Adolf Ermann

Adolf Ermann

German Egyptologist and lexicographer, founder of the Berlin School of Egyptology.
Date of Birth: 31.10.1854
Country: Germany

  1. Biography of Adolf Erman
  2. Early Life and Education
  3. Academic Career
  4. Contributions and Works
  5. Legacy

Biography of Adolf Erman

Adolf Erman was a German Egyptologist and lexicographer, known for founding the Berlin School of Egyptology. He was born on October 31, 1854, in Berlin, Germany, and passed away on June 26, 1937, in the same city.

Early Life and Education

Adolf Erman was the son of physicist Georg Adolf Erman. He studied Egyptology in Leipzig and Berlin, where he became a student of Georg Ebers. Erman made significant contributions to the field of Egyptology, particularly in the study of the ancient Egyptian language.

Academic Career

In 1883, Erman became an adjunct professor of Egyptology at the University of Berlin, and in 1892, he became a full professor. He also served as the director of the Egyptian department at the Berlin Royal Museum from 1885.

Erman, along with Heinrich Brugsch, co-founded the "Journal of Egyptian Language and Ancient History" (Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache und Alterthumskunde) in 1882. In 1897, Erman initiated the creation of the Berlin Dictionary of the Egyptian Language. His research on the development of the language, as well as the relationship between Egyptian and Semitic languages, is considered groundbreaking.

Contributions and Works

Adolf Erman authored over 200 works on various topics in Egyptology. Some of his notable works include "New Egyptian Grammar" (Neuägyptische Grammatik, Leipzig, 1880), "Egypt and Ancient Egyptian Life" (Ägypten und ägyptisches Leben im Altertum, Tübingen, 1885-1887), and "The Religion of the Egyptians" (Die Religion der Ägypter, Leipzig, 1934). His dictionary of the Egyptian language (Wörterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache) was published between 1926 and 1931 and is available online.

Erman's contributions to the field of Egyptology were highly influential, and he had several notable students, including Karl Sethe, Hermann Steindorff, Ludwig Borchardt, Walther Spiegelberg, and Georg Steindorff.


Adolf Erman's works and research continue to be highly regarded in the field of Egyptology. His contributions to the study of the ancient Egyptian language and the understanding of ancient Egyptian civilization have had a lasting impact. His dedication to scholarship and his important role in the development of the Berlin School of Egyptology cemented his place as one of the most prominent figures in the field.