Philologists

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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.
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 1 
James Murray
(Lexicographer)
James Murray
6
Birthdate: February 7, 1837
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Denholm, Scotland
Died: July 26, 1915

James Murray was a Scottish philologist and lexicographer. He is best remembered as the main editor of the famous Oxford English Dictionary from 1879 until his demise in 1915. Murray's contribution to the dictionary and his collaboration with lexicographical researcher William Chester Minor inspired the 2019 film The Professor and the Madman, where the former was portrayed by Mel Gibson.

 2 
Max Müller
(Scholar, Philologist)
Max Müller
4
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.

 3 
Friedrich Nietzsche
(German Philosopher, Cultural Critic and Philologist)
Friedrich Nietzsche
5
Birthdate: October 15, 1844
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Röcken, Lützen, Germany
Died: August 25, 1900

German philosopher, cultural critic, composer, and poet Friedrich Nietzsche has had a profound influence on modern intellectual history. He held the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel. His work spanned philosophical polemics, poetry, cultural criticism, and fiction. He suffered from numerous health problems from a young age and died at the age of 55.

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 4 
Jacob Grimm
(Discoverer of ‘Grimm’s Law of Linguistics' and Co-author of the Largest German Dictionary 'Deutsches Wörterbuch')
Jacob Grimm
4
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.

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 5 
Jean-François Champollion
(French Historian, Linguist and Founder of the Scientific 'Egyptology')
Jean-François Champollion
3
Birthdate: December 23, 1790
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Figeac, France
Died: March 4, 1832

Jean-François Champollion was a French orientalist, philologist, and scholar. A founding figure of Egyptology, Champollion is credited with deciphering the Egyptian hieroglyphs, which paved the way for several research and studies in the field of Egyptology. Not surprisingly, Champollion is often referred to as the Founder and Father of Egyptology.  

 6 
Selma Ergeç
(Actress)
Selma Ergeç
6
Birthdate: November 1, 1978
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hamm, Germany
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 7 
Vuk Stefanović Karadžić
(Philologist, Anthropologist and Linguist)
Vuk Stefanović Karadžić
4
Birthdate: November 6, 1787
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tršić, Serbia
Died: February 7, 1864
 8 
V. Gordon Childe
(Australian Archaeologist Known for Excavating 'Skara Brae’ Neolithic Settlement)
V. Gordon Childe
3
Birthdate: April 14, 1892
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia
Died: October 19, 1957

V. Gordon Childe was an Australian archaeologist best remembered for his contribution to the study of European prehistory. One of the earliest supporters of culture-historical archaeology, Childe went on to become the first proponent of Marxist archaeology. He is regarded as one of the best-known and most revered archaeologists of the 20th century.

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 9 
Athanasius Kircher
(German Jesuit Scholar and Polymath Known for His Work in the Fields of Comparative Religion, Geology, and Medicine)
Athanasius Kircher
4
Birthdate: May 2, 1602
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Geisa, Germany
Died: November 28, 1680

Known as the last Renaissance man, Athanasius Kircher was a German Jesuit priest who taught at the Roman College for 4 decades. He was also obsessed with Sinology and Egyptology, and studied everything from fossils to microbes. He was also interested in medicine and invented machines such as the magnetic clock.

 10 
Michael Ventris
(Architect, classicist and philologist who deciphered Linear B, the ancient Mycenaean Greek script)
Michael Ventris
4
Birthdate: July 12, 1922
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, England
Died: September 6, 1956

Apart from being a renowned architect, Michael Ventris was also a skilled cryptographer. He not only deciphered the Minoan Linear B script, but also linked it to the ancient Greek script. As an architect, he was commissioned by the Ministry of Education to design schools. He died in a car crash at 34.

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 11 
E. A. Wallis Budge
(Egyptologist)
E. A. Wallis Budge
4
Birthdate: July 27, 1857
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bodmin, England
Died: November 23, 1934
 12 
Vladimir Propp
(Folklorist)
Vladimir Propp
3
Birthdate: April 29, 1895
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: August 22, 1970
 13 
Sibawayh
(Persian Grammarian and Linguist)
Sibawayh
4
Birthdate: 0760 AD
Birthplace: Beyza, Iran
Died: 0796 AD

Sibawayh was a Persian grammarian of Basra. He was the author of the earliest book on Arabic grammar and linguistics, an unnamed work simply referred to as Al-Kitāb, or "The Book." Modern scholars call him the greatest of all Arabic linguists and one of the greatest linguists of all time in any language. 

