Obermeyer, Jacob

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OBERMEYER, JACOB (1845–1935), traveler, scholar, and teacher. Obermeyer was born in Steinhardt, Bavaria. He toured North Africa from Morocco to Egypt in 1868, proceeded to Palestine, and from there traveled to Damascus and Baghdad. He taught French at the Baghdad school of the Alliance Israélite Universelle during 1869–72, and from 1872 to 1881 he was the teacher of Prince Naib Alsultana, contender to the throne of Persia, who had been compelled to flee his native country. With his student, Obermeyer toured the whole of Mesopotamia and then accompanied the prince when he signed a peace treaty with his brother the king and returned to Persia. Obermeyer's Die Landschaft Babylonien… (1929) is a standard work which includes his personal observations during his years of travel, as well as the works of medieval Arab geographers and various Hebrew sources. From 1884 to 1915 Obermeyer taught Arabic and Persian in Vienna.


S. Assaf, in: ks, 7 (1930), 60–62; Sassoon, History of the Jews of Baghdad (1949), 153–6.

[Zvi Avneri]