Hans Jacob Polotsky

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Hans Jacob Polotsky

Hebrew: הנס יעקב פולוצקי
Birthdate: (85)
Birthplace: Zurich, Zurich District, Zurich, Switzerland
Death: August 10, 1991 (85)
Jerusalem, Israel
Immediate Family:

Son of Mr. Polotsky and Mrs. Polotsky
Husband of Mrs. Polotsky
Father of <private> Polotsky
Brother of sister Polotsky

Occupation: Israeli orientalist, linguist, and professor for Semitic languages and Egyptology
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Immediate Family

About Hans Jacob Polotsky

Hans Jakob Polotsky (Hebrew: הנס יעקב פולוצקי‎; also Hans Jacob Polotsky, Hans Jakob Polotzky; September 13, 1905 - August 10, 1991) was an Israeli orientalist, linguist, and professor for Semitic languages and Egyptology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Polotsky was born in Zürich, Switzerland, as the son of a Russian Jewish couple. He grew up in Berlin and studied Egyptology and Semitics at the universities of Berlin and Göttingen. From 1926 to 1931 he was a co-worker of the Septuaginta-Unternehmen of the Academy of Sciences at Göttingen. In 1929 he received his Ph.D. degree for the dissertation Zu den Inschriften der 11. Dynastie. He worked in Berlin editing Coptic Manichaean texts from 1933 till 1934, with the Church historian Carl Schmidt. He left Germany in 1935 and settled in Mandate Palestine, where he taught and researched at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, becoming professor in 1948. He died in Jerusalem.

His main achievement was the Études de syntaxe copte published in 1944 which fundamentally changed the scientific view of the syntax of the Coptic and earlier ancient Egyptian languages. Polotsky's theory of the Egyptian verb (a particularly delicate argument, since Egyptians distinguished their different verb forms mainly by the vocalizations, and vowels were not written) had so much success that it has been called Polotsky's standard theory.

In Berlin, Polotsky had been a student of the famous egyptologist Kurt Heinrich Sethe; in Jerusalem, one of his students was Miriam Lichtheim, known for her extensive translations of ancient Egyptian texts.

  • In 1962, Polotsky received the Rothschild Prize
  • In 1966, he was awarded the Israel Prize in the humanities.
  • In 1982, he received the Harvey Prize.


About הנס יעקב פולוצקי (עברית)

ויקיפדיה: יעקב חיים (הַנס) פּוֹלוֹצקי ( 13 בספטמבר 1905 – 10 באוגוסט 1991) היה בלשן, מזרחן ופרופסור לאגיפטולוגיה ולשפות שמיות באוניברסיטה העברית

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Hans Jacob Polotsky's Timeline

September 13, 1905
Zurich, Zurich District, Zurich, Switzerland
August 10, 1991
Age 85
Jerusalem, Israel