Georg August Wallin
Humanist of the day

Georg August Wallin

Georg August Wallin was a Finnish Arabist and ethnologist. He was the first European with a knowledge of Arabic to explore the Arabian and Sinai peninsulas. In the course of his travels, Wallin took extensive notes and kept a travel diary. The past existence of a great many Bedouin tribes is only known about because their particulars were jotted down meticulously by Abd al-Wali aka Wallin.

Georg August Wallin

Born October 24, 1811, Sund, Åland Isles. Died October 23, 1852, Helsinki.

Master of Philosophy, 1836, Imperial Alexander University
Studies in St Petersburg 1840-1842 and London 1849-1850

Professor of Oriental Literatures 1851-1852,  Imperial Alexander University
Teacher, 1836, Helsingin yksityislyseo (private Helsinki school)
Amanuensis (supernumerary), 1836, University Library
Docent, Oriental Literature, 1839-1851, Imperial Alexander University

Research trips to the Middle East, 1843-1849

Founder’s Gold Medal, Royal Geographical Society, 1850
Silver Medal, (French) Société de Geographie, 1850

Photo: Helsingin yliopistomuseo
Author: Tomas Sjöblom
Translated by John Calton

Georg August Wallin enrolled in the Imperial Alexander University in 1829. He studied classics and oriental languages, but also completed studies in English, German and French. Wallin graduated in 1836.

Georg continued his studies under the tutelage of Professor Gabriel Geitlin, a specialist in Persian and Hebrew. Besides his…

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Georg August Wallin arrived in Cairo in December 1843. His journey had been inspired by the teaching of his Arabic teacher from the Imperial University of St Petersburg, Sheikh Muhammad Sayyad al-Tantawi, and supported by a grant from the Imperial Alexander University of Helsinki. The official purpose of the…

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