Levias, Caspar

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LEVIAS, CASPAR (1860–1934), U.S. Orientalist and lexicographer. Born in Zagare, Lithuania, Levias studied and was a fellow in the department of Oriental languages of Columbia University (1893–94) and in the department of Semitic languages of Johns Hopkins University (1894–95). From 1895 to 1905 he was an instructor of Semitic languages at Hebrew Union College, and from 1910 to 1920 he served as principal of the Plaut Memorial Hebrew Free School in Newark, New Jersey. An ardent Zionist, he devoted much time to the propagation of modern Hebrew literature, and together with R. *Brainin and I. *Schapiro he edited and published the literary journal Ha-Deror. His main interest, however, was Semitic philology and grammar, about which he contributed numerous articles to scholarly journals. His chief works were the pioneer study A Grammar of the Aramaic Idiom Contained in the Babylonian Talmud (1900), and a Hebrew book on the same subject, Dikduk Aramit Bavlit (1930). Only two parts of his Oẓar Ḥokhmat ha-Lashon, a study of Hebrew philology, were ever published (1914–15), and a lexicon compiled by him of medical terms in Hebrew literature never appeared at all.


Kressel, Leksikon, 2 (1967), 191.