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 Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg

Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg

A commemorative postage stamp on Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg, the German Theologist & Scholar, first Pietist missionary to India :

First Pietist Missionary in IndiaIssued by India

Issued on Dec 10, 2006

Issued for : The Department of Posts is pleased to issue a postage stamp on the great German Missionary, Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg to commemorate 300th anniversary of his arrival in India.

Credits :
& FDCSuresh Kumar
Cancellation : Alka Sharma

Type : Stamp, Mint Condition

Colour : Multicolor

Denomination : 500 Paise

Stamps Printed : 0.4 Million

Printing Process : Photogravure

Printer : India Security Press, Nashik

Name : Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg

Born on Jul 10, 1682 at Pulsnitz, Germany

Died on Feb 23, 1719 at Tranquebar, Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu, India

About : 

  • Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg was a German theologist, missionary and scholar who made India his home and did pioneering work in bringing the West close to the Indian Culture.
  • He arrived in Tranquebar on 9th July 1706, with a purpose of introducing German Lutheran pietism to the people who were following various Bhakti cults, but his encounter with people and their culture transformed him and he became an expert of Indian culture and religious heritage.
  • Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg initiated a new way of learning Tamil language, and translated the New Testament into Tamil.
  • Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg translated most of the Tamil grammatical prose into Latin. He composed the first Grammatical Dumalica, which was published in 1716 in Halle, Germany. His letters, poetries and other correspondences contain useful information, which has been written, on paper but some are still found in the form of palm leaf manuscripts.
  • Ziegenbalg wrote two comprehensive treatises on literature. In 1711, he wrote Malabarian Gods in which he quoted long passages from 176 works including Sivavackiam, Gnanavenba, 64 Thiruvilayadal Puranam, Udalkuru Thathuram and etc. The second book was Genealogy of Malabarian Gods in which he incorporated 145 letters written by Tamil scholars.
  • Ziegenbalg introduced a Tamil printing press in Tranquebar in 1712. The Nirubam, a small circular, marked the first printing.
  • Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg was in a way involved in bringing social changes in contemporary Tamil Nadu. He was instrumental in establishing the first school for girls in 1710.
  • Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg marked the beginning of an interesting chapter in Indo-German relationship.
  • He died in 1719 in India.
  • Text : Material provided by the proponent.
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