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Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner

Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner (14 October 1840 – 22 March 1899) was a British orientalist, born in Budapest, Hungary, on 14 October 1840 to a Jewish family. .

As a child Leitner showed an extraordinary ability in languages. At the age of eight he went to Constantinople to learn Arabic and Turkish, and by the age of ten he was fluent in Turkish, Arabic and most European languages.

At the age of fifteen he acted as an interpreter in the Crimean War. At nineteen, he became lecturer in Arabic, Turkish and Modern Greek, and in 1861 at the age of just twenty-one was appointed professor of Arabic and Mahammedan law.

In 1864 he moved to India and took up the post of Principal of the Government College in Lahore which he developed into what is now University of Punjab. He was known to speak, read and write over twenty five languages.

In 1883 he returned to England and established his Oriental Institute and with a donation from the Begum Shah Jahan, the Nawab Begum of the princely state of Bhopal, built England’s first mosque in 1889, Shah Jahan Mosque.

  1889  /  History  /  Last Updated November 9, 2013 by Muslim Museum  /  Tags: , , ,