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men who had a large circle of acquaintance; and having a rare gift for friendship, he continued to maintain association with many of those with whom he was thrown into contact either in this city or through his frequent trips abroad. He knew the Darwins, father and son; he came into close touch with eminent writers and scholars like F. Max Müller, Thomas Hughes, Goldwin Smith, Herbert Spencer and Lord Bryce; he formed a friendship extending over many years with the de Rochambeau family and secured the passage of an act of Congress for the purchase of the letters of Washington to Rochambeau. He knew the great trio of American literature, Longfellow, Emerson and Lowell; he had met all the Presidents from Buchanan to Wilson, and knew practically all the generals in the Civil War.
Mr. Rosengarten passed away quietly on January 14, 1921.
MORRIS JASTROW, JR.
MORRIS JASTROW, JR.
(Read, December 2, 1921.)
The life of Professor Morris Jastrow was that of a highly distinguished Semitic scholar, who was successfully a teacher, investigator, decipherer, writer, editor, and publicist. His life was peculiarly consecrated to a search for knowledge and the promulgation of the truths that he had ascertained.
In the preparation for the work of his life he had in his youth the advantage of a favorable environment. His father, Rabbi Marcus Jastrow, was in charge of a German congregation in Warsaw, when on August 13, 1861, Morris first saw the light of day. A few years later, after having been subjected to arrest because of his political opinions bearing upon the liberties of the people, his father was obliged to leave the country, and came to Philadelphia, where in 1866 he was called to the Congregation Rodef Shalom, which he served for many years and of which he was rabbi emeritus at the time of his death, in 1903. He was a distinguished preacher, a godly man, and a profound scholar. The great literary heritage that he left is his Talmudic Dictionary, a monument of untiring industry and wide scholarship.
After Morris Jastrow had graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, in 1881, he studied at Breslau under Frankel, Graetz, and Rosin; at Leipzig under Fleischer and Franz and Frederick Delitzsch; at Strassburg under Noeldeke; and in Paris under Renan, Oppert, Derenbourgs, and Halevy. In 1884 he received his Ph.D. at Leipzig, writing his dissertation on the unpublished grammatical works of a Jewish Arabic Grammarian. In 1914 his alma mater honored him by conferring upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws.
Jastrow had studied for the ministry, and for a short time had been his father's assistant; but preferring scholastic work to being an exponent of the Jewish faith, he became Lecturer in Semitics at the University of Pennsylvania in 1887; and in 1891 he became Professor of Semitic Languages and Literature. In 1888 he became Assistant Librarian of the University, and a decade later Librarian, which office he held until 1919, making in all thirty-one years of
service in this capacity. During his incumbency the library was recatalogued and was nearly trebled in size. He was Haskell Lecturer at Oberlin College for 1913. He lectured during the summer sessions of 1919 and 1920 at the University of California. For the present year, having been granted sabbatical leave from the University, he had been chosen Annual Professor of the American School of Oriental Research at Jerusalem; and had been asked to go also to Baghdad to complete arrangements for the establishment of a similar school in that city.
In 1886 Professor Jastrow was elected a member of the American Oriental Society; and for thirty-five years, until his death, he took a very active part in its work, contributing many notable articles to its Journal. For many years he was one of the Directors of the Society, and held that position at the time of his death. He was chosen Vice-President of the Society for 1912-13, and President for 1914-15. Since 1891 he was a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis, and made frequent contributions to its Journal. In 1916 he was President of this Society; and served on its Board of Directors many years. He was a founder of the Philadelphia Oriental Club, in 1888; and for many years had been its leading spirit.
In 1897 he was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society, and served as Secretary from 1904-1908, and as Councillor from 1910-12, 1914-16, 1920-21. He served twice on the Library Committee, and at the time of his death he was a member of it, as well as a Councillor of the Society. He was always a very active supporter of the measures which at various times during his membership were brought forward to promote the activity and usefulness of the Society. He was always deeply interested in its welfare, and gave time to it unstintingly.
