All Scholars

DITTENBERGER, Wilhelm

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  • Date of Birth: August 13, 1840
  • Born City: Heidelberg
  • Born State/Country: Germany
  • Parents: Wilhelm Theophor, Protestant theologian, and Wilhelmine Marie Daub D.
  • Date of Death: December 29, 1906
  • Death City: Halle
  • Death State/Country: Germany
  • Education:

    Schooling at Heidelberg and Weimar; study at Jena, 1859-61; Ph.D. Göttingen, 1863; phil. habil.,1864.

  • Dissertation:

    “De Ephebis atticis” (Göttingen, 1863); “Questiones criticae Sallustianae teles” (phil. habil., Göttingen, 1864).

  • Professional Experience:

    Teacher, Göttingen Gymnasium, 1863-5; Joachimsthalschen Gymnasium, Berlin, 1865-7; Rudolstadt Gymnasium, 1867-73; Quedlinburg Gymnasium, 1873-4; prof. ord., classical philology, Halle, 1874-85; prof. eloquence, 1885-1906; rector, 1886-7; corr. memb., Preussische Akademie Wissenschaften, 1882; memb., German Archaeological Institute, 1882; City Councilor, Halle, 1888; Chief City Councilor, 1894.

  • Publications:

    De ephebis Atticis (Göttingen: libraria Dieterichiana, 1863); C. Julii Caesaris commentarii De bello Gallico, ed. F. Kraner(6th ed., Berlin: Weidmann, 1867-11th ed., 1913); “Attische Archonten zwischen Ol. 122 und 130,” Hermes 2 (1867) 285-306; Exegetische und kritische Bemerkungen zu einigen Stellen zu Aristoteles: (Metaphysik und de anima) (n.p., 1869); “Römische Namen in griechischen Inschriften und Literaturwerken,” Hermes 6 (1871) 129-55, 281-313; Der Vermögenstausch und die Trierarchie des Demosthenes (Rudolstadt: Hofbuchdruckerei, 1872); Corpus inscriptionum Atticarum consilis et auctoritate Academiae Litterarum Regiae Borussicae editum, with A. Kirchhoff & U. Koehler (Berlin: Reimer, 1873-83); Inscriptiones Atticae aetatis RomanaePars prior (Berlin: G. Reimer, 1878; with R. Wünsch, 1903; repr. Berlin: De Gruyter, 1977); 2 Pars posterior (1882; repr. Berlin: De Gruyter, 1978); Inscriptiones graecae ed. consilio et auctoritate Academiae Scientiarum germanicae (Berlin; Reimer, 1878); Sylloge inscriptionum Graecarum, 3 vols. (Leipzig: S. Hirzel, 1883; rev. ed., Leipzig: Hügel, 1898-1901; repr. 2 vols. Hildesheim: Olms, 1983; Chicago: Ares, 1999); Epigraphische Miszellen (n.p., 1883); De sacris Rhodiorum commentatio (Halle: Gebauer, 1886); Rede gehalten beim Antritte des Rectorats am 12. Juli 1886: [über die Wissenschaft des griechischen und römischen Altertums] (Halle: Gebauer-Schwetschke, 1886); Index scholarum in Universitate ... Halensi ... per aestatem anni 1887 ... habendarum. Inest Guilelmi Dittenbergeri de sacris Rhodiorum commentatio altera. Accedit epimetrum de inscriptione quadam coa (Halle: Gebauer-Schwetschke, 1887); Index scholarum in Universitate ... Halensi per hiemem anni 1885-1886 ... habendarum. Insunt Guilelmi Dittenbergeri observationes epigraphicae (Halle: Gebauer-Schwetschke, 1888); Commentatio de inscriptione Orchomenia. (Index scholarum in Universitate Litteraria Fridericiana Halensi cum Vitebergensi consociata per aestatem anni MDCCCLXXXVIII a die XVI m. Aprilis ad diem XV m. Augusti publice privatimque habendarum.) (Halle: Gebauer-Schwetschke 1888); Rede zum Gedächtniss an Kaiser Wilhelm I bei der akademischen Trauerfeier in der Aula der vereinigten Friedrichs-Universität Halle-Wittenberg am 22. März 1888 (Halle: Gebauer-Schwetschke, 1888); Observationes de sacris Amphiarai Thebanis et Oropiis (Halle: Gebauer-Schwetschke, 1889); Index scholarum in Universitate ... Halensi ... per aestatem anni 1889 ... habendarum. Inest Guilelmi Dittenbergeri oratio die 27 mensis januarii habita [de Olympiae reliquiis] (Halle: Gebauer-Schwetschke, 1889); Index scholarum in Universitate ... Halensi ... per aestatem