August Leskien

Johann Heinrich August Leskien ( born July 8, 1840 in Kiel, † September 20, 1916 in Leipzig ) was a German and Slavic Indo-Europeanist. He is in the field of Indo-European as the founder of the so-called Leipzig School.


Leskien studied from 1860 to 1864 Classical Philology in Kiel and Leipzig. The PhD. took place in 1864 ibid.

From 1864 to 1866 he taught Latin and Greek at the Leipzig Thomas school.

In 1866 he began studies of comparative Indo-European, Baltic and Slavic linguistics at August Schleicher in Jena. In 1867, the Habilitation and moved to the University of Göttingen as a Privatdozent.

Just one year later, in 1868, he was appointed extraordinary professor of comparative philology and Sanskrit in Jena. From 1870 he taught as an associate professor of Slavic studies in Leipzig. His appointment as professor was 1876., He became director of the Indo-European Institute ibid.

1877 Aleksander Brückner dedicated his book The Slavic loanwords in Lithuanian his " hochvererten dium August Leskien ". Other linguists have also learned from Leskien.

Leskien was one of the founders of the neo-grammarians. He was a theorist of the Ausnahmslosigkeit of sound laws, the most important principle of change, is convinced. The focus of his research was next to the South Slavic Old Bulgarian and Lithuanian.


  • Award of the Bopp -Stiftung (1869 )
  • Honorary Doctor of the University of Kristiania
  • Commander, Second Class of the Saxon Order of Civil Merit
  • Commander, Second Class of the Saxon Order of Albrecht
  • Grand Officer of the Serbian St. Sava


  • The declination in the Slavic -Lithuanian and Germanic, the prize essay of the Societas Jablonoviana. Leipzig 1876. ( Digitized and full text in German Text Archive )
  • Handbook of Old Bulgarian ( altkirchenslavischen ) language. Heidelberg in 1871.
  • Grammar of the Old Bulgarian ( altkirchenslavischen ) language. Heidelberg 1909.
  • Lithuanian reading book with grammar and dictionary.. Heidelberg 1919 ( = Indo- library, ed v. H. Hirt and W. dispute Mountain 1 Dept., 1st row: .. . Grammars 12).

Pictures of August Leskien