JOHANN GOTTFRIED EICHHORN
Born on 16 October 1752 in Dörenzimmern, Fürstentum Hohenlohe-Oehringen
Died on 25 June 1827 in Göttingen
• Son of a pastor
• 1770–1774 studied theology and philology in Göttingen with J.D. Michaelis, A.L. Schlözer, Chr. G. Heyne and others
• 1775 – Professor of Oriental Languages at Jena
• 1788–1827 – Professor and Chair of Oriental Languages at Göttingen.
Eichhorn’s academic significance lies mainly in the areas of Old Testament studies and Bible criticism (Einleitung in das Alte Testament, 3 parts, Leipzig 1780–1783). He applied the principles of philological-historical criticism that he had learned from Heyne to the Old Testament, which to him was a “testament to prehistoric time” rather than a compilation of revelations.
Noteworthy in the field of Arabic Studies are his published studies on the history of the Lakhmids and the Ghassanids, which he based on Ibn Qutayba, Fundgruben des Orients II (1812), III (1813), and VI (1818).
In the Repertorium für biblische und morgenländische Litteratur, which Eichhorn edited (part VIII, Leipzig 1781), A. L. Schlözer published his hypothesis of a “Semitic” and “Japhetic” linguistic family (ibid., p. 161).