EISENMENGER, aiz'en-meng'er, JOHANN ANDREAS: German Orientalist; b. at Mannheim 1354; d. at Heidelberg Dec. 20, 1704. He studied at the Collegium sapientiæ at Heidelberg, where his knowledge of Hebrew attracted the attention of Prince Karl Ludwig, who granted him a traveling stipend enabling him to visit England and Holland. The conversion of three Christians to Judaism while he was at Amsterdam made him decide to collect all available anti-Jewish data for a work which should prove a warning to Christians, and at the same time shame the Jews. Returning from his travels he continued his studies for nineteen years, first at Heidelberg and later at Frankfort-on-the-Main, availing himself of the services of Jews who little suspected the purpose for which they were engaged as his tutors. In 1700 he published his Entdecktes Judenthum, styling it "a truthful and authentic account of the horrible manner in which the obdurate Jews blaspheme and dishonor the most Holy Trinity, God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; insult the holy mother of Christ, the New Testament, the Evangelists and Apostles; mockingly traduce the Christian Religion, and disdain and curse all Christianity to the utmost: where also are shown many other things and great errors of Jewish religion and theology hitherto either not at all or only partially known to the Christians, as well as numerous ridiculous and merry fables and follies." Prince Johann Wilhelm approved of Eisenmenger's book, and appointed him professor of Oriental languages at Heidelberg, but at the request of the Jews the imperial government confiscated the work, lest its publication cause disturbances. Eisenmenger found that he might be able to publish his book in Holland. The Jews offered him 12,000 florins for the edition of 2,000 copies, but he asked 30,000, and died while negotiations were still in progress. His heirs appealed to Frederick I. of Prussia, who carried their cause before the emperors Leopold and Joseph, but without success. At length Frederick I. (1711) decided to have the work published "outside the kingdom," ostensibly in Königsberg but in reality in Berlin, and presented half the edition to Eisenmenger's heirs. Forty years later the Frankfort edition appeared. The Entdecktes Judenthum did not meet with the success which its author had hoped since it could no more be called a faithful representation of Judaism than an indiscriminate collection of everything superstitious and repulsive within Christian literature could be termed characteristic of Christianity. During recent decades August Rohling and others have used the work in anti-Semitic propaganda, and a reprint of the portions most available for that purpose has been made by F. X. Schieferl (Dresden, 1893). Eisenmenger collaborated with Johann Leusden in the preparation of an edition of the unpointed Hebrew text of the Old Testament (Amsterdam, 1694), and also wrote a Lexicum Orientale Harmonicum, which is still unpublished.
(G. DALMAN. )
Bibliography: J. J. Schudt, Judische Merkwürdigkeiten, i. 426-438, iii. 1-8, iv. 286-287, Frankfort, 1714; H. Graetz, Geschichte der Juden, x. 273, 276, 281, Leipsic, 1897; KL, iv. 343-346; JE, v. 80-82.