OPPERT, JULIUS (1825-1905), German Assyriologist, was born at Hamburg, of Jewish parents, on the 9th of July 1825. ."Mter studying at Heidelberg, Bonn and Berlin, he graduated at Kiel in 1847, and in the following year went to France, where he was teacher of German at Laval and at Reims. His leisure was given to Oriental studies, in which he had made great progress in Germany, and in 1852 he joined Fresnel's archaeological expedition to Mesopotamia. On his return in 1S54 he occupied himself in digesting the results of the expedition in so far as they concerned cuneiform inscriptions, and pubhshed an important work upon them (Dechriffrcment des inscriptions cuneiformcs, 1861). In 1857 he was appointed professor of Sanscrit in the school of languages connected with the National Library in Paris, and in this capacity he produced a Sanscrit grammar; but his attention was chiefly given to Assyrian and cognate subjects, and he was especially prominent in establishing the Turanian character of the language originally spoken in Assyria. In 1869 Oppert was appointed professor of Assyrian philology and archaeology a.lXht College de France. In 1865 he published a. history of Assyria and Chaldaea in the light of the results of the different exploring expeditions. At a later period he devoted much attention to the language and antiquities of ancient Media, writing Le Peuple ct la langue des Mcdes (1879). He died in Paris on the 21st of August 1905. Oppert was a voluminous writer upon Assyrian mythology and jurisprudence, and other subjects connected with the ancient civilizations of the East. Among his other works may be mentioned: Elements de la grammaire assyrienne (1S68); L'Immorlalite de I'dme chez les Chaldeens, (1875); Salomon ei ses successeurs (1877); and, with J. Menant, Doctrines juridiques de I'Assyrie el de la Chaldee (1877).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)