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BALLAGI (formerly Bloch), MÓR (1815–1891), linguist and theologian. Born in Inocz, Hungary, he attended yeshivot and studied mathematics at Pest, continuing in Paris and Tuebingen. In 1843 he became a Protestant. During the Hungarian revolution in 1848, Ballagi served as secretary to General Görgey. He taught Hebrew, Greek, and biblical exegesis at the theological academy of the Reformed Church at Kecskemét from 1851, and in Pest from 1855 to 1877. While still a Jew Ballagi published a monograph, A zsidókról (1840), advocating the emancipation of Hungarian Jewry and the establishment of a rabbinical college. He translated into Hungarian the Hebrew prayer book (1841), the Pentateuch (1840–41), and the Book of Joshua (1842), and wrote a primer of the Hebrew language, A héber nyelv elemi tankönyve (1856; 2nd edition revised by Ignaz Goldziher in 1872), Renaniana (Hg., 1864), and biblical studies (Bibliai tanulmányok, 2 vols., 1865). Ballagi also compiled a dictionary of the Hungarian language, and published a Hungarian-German, German-Hungarian dictionary.


S. Imre, Emlékbeszéd Ballagi Mór rendes tagról (1893); S. Csekey, Budapesti Református Theológiai Akadémia története (1955); Scheiber, in: Református Egyház, 7 (1955), 520.

[Alexander Scheiber]