and first director of the German Protestant Institute of Archaeology in Jerusalem. Dalman was born in Niesky, in southeastern Prussia, a community dominated by Moravians. After studying Protestant theology he taught at the seminary of the Moravian fraternity in nearby Gnadenfeld (1881–1887). During a stay in Leipzig In 1883, he was promoted to doctor of theology. In 1887 he moved to Leipzig to become an assistant at the Institutum Judaicum, where he earned his Ph.D. He was appointed director of the institute In 1893. Dalman also taught Old Testament at the University of Leipzig, where he became an associate professor In 1896. In 1902 he was elected the first director of the newly founded Deutsches Evangelisches Institut für Altertumswissenschaft des Heiligen Landes in Jerusalem. During World War I he was forced to give up that position because of the political situation. In 1917 he became a full professor in Greifswald, where he founded an institute for research of Palestine. Following his retirement In 1923, Dalman dedicated his life to his magnum opus, Arbeit und Sitte in Palästina. He died in Herrnhut, a Moravian village not far from his birthplace.

The Aramaic language was the focus of Dalman's work prior to his directorship at the German institute. He published a grammar and a dictionary of Palestinian Aramaic and a volume on the language of Jesus. In Jerusalem, he collected data on Palestinian customs and manners that is still an important resource for recovering a rapidly vanishing world. His knowledge of the Holy City and its ancient sites, as well as the topography of the land of Israel, appears in his books Orte und Wege Jesu and Jerusalem und sein Gelände. His exploration of Petra and its vicinity led to his publishing the first description of the now famous site. Dalman published most of the enormous amount of ethnographic material he had gathered before World War I in seven volumes, under the title Arbeit und Sitte in Palästina (1928–1942).

[See also Deutsches Evangelisches Institut für Altertumswissenschaft des Heiligen Landes; Petra.]


  • Dalman, Gustaf. Palästinischer Diwan. Leipzig, 1901.
  • Dalman, Gustaf. Grammatik des jüdisch-palästinischen Aramäisch. 2d ed. Leipzig, 1905.
  • Dalman, Gustaf. Petra und seine Felsheiligtümer. Leipzig, 1908.
  • Dalman, Gustaf. Neue Petra-Forschungen und Der heilige Felsen von Jerusalem. Leipzig, 1912.
  • Dalman, Gustaf. Jesus—Jeschua; Die drei Sprachen Jesu; Jesus in der Synagoge, auf dem Berge, beim Passahmahl, am Kreuz. Leipzig, 1922.
  • Dalman, Gustaf. Orte und Wege Jesu. 3d ed. Gütersloh, 1924.
  • Dalman, Gustaf. Aramäische Dialektproben. 2d ed. Leipzig, 1927.
  • Dalman, Gustaf. Arbeit und Sitte in Palästina. 7 vols. in 8. Gütersloh, 1928–1942.
  • Dalman, Gustaf. Jerusalem und sein Gelände. Gütersloh, 1930.
  • Dalman, Gustaf. Die Worte Jesu. 2d ed. Leipzig, 1930.
  • Dalman, Gustaf. Aramäisch-neuhebräisches Handwörterbuch zu Targum, Talmud und Midrasch. 2 vols. 3d ed. Göttingen, 1938.
  • Männchen, Julia. Gustaf Dalmans Leben und Wirken in der Brüder-gemeinde, für die Judenmission und an der Universität Leipzig, 1855–1902. Wiesbaden, 1987.
  • Männchen, Julia. Gustaf Dalman als Palästinawissenschaftler in Jerusalem und Greifswald, 1902–1941. Wiesbaden, 1993.

Volkmar Fritz