||This is a history of Jewish coins by Dr. Moritz Abraham Levy (1817-1872). This volume is part of a series called Schriften put out by the Institut zur Forderung der israelitischen Literatur. This volume is labeled "7 Jahr: 1861-1862."
Dr. Moritz Abraham Levy was a German Orientalist; born at Altona March 11, 1817; died at Breslau Feb. 22, 1872. Having received a rabbinical education, he became teacher in the Synagogen-Gemeinde of Breslau, where he was active for nearly thirty years. For his scientific labors he received from the King of Prussia, in 1865, the title of professor. Levy was preeminent in the field of Semitic paleography. He was the first person after Gesenius to treat the subject in a comprehensive manner. In the deciphering and interpretation of Phenician, old Hebrew, Punic, Aramaic, Himyaritic, and later Hebrew coins, seals, gems, and monuments his peculiar intuition guided him more surely than mere philological knowledge did others; such, for example, was the case with his deduction from the inscriptions found on the Hauran that at the beginning of the Christian era an Arabic people lived there which used the Aramaic language and alphabet.
Levy's first published essay, in 1855, was on the inscriptions on certain Aramean bowls. This was followed by the first and second parts of his "Phönizische Studien" ; his decipherment of the Eshmunazar inscription won him immediate recognition. He next published a study in Jewish history, "Don Joseph Nasi, Herzog von Naxos, Seine Familie und Zwei Jüdische Diplomaten Seiner Zeit" (Breslau, 1859). In 1860 and 1861 other essays by him appeared dealing with Phenician numismatics. In 1862 was published "Die Gesch. der Jüdischen Münzen Gemeinfasslich Dargestellt" (Breslau). "Eine Lateinisch-Griechisch-Phönizische Inschrift aus Sardinien" appeared in "Z. D. M. G." (xviii. 53 et seq.). In 1863 he published the third part of his "Phönizische Studien," and in 1864 his "Phönizisches Wörterbuch" (Breslau). In 1865 Levy edited the material which Osiander had left bearing on Himyaritic paleography and archeology. His "Systematisch Geordnetes Spruchbuch als Leitfaden für den Jüdischen Religionsunterricht" was published in Breslau in 1867; "Siegel und Gemmen mit Aramäischen, Phönizischen, Althebräischen, Himyarischen, Nabathäischen und Altsyrischen Inschriften Erklärt" appeared in 1869. In 1870 he published the fourth part of his "Studien," and "Die Biblische Gesch. nach den Worten der Heiligen Schrift der Israelitischen Jugend Erzählt," both at Breslau. "Das Mesa Denkmal und Seine Schrift," and various essays in "Z. D. M. G." (xxv. 429 et seq., xxvi. 417), appeared in the following year.
The Institut zur Forderung der israelitischen Literatur was a society, founded by Ludwig Philippson, for the promotion of Jewish literature. The books published by the society were issued from Leipsig. On Feb. 12, 1855, an article by Philippson appeared in the "Allg. Zeit. des Jud.," proposing the creation of a Jewish publication society. On May 1 following, the society began its active existence with a membership of twelve hundred subscribers, which increased to two thousand during the year. The annual subscription of two thalers entitled each member to the works published within the year. A committee of three, Ludwig Phillippson of Magdeburg, Adolph Jellinek of Leipsic, and Isaac Markus Jost of Frankfort-on-the-Main, selected the works for publication and awarded honoraria to the authors. In 1856, when Jellinek was called to Vienna, he was succeeded by M. A. Goldschmidt. On the death of Jost (1860) L. Herzfeld of Brunswick became a member of the committee. In 1855 the Austrian government issued a prohibition against joining the society (Frankl-Grün, "Gesch. der Juden in Kremsier," ii. 28), and Philippson was expelled from Austrian territory when he was on a tour in Milan, 1858 ("Allg. Zeit. des Jud." 1868, p. 428). The society existed for eighteen years, chiefly through the untiring efforts of its founder; and its membership reached at total of about three thousand. It published, in German, about eighty works of Jewish history, science, poetry, fiction, and biography.