anni 1889 ... habendarum. Inest Guilelmi Dittenbergeri oratio die 27 mensis januarii habita [de Olympiae reliquiis] (Halle: Gebauer-Schwetschke, 1889); Observationis de sacris Amphiarai Thebanis et Oropiis(Halle: Gebauer-Schwetschke, 1889); 1891 Index scholarum in Universitate... Halensi... per hiemem anni 1890-1891... habendarum. Insunt Guilelmi Dittenbergeri observationes de Herodoti loco ad antiquitates sacras spectante (Halle: Gebauer-Schwetschke, 1891); Commentatio de Herodis Attici monumentis Olympicis: [Progr.] (Halle: Gebauer-Schwetschke, 1892); Commentatio de inscriptione Thisbensi ad emphyteuseos ius spectante (Halle: Gebauer-Schwetschke, 1892); Index scholarum in universitate litteraria Fridericiana Halensi cum Vitebergensi consociata per hiemem anni MDCCCLXXXXII-MDCCCLXXXXIII ... publice privatimque habendarum. Inest Guilelmi Dittenbergeri commentatio de Herodis Attici monumentis olympicis (Halle: Gebauer-Schwetschke, 1892); Inscriptiones graecae Megaridis Oropiae Boeotiae, with J.M. Fossey (Corpus inscriptionum graecarum Graeciae septentrionalis) (Berlin: G. Reimer, 1892; repr. Chicago: Ares, 1992); Index scholarum in universitate litteraria Fridericiana Halensi cum Vitebergensi consociata per hiemem anni 1893-1894 ... publice privatimque habendarum. Inest Guilelmi Dittenbergeri de Philippi Arcadis olympionicae epigrammate commentatiuncula (Halle: Gebauer-Schwetschke, 1893); Index scholarum in Universitate... Halensi... per hiemem anni 1892-1893 habendarum. Inest Guilelmi Dittenbergeri commentatio de Herodis Attici monumentis Olympicis. (Halle: Gebauer-Schwetschke, 1893); De Philippi Arcadis Olympionicae epigrammate commentatiuncula (Halle: Gebauer-Schwetschke 1894); De L. Annaei Senecae epistularum loco observationes (Halle: Gebauer-Schwetschke, 1895); Die Inschriften von Olympia, with K. Purgold (Berlin: Asher. 1896; repr. Amsterdam: Hakkert, 1966); Olympia: Die Ergebnisse der von dem deutschen Reich verstalteten Ausgrabung im auftrage des königlich preussischen ministers der geistlichen unterrichts - und medicinal- angelegenheiten, with K. Purgold, F. Adler & E. Curtius (Berlin: Asher, 1896; Amsterdam: A.M. Hakkert, 1966); Inscriptiones Phocidis, Locridis, Aetolia, Acarniae, insularum maris Ionii; Inscriptiones Graeciae septentrionalis voluminibus VII et VIII non comprehensae, with O. Kern & G.F. Hiller, Inscriptiones Graecae 9, (Berlin: Reimer, 1897; repr. Berlin: De Gruyter, 1972; 1979); “Antiphons Tetralogion Antiphons Tetralogien und das attische Criminalrecht, I, Hermes 31 (1896) 271-7; II: 32 (1897) 1-41; Index scholarum in Universitate... Halensi... per hiemem anni 1893-1894 habendarum. Inest Guilelmi Dittenbergeri de Philippi Arcadis Olympionicae epigrammate commentatiuncula (Halle: Gebauer-Schwetschke, 1900); “Daidaphorios,” “Daisios,” “Dalios,” “Damatrios 9,” “Demetrion 3,” RE IV, 2,  .Athenäus und sein Werk. (Berlin: Weidmann, 1903); Orientis graeci inscriptiones selectae: Supplementum Sylloges inscriptionum graecarum, 2 vols. (Leipzig: S. Hirzel, 1903-5; vol. 2 repr. Hildesheim: G. Olms. 1960; vol. 1 1970; New York: Forgotten Books, 2018); Real-Encyklopädie Suppl. Heft 1 : “Agrippaios,” “Anchisaios,” “Bakchion,” “Adromios,” “Alkibiades 1,” “Apogonikos,” “Charinos 1,” RE Suppl. Heft 1 (1903); “Dinon 1,” “Dionysios 167,” “Dios 13,”  “Dioskorios,” “Diosthyos,” RE Bd. V.1 (1904); “Dromeios,” “Dyodekateus,” “Dystros,” “Eatos,” “Eidios,” “Eilaios,” “Eiman,” “Eiraphion,” “Elaphebolion,” “Elaphios,” “Elaphrios 2,” “Eleithyeion  2,” “Eleusynios,” “Eleutherion 3,” “Enneakaidekaeteris,” “Enneeteris,” “Epagomenae,” “Epakten,”REV,2 (1905); “Esthios,” “Euangelios,” “Eukleios 2,” “Eumeneios,” “Euonios,” “Eusebeios,” “Euthyaios,” “Έξαιρέσιος ἡμέρα,” RE VI (1907).

