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Julius Pokorny (12 June 1887 - 8 April 1970) was an Austrian-Czech linguist and scholar of the Celtic languages, particularly Irish, and a supporter of Irish nationalism. He held academic posts in Austrian and German universities.
During World War I, Pokorny was involved in pro-German propagandist activities, inciting the Irish against England. He is known to have met and corresponded with Roger Casement, an activist for Irish independence who was executed in 1916. Pokorny also served in the war as a reservist in the Austrian (Cisleithanian) Army starting in 1916.
He died in Zurich in 1970, almost three weeks after being hit by a tram not far from his home.
He was the editor of the journal of philological studies Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie from 1921 until forced out by the Nazis in 1939, and was responsible for reviving it in 1954. He continued to edit it until his death in 1970. He is the author of the Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch (Indo-European Etymological Dictionary; 1959), which was a central text in its time. He also published several collections of Irish writing in German translation, and a thoroughly pro-nationalist history of Ireland in 1916, which appeared in English translation in 1933.
Pokorny was a dedicated supporter of the Pan-Illyrian theory and located the Illyrian civilisation's Urheimat between the Weser and the Vistula and east from that region where migration began around 2400 BC. Pokorny suggested that Illyrian elements were to be found in much of continental Europe and also in Britain and Ireland. His Illyromania derived in part from archaeological Germanomania and was supported by contemporary place-names specialists such as Max Vasmer (1928, 1929) and Hans Krahe (1929, 1935, 1940).
Der Ursprung der Arthursage. Vienna: Anthropologische Gesellschaft, 1909.
A Concise Old Irish Grammar and Reader. Halle an der Saale: Max Niemeyer; Dublin: Hodges/Figgis, 1914.
Irland. Gotha: F.A. Perthes, 1916 (Perthes' kleine Völker- und Länderkunde 1).
English translation: A History of Ireland, trans. Séana D King. London: Longmans; NY: Green and Co., 1933.
Die älteste Lyrik der grünen Insel. Halle: M. Niemeyer, 1923.
A Historical Reader of Old Irish: Texts, Paradigms, Notes, and a Complete Glossary. Halle: M. Niemeyer (reprint: New York: AMS, 1985).
Altirische Grammatik. Berlin-Leipzig: Walter de Gruyter, 1925.
Alois Walde, Vergleichendes Wörterbuch der indogermanischen Sprachen, 3 vols. Edited and supplemented by Julius Pokorny. Berlin: de Gruyter, 1927-1932 (reprint: 1973, ISBN3-11-004556-7).
Zur Urgeschichte der Kelten und Illyrier. Halle: M. Niemeyer, 1938.
Altkeltische Dichtungen: Aus dem Irisch-Gälischen und Cymrischen übertragen und eingeleitet. Bern: A. Francke, 1944.
with Vittore Pisani, Allgemeine und vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft: Indogermanistik. Keltologie. Bern: A. Francke, 1953.