Ignace Gelb


Ignace Gelb

Ignace J. Gelb (October 14, 1907 – December 22, 1985) was a Polish - American ancient historian and Assyriologist who pioneered the scientific study of writing systems. Born in Tarnow, Austria-Hungary (now Poland), he earned his PhD from the University of Rome in 1929, then went to the University of Chicago where he was a professor of Assyriology until his death.

Although writing systems have been studied for centuries by linguists, Gelb is widely regarded as the first scientific practitioner of the study of scripts, and coined the term grammatology to refer to the study of writing systems. In "A Study of Writing" (1952), he suggested that scripts evolve in a single direction, from logographic scripts to syllabaries to alphabets. This historical typology has been criticized as overly simplistic, forcing the data to fit the model and ignoring exceptional cases. Yet, despite more recent refinements of the typology by Peter T. Daniels and others, Gelb's rigorous study of the properties of different kinds of writing system was pioneering and innovative. Gelb believed that the Maya hieroglyphs did not qualify as true writing capable of representing language, which has now been disproven following the decipherment of the Maya script.

Gelb's work in Assyriology focused on publishing editions of Akkadian texts and a grammar and dictionary of Old Akkadian. He began the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary project in 1947 and remained as the editor of the project until his death. His other important works include works on Mesopotamian land tenure and sales, metrology, and other aspects of economic and social history.

He was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, and in 1975 he was elected as a member of the prestigious American Philosophical Society. Additionally, from 1965 to 1966 he was president of the American Oriental Society.

References

*Leichty, Erle. 1998. Ignace J. Gelb (14 October 1907 - 22 December 1985). "Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society" 142(4): 668-670.
*Marquis Who Was Who in America, vol. 5, 1986-1989. (ISBN 0-8379-0217-7)


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  • Ignace Gelb — Ignace Jay Gelb (* 14. Oktober 1907 in Tarnów, Polen; † 22. Dezember 1985 in Chicago, Illinois) war ein polnisch US amerikanischer Orientalist der Universität Chicago. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Wirken 3 Werke …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ignace Gelb — Ignace J. Gelb, né le 14 octobre 1907 à Tarnów, Autriche Hongrie et mort le 22 décembre 1985, est un assyriologue et historien américano polonais, pionnier de la recherche scientifique sur les écritures. Biographie Il obtient son doctorat de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ignace J. Gelb — Ignace Jay Gelb (* 14. Oktober 1907 in Tarnów, Polen; 22. Dezember 1985 in Chicago, Illinois) war ein polnisch US amerikanischer Orientalist der Universität Chicago. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Wirken 3 Werke …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gelb (surname) — Gelb is a surname, and may refer to:* Bruce Gelb * Ignace Gelb * Leslie Gelb * Michael H. Gelb * Michael J. Gelb * Peter Gelbsurname|Gelb …   Wikipedia

  • Gelb (Begriffsklärung) — Gelb bezeichnet: eine Farbe, siehe Gelb Gelb ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Adhémar Gelb (1887 1936), deutscher Psychologe Bruce Gelb (* 1927), amerikanischer Geschäftsmann und Diplomat Ignace Gelb (1907–1985), polnisch amerikanischer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • GELB, IGNACE JAY — (1907–1985), U.S. Assyriologist. Born in Tarnow, Poland, Gelb studied in Rome with the Sumerologist, Anton Deimel. In 1929 he went to the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, with which he remained associated. After serving in the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • GELB, Ignace Jeremiah — (1907–1985)    Polish born American Assyriologist, based at the University of Chicago, where he initiated the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary project. He was particularly interested in Akkadian language and grammar (Old Akkadian Writing and Grammar,… …   Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia

  • I. J. Gelb — Ignace Jay Gelb (* 14. Oktober 1907 in Tarnów, Polen; 22. Dezember 1985 in Chicago, Illinois) war ein polnisch US amerikanischer Orientalist der Universität Chicago. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Wirken 3 Werke …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Grammatologie — (griechisch: γραμμα gramma = Buchstabe + λογοσ logos = Lehre) ist die Wissenschaft von der Schrift. Die Grammatologie schließt je nach Auslegung Teildisziplinen unterschiedlicher Wissenschaften ein: Schriftlinguistik, Paläographie und Epigraphik… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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