  • Notes:

    Dittenberger was educated in his native Heidelberg then, after his father’s appointment as court preacher, in Weimar, where he attended a school headed by the epigraphist Hermann Sauppe (1809-93). By the time Dittenberger got to the Göttingen of Ernst Curtius (1814-96), Sauppe had arrived there also and directed his dissertation on Ephebic inscriptions. After a failed initial university lecture, the young Dittenberger devoted himself to secondary teaching, even after making his habilitation, and taught in gymnasia in Berlin and Rudolstadt, where he remained, despite being offered a position at the Grand Ducal Gymnasium at Weimar in 1868. Subsequently offered a professorship, Dittenberger declined and moved to Quedlinburg, but when Halle created a third chair in classics in 1874, Dittenberger accepted and remained there for the rest of his 33-year career, despite a call from Strasbourg in 1885.  When Eduard Meyer (1855-1930) and the philosopher Benno Erdmann (1851-1921) founded a Spirituskreis (based on the Mittwochgesellschaft in Berlin) in 1890, Dittenberger and Georg Wissowa (1859-1931) were welcome members.  Eventually Dittenberger became politically active and not only served on, but led the Halle City Council for a number of years. 

    His early publications reflected his interest in secondary teaching and provided materials for students. To this end he revised the Oberlehrer Friedrich Kraner’s (1812-63) 1853 edition of Caesar’s Gallic Wars from its sixth to its 11theditions. 

    In 1869 while still teaching at Rudolstadt, he was enlisted by the Prussian Academy to superintend the collection of Attic inscriptions to collect, edit and add commentary to Part 3 of the Corpus Inscriptionum Atticarum.  From 1882 he superintended the edition of the northern Greek inscriptions with the help of the archaeologist Karl Purgold (1850-1939), excavator of Olympia.  Dittenberger kept the scholarly world apprised of the state of his research with regular articles in Hermes and the Halle scholarly reports, some of which were collected in 1884 in Epigraphischer MiszellenInscriptiones Graecae contained inscriptions from Attica in the Roman imperial period. The Sylloge Inscriptionum Graecarum is a collection of inscriptions from Greece and Asia Minor dating from the 6th century BCE to the 565 CE with Latin commentary and two volumes of eastern Greek inscriptions. The second edition added two vols. on Eastern Greek inscriptions The third edition (1917-20), edited by Friedrich Hiller von Gaertringen (1864-1947), contained 1268 inscriptions. Orientis Graeci inscriptiones selectae (Greek inscriptions from Asia) northern Greek inscriptions for the CIG.  He edited inscriptions discovered during his teacher Curtius’s excavation at Olympia. He also wrote a number of articles on epigraphy for his colleague Wissowa’s RE. As Sandys wrote, Dittenberger regarded epigraphy “not as an end in itself, but as a means for the attainment of a more accurate knowledge of the history and the public life of ancient Greece,”

    His deep knowledge of language gave him a fine sensitivity to stylistics. His first university lecture concerned Aristotle and its failure may have led him into the gymnasia and ultimately the workshops of the Prussian Academy. Nevertheless, he applied his expertise on style to Aristotle’s Politics, Metaphysics, and De Anima and to the use of style in determining the chronology of Plato’s works. Using stylistic criteria, he also rejected Antiphon’s Tetralogy. Such is the value of his work that the Sylloge and a number of his collected inscriptions were reprinted more than a century after their publication.  Dittenberger is buried in a cemetery on Dittenbergerstrasse, a street named after him in 1911 more for his service to the city than for his scholarly achievements.

    In 1907 Dittenberger's library,), was sold to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as would the library of Johannes Vahlen (1830-1911) in 1913.

  • Sources:

    Sandys, 3:479; Georg Wissowa, BBJ 31 (1908) 1-40; bibl. 41-52; Otto Kern,  Mitteldeutsche Lebensbilder. Vol. 3: Lebensbilder des 18. Und 19. Jahrhunderts (Magdeburg: self-published, 1928) 522-38.Hans-Dieter Zimmermann, “ Wilhelm Dittenberger (1840–1906) Zum 100. Todestag eines bedeutenden Gelhrten und engagierten Kommunalpolitikers,” Jahrbuch für hallische Stadtgeschichte 2006 (Halle: Stekovics,  2006) 264–9; Lisa Sophie Cordes, Hans-Ulrich Berner, Brill, 154-5.

  • Author: Ward Briggs