Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs. 1898. First Edition, First Printing. Original Wraps. First edition. Quarto, original printed wrappers. 16 pp. Some mild foxing, covers dusty, small edgetears. Very good. Rare. Very Good. Item #309688
¶ Friedrich Delitzsch (1850 - 1922) was a German Assyriologist. Born in Erlangen, he studied in Leipzig and Berlin, being habilitated in 1874 as a lecturer of Semitic languages and Assyriology in Leipzig. In 1885 he became a "full professor" at Leipzig, afterwards serving as a professor at the Universities of Breslau (1893) and Berlin (1899). He was co-founder of the Deutschen Orientgesellschaft (German Oriental Society) and director of the Orderasiatischen Abteilung (Near Eastern Department) of the Royal Museums. He specialized in the study of ancient Middle Eastern languages, and published numerous works on Assyrian language, history and culture. He is remembered today for his scholarly critique of the Biblical Old Testament. In a 1902 controversial lecture titled "Babel and Bible", Delitzsch maintained that many Old Testament writings were borrowed from ancient Babylonian tales, including the stories of the Creation and Flood from the Book of Genesis. During the following years there were several translations and modified versions of the "Babel and Bible". In the early 1920s, Delitzsch published the two-part Die große Täuschung (The Great Deception), which was a critical treatise on the book of Psalms, prophets of the Old Testament, the invasion of Canaan, etc. Delitzsch also stridently questioned the historical accuracy of the Hebrew Bible and placed great emphasis on its numerous examples of immorality. EX ORIENTE LUX! was written in support of the German Oriental Society (The Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft) (DOG). The DOG was officially founded in January 1898 to foster public interest in oriental antiquities, and to promote related archaeological research. It competed with similar bodies in France and England, and reflected an increased enthusiasm to learn about the Bible lands in the late 19th century. DOG focussed on the cultures of the Middle East from early times to the Islamic period. The founders of the DOG included a galaxy powerful, well-connected and wealthy members of German society, including Henri James Simon and banker Franz von Mendelssohn. Their wealth enabled the DOG to undertake expensive excavations in the Middle East. Kaiser Wilhelm II developed an interested in archaeology, and took the DOG under his protection from 1901, funding excavations with grants from Imperial funds. It was officially a subsidiary of the German museum administration, so its finds automatically belonged to the Prussian state. Its work was aided by friendly relations established between the German and Ottoman Empires. DOG undertook excavations in Babylon from 1899 to 1917, directed by Robert Koldewey, uncovering the Ishtar Gate, the palaces of Nebuchadnezzar, and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Koldewey also claimed to have discovered the Tower of Babel. Ludwig Borchardt led DOG excavations in Egypt in 1902 at the Ancient Egyptian necropolis of Abusir and then, from 1911 to 1914, at the ruins of Tell el-Amarna, where the famous bust of Nefertiti, now in Berlin's Ägyptisches Museum, was discovered amongst other sculptural artefacts in the workshop of the sculptor Thutmose.