Professor Jastrow was appointed the official United States delegate to the last three Oriental Congresses, held at Rome, Copenhagen, and Athens. He was also the official delegate to the Third and Fourth International Congresses for the History of Religion, held at Oxford and Leyden. At the former he was elected President of the Semitic Section, and he was one of the presidents at the latter.
He read occasional papers before the Archæological Institute of America; and he was also a member of the Board of Editors of Art and Archæology, published under the auspices of that Society. For years he was a member of the Executive Committee of the Managing Committee of the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem, and was also a member of the Committee on the Mesopotamian School. He took part last spring in the work of incorporating the schools, which proved one of his last acts for the advancement of Oriental research. He was regarded a valued and representative member of the Shakespeare Society of Philadelphia; and also took an active part in the Contemporary Club, the Pennsylvania Library Club, and the Franklin Inn Club of Philadelphia.
By the fruitfulness of his investigations and his manifold contributions Jastrow has indelibly impressed his name upon Oriental research. His first contribution to Semitics was his dissertation on the grammatical treatise of Abu Zakarijjâ Jahâ ben Dawûd Hajjûg, which was published in 1885. In his large bibliography, besides this work four other contributions in Arabic are found. While Arabic never ceased to be attractive to him, and he had even planned to be in Egypt at this time for the express purpose of devoting himself to modern Arabic, he early appreciated the fact that for the Biblical field, in which he was especially interested, greater opportunities for research were to be found in the study of Assyrian, Hebrew, and Aramaic.
Jastrow's first contribution in Assyrian was in 1887, on a "Passage in the Cylinder Inscription of Asurbanapal," which was published in the Zeitschrift für Assyriologie. His bibliography shows that following this, scarcely a year passed in which one to seven articles were not published on Assyriological subjects alone. In 1889 he published an important fragment of an inscribed cylinder of a ruler named Marduk-shapiq-zirim. By a process of elimination and conjecture and on palæontological grounds he not only determined that this ruler belonged to the Nisin or Pashe dynasty, but in a remarkable manner reasoned that he should be restored to his place as the founder of the dynasty. An inscription in the Yale Collection published thirty years later proved this to be correct.
Another early notable contribution in Assyriology was a fragment of the Irra Myth published in the University of Pennsylvania Series in Philology. This was followed by the publication of a fragment of the Etana Legend from the Library of Ashurbanapal, which had found its way into private hands. It was his good fortune to discover also in private hands a second fragment of this important epic, which he published in 1909. His translation and interpretation of these inscriptions, as well as several others, and in particular a large and important "Assyrian Medical Tablet in the possession of the College of Physicians," Philadelphia, fully demonstrated his ability to handle original inscriptions in a masterly manner.
Jastrow was early attracted to the study of the religion of Babylonia and Assyria. He was the founder and secretary until his death of the Committee of American Lectures on the History of Religion, and published one of its monographs. He was the editor of a Series of Handbooks on the History of Religions; and was the author of "Religion of Babylonia and Assyria," which appeared in 1898, as the second volume in the series. This work of 780 pages was a most ambitious undertaking, being largely pioneer in character; but it was carried out so successfully that it remained the chief treatise upon the subject until it was supplanted by his larger work, "Die Religion Babyloniens und Assyriens," which appeared in seventeen parts between the years 1903 and 1913. It was originally intended that this work should be a translation into German of his English treatise; but while engaged upon its revision he not only kept pace with new discoveries, but he was prompted to make a fuller study of the divination texts than had previously been made, with the result that his work grew to such proportions that three large volumes, comprising over 1,700 pages of closely printed text, were required for the presentation of his researches. In this field of investigation Jastrow achieved his greatest results. By his linguistic work and interpretation, light was thrown upon hundreds of hitherto obscure words and passages in the omen texts, many of which he translated for the first time. In this field he had the opportunity of utilizing his wide range of knowledge, and showing his bent of mind by correlating in a remarkable manner the customs of other peoples.