 14 
Edward H. Rulloff
(Doctor, Lawyer)
Edward H. Rulloff
2
Birthdate: July 9, 1819
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Died: May 18, 1871
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 15 
Mildred Harnack
(Literary historian)
Mildred Harnack
4
Birthdate: September 16, 1902
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Died: February 16, 1943
 16 
James Prinsep
(Antiquarian)
James Prinsep
4
Birthdate: August 20, 1799
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: County of Essex, England
Died: April 22, 1840
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 17 
William Jones
(Philologist)
William Jones
4
Birthdate: September 28, 1746
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 27, 1794
 18 
Erich Auerbach
(Literary critic)
Erich Auerbach
4
Birthdate: November 9, 1892
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: October 13, 1957
 19 
Irving Finkel
(Philologist, Writer)
Irving Finkel
2
Birthdate: 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
 20 
Georges Dumézil
(Philologist)
Georges Dumézil
4
Birthdate: March 4, 1898
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: October 11, 1986
 21 
Wolfgang Iser
(Literary critic)
Wolfgang Iser
3
Birthdate: July 22, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Marienberg, Germany
Died: January 24, 2007
 22 
Georgius Agricola
(Former Humanist scholar, mineralogist and metallurgist known for his groundbreaking work De Natura Fossilium published in 1546, he is generally referred to as the Father of Mineralogy)
Georgius Agricola
4
Birthdate: March 24, 1494
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Glauchau, Germany
Died: November 21, 1555
 23 
George Perkins Marsh
(Environmentalist)
George Perkins Marsh
4
Birthdate: March 15, 1801
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Woodstock, Vermont, United States
Died: July 23, 1882
 24 
John Boswell
(Historian, Philologist)
John Boswell
2
Birthdate: March 20, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: December 24, 1994
Al-Khalil ibn Ahmad al-Farahidi
4
Birthdate: 0718 AD
Birthplace: Oman
Died: 0791 AD
 26 
J.B. Bury
(Historian)
J.B. Bury
3
Birthdate: October 16, 1861
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Clontibret, Ireland
Died: June 1, 1927
 27 
Alexander Melville Bell
2
Birthdate: March 1, 1819
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: August 7, 1905
 28 
Justus Lipsius
(Belgian Scholar Who Mostly Wrote on the Revival of 'Stoicism')
Justus Lipsius
4
Birthdate: October 18, 1547
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Overijse, Belgium
Died: March 23, 1606

Belgian scholar Justus Lipsius chaired history and philosophy at the University of Jena and was later associated with the universities of Leiden and Leuven. His works mostly revolved around the revival of Stoicism, which led to the Neostoicism movement. His best-known works include De constantia and Politicorum libri sex.

 29 
J. R. R. Tolkien
(Author of 'The Hobbit' & 'The Lord of the Rings')
J. R. R. Tolkien
0
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.

 30 
Henry Sweet
(Linguist, University teacher)
Henry Sweet
2
Birthdate: September 15, 1845
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
Died: April 30, 1912
 31 
John Philoponus
3
Birthdate: 0490 AD
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: 0570 AD
 32 
Elias Lönnrot
(Physician)
Elias Lönnrot
3
Birthdate: April 9, 1802
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sammatti, Finland
Died: March 19, 1884
 33 
William F. Albright
(Archaeologist)
William F. Albright
3
Birthdate: May 24, 1891
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Coquimbo, Chile
Died: September 19, 1971
 34 
Aleksei Losev
(Philosopher, Philologist)
Aleksei Losev
3
Birthdate: September 23, 1893
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Novocherkassk, Russia
Died: May 24, 1988
 35 
Michael Witzel
3
Birthdate: July 18, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Swiebodzin, Poland
 36 
Friedrich Schlegel
3
Birthdate: March 10, 1772
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hannover, Germany
Died: January 12, 1829
 37 
Julian Burnside
2
Birthdate: June 9, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia

Apart from being a successful barrister, Melbourne-based Julian Burnside, now a Living National Treasure, is also a famed human rights activist. A lover of the arts, he is a passionate collector of paintings and sculptures and has also chaired Chamber Music Australia. An author too, he has penned a children’s book.

 38 
James Strong
(Theologian)
James Strong
2
Birthdate: August 14, 1822
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: August 7, 1894
 39 
Panini
(Linguist)
Panini
0
Birthplace: Shalatula
 40 
Alexander Argüelles
(Linguist, Philologist)
Alexander Argüelles
2
Birthdate: April 30, 1964
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
 41 
Frederic W. H. Myers
(British Poet, Classicist, Philologist, and a Founder of the Society for Psychical Research)
Frederic W. H. Myers
3
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.

 42 
Motoori Norinaga
3
Birthdate: June 21, 1730
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ise Province, Japan
Died: October 5, 1801
 43 
Valery Durov
(Philologist, Educator)
Valery Durov
2
Birthdate: July 13, 1945
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
 44 
Johann Jakob Bachofen
3
Birthdate: December 22, 1815
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland
Died: November 25, 1887
 45 
Ghil'ad Zuckermann
(Linguist, Philologist)
Ghil'ad Zuckermann
2
Birthdate: June 1, 1971
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
 46 
Joseph Wright
(Philologist, Linguist)
Joseph Wright
2
Birthdate: October 31, 1855
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Idle, Bradford, United Kingdom
Died: February 27, 1930
 47 
Isaac Casaubon
3
Birthdate: February 18, 1559
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland
Died: July 1, 1614
 48 
Robert Scott
(Philologist, Educator)
Robert Scott
2
Birthdate: January 26, 1811
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bondleigh, England
Died: December 2, 1887
 49 
A. K. Ramanujan
2
Birthdate: March 16, 1929
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mysore, British India
Died: July 13, 1993
 50 
Sahiba Gafarova
(Azerbaijani Politician and the Speaker of the National Assembly)
Sahiba Gafarova
4
Birthdate: March 19, 1955
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Shamkhor, Azerbaijan SSR, USSR

Sahiba Gafarova is a Azerbaijani politician and professor. She is currently serving as the Speaker of the National Assembly. Since 2004, Sahiba Gafarova has been an important member of the New Azerbaijan Party.