WINCKLER, HUGO ° (1863–1913), German Orientalist and Bible scholar. Winckler was born in Graefenhainichen. He became a lecturer at Berlin University in 1891 and professor extraordinary in 1904. During the first years of his scholarly activity, he devoted himself to the study of Assyrian inscriptions; he published the Sargon inscriptions in 1889, as well as various studies on the ancient Near East which included a history of Israel, Geschichte Israels … (2 vols., 1895–1900), and a work on the code of Hammurapi, Die Gesetze Hammurabis … (1902). In 1903–04 he took part in the excavations of Sidon and from 1906 to 1912 was in charge of the German excavations at Boghazköy (ancient Hattusas, the capital of the Hittite Empire in Asia Minor). There he was successful in discovering the royal Hittite archives, opening the history of the Hittite kingdom to the scholarly world. Winckler did not, however, live to see the deciphering of the Hittite language. He was one of the founders of the pan-Babylonian school in the study of the Bible. These scholars claimed that there was a single common cultural system, overwhelmingly influenced by the Babylonians, which extended over the whole of the ancient Near East. This school assumed that the Bible was also rooted in this culture, and not merely influenced by it. The other prominent exponents of this school were Winckler's disciples, F. *Delitzsch and A. *Jeremias.
Winckler's other publications included a critical edition (written with L. Abel) of the Tell el-Amarna letters, Der Thontafelfund von El-Amarna (2 vols., 1889–1900); a German translation of these letters, Die Thontafeln von Tell-El-Amarna (2 vols., 1896); Das Alte Westasien (1899); and publications in the series Der Alte Orient.
O. Weber, in: Mitteilungen der Vorderasiatisch-Aegyptischen Gesellschaft, 20 (1915), 13–24.
[Michael Avi-Yonah and