoine Meillet
3
Famous As: Linguist
Birthdate: November 11, 1866
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Moulins, France
Died: September 21, 1936
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