Schickard, Wilhelm°

views updated


SCHICKARD, WILHELM ° (Schickhard, Schickart, Guillielmus Schick (h )ardus ; 1592–1635), German *Hebraist, Orientalist, mathematician, and astronomer. Born in Herrenberg, Wuerttemberg, Schickard initially studied theology and became a Lutheran pastor; but he then began to devote his attention to Oriental languages and the sciences. In 1619 he was appointed professor of Hebrew at the University of Tuebingen, where he broadened his knowledge of Semitics and published several works displaying his profound erudition in Hebrew and rabbinic studies. In 1631 Schickard was appointed to the chair of astronomy at Tuebingen, after which he wrote many scientific treatises, but also continued to lecture on Hebrew until his death of the plague at the age of 43.

In the Horologium Hebraeum (Tuebingen, 1614), Schickard provided a highly intensified course in the Hebrew language, and the book was reprinted several times during the following decades. In another work, BeḤinat ha-Perushim… hoc est examinis commentationum rabbinicarum in Mosen prodromus… (ibid., 1621), he condemned the practical Kabbalah, and went so far as to berate Johann *Reuchlin for taking it seriously. Schickard, who corresponded with Johannes Buxtorf ii, also published Mishpat ha-Melekh: Jus regium Hebraeorum (1625); the quaintly entitled Purim, sive Bacchanalia Judaeorum (1633); and Ecologae sacrae Veteris Testamenti Hebraeo-Latinae (1633), in Latin and Hebrew, which contained extracts from the Bible, the Targum, and the Mishnah. His Arbor Derivationis Hebraeae, issued by his son, appeared posthumously in 1698 and his Nova et plenior Grammatica Hebraica in Tuebingen in 1731.


Speidel, in: W. Schickard, Horologium Hebraeum (1731 ed.). introd.; Steinschneider, Cat Bod, 2564, no. 7130; adb, 31 (1890), 174f.; F. Sécret, Les Kabbalistes Chrétiens de la Renaissance (1964), 330. add. bibliography: Ch.F. von Schnurrer, Biographische und litterarische Nachrichten von ehemaligen Lehrern der hebraeischen Litteratur in Tübingen (1792), 160–225; F. Seck (ed.), Wilhelm Schickard… (1978); idem (ed.), Zum 400. Geburtstag von Wilhelm Schickard (1995).

[Godfrey Edmond Silverman /

Aya Elyada (2nd ed.)]

About this article

Schickard, Wilhelm°

Updated About content Print Article