1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ludolf, Hiob

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LUDOLF (or Leutholf), HIOB (1624–1704), German orientalist, was born at Erfurt on the 15th of June 1624. After studying philology at the Erfurt academy and at Leiden, he travelled in order to increase his linguistic knowledge. While in Italy he became acquainted with one Gregorius, an Abyssinian scholar, and acquired from him an intimate knowledge of the Ethiopian language. In 1652 he entered the service of the duke of Saxe-Gotha, in which he continued until 1678, when he retired to Frankfort-on-Main. In 1683 he visited England to promote a cherished scheme for establishing trade with Abyssinia, but his efforts were unsuccessful, chiefly through the bigotry of the authorities of the Abyssinian Church. Returning to Frankfort in 1684, he gave himself wholly to literary work, which he continued almost to his death on the 8th of April 1704. In 1690 he was appointed president of the collegium imperiale historicum.

The works of Ludolf, who is said to have been acquainted with twenty-five languages, include Sciagraphia historiae aethiopicae (Jena, 1676); and the Historia aethiopica (Frankfort, 1681), which has been translated into English, French and Dutch, and which was supplemented by a Commentarius (1691) and by Appendices (1693–1694). Among his other works are: Grammatica linguae amharicae (Frankfort, 1698); Lexicon amharico-latinum (Frankfort, 1698); Lexicon aethiopico-latinum (Frankfort, 1699); and Grammatica aethiopica (London, 1661, and Frankfort, 1702). In his Grammatik der äthiopischen Sprache (1857) August Dillmann throws doubt on the story of Ludolf’s intimacy with Gregorius.

See C. Juncker, Commentarius de vita et scriptis Jobi Ludolfi (Frankfort, 1710); L. Diestel, Geschichte des alten Testaments in der christlichen Kirche (Jena, 1868); and J. Flemming, “Hiob Ludolf,” in the Beiträge zur Assyriologie (Leipzig, 1890–1891).