Prince Asfa-Wossen Asserate of Ethiopia to Open III. International Enno Littmann Conference

Over 50 Scholars from Europe, the Orient, and Northeastern Africa to Participate

№ 63/2009 from Mar 24, 2009

The Seminar for Semitic and Arabic Studies of Freie Universität Berlin is holding the III. International Enno Littmann Conference  from April 1 to 4 under the leadership of Professor Dr. Rainer Voigt. The event will be opened by His Imperial Highness Prince Dr. Lij Asfa-Wossen Asserate. The conference focusing on the languages, literature, and cultures of Ethiopia and Eritrea is being held in cooperation with the German Archaeological Institute, the German Orient-Institute in Beirut, and Orbis Aethiopicus – Society for the Preservation and Promotion of Ethiopian Culture. The event is supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Enno Littmann (1875-1958) is considered the last of the great European Orientalists. His field covered the entire Old and New East, including Ancient Israel and modern Palestine. Littmann mastered 13 languages, including several spoken in Ethiopia: Tigre, Amharic, Ge'ez, Tigrinya, and Oromo. He is widely known as the first translator of the tales of "Arabian Nights" into German.

The participants of the III. International Enno Littmann Conference will deal with Enno Littmann as well as with those scholars who accompanied him on expeditions to the Near East, such as the building researcher Daniel Krencker or the architect, building researcher, and photographer, Theodor von Lüpke. The focus will be on the American Archaeological Expedition to Syria (1899/1900), the Princeton (University) Expedition to Abyssinia (1905/1906), and the German Aksum Expedition (1905/1906).

A new focus of the meeting will be on Tigre, the second most important language of Eritrea. Littmann's research laid the foundations of Tigre, and now young Eritrean scholars are studying this new literary language, which in the meantime has become the language of instruction in Tigre-speaking area schools. Another new theme is Semitic inscription. Scholars from Jordan and Saudi Arabia will report on new inscriptions.

Further Information

Time and Place:

  • April 1–4, 2009
  • Henry Ford Building, Freie Universität Berlin, Garystr. 35, 14195 Berlin-Dahlem; subway stations: Thielplatz and Dahlem-Dorf (U3)

For further information, please contact:

Suzan Tozman
Seminar for Semitic and Arabic Studies
Freie Universität Berlin
Tel.: +49 (0)30/838-53623

More information online: