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WILAMOWITZ-MOELLENDORFF, Ulrich Friedrich Wichard von

  • Image
  • Date of Birth: December 22, 1848
  • Born City: Posen
  • Born State/Country: Germany (now Poland)
  • Parents: Freiherr Arnold & Ulrike von Calbo W-M.
  • Date of Death: September 25, 1931
  • Death City: Berlin
  • Death State/Country: Germany
  • Married: Marie Mommsen, 1878.
  • Education:

    Schulpforte, 1862-7; study at Bonn, 1867-9; Ph.D., Berlin, 1870; travel in Italy & Greece, 1872-4; habil., 1875.

  • Dissertation:

    Observationes criticae in comoediam Graecam selectae (Ph.D., Berlin, 1870) ; Analecta Euripidea (habil., Berlin, 1875).

  • Professional Experience:

    Travel; junior officer, Franco-Prussian War, 1970-1; privat-dozent, Berlin, 1874-6; ordinarius, Greifswald, 1876-83; chair, classical philology, Göttingen, 1883-97; ordinarius, Greek, Berlin, 1897-1921; prorector, Berlin, 1891-2; rector, 1915-16; member, Preussische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 11899; head, 1902; member, Académie des inscriptions et des belles-lettres, 1903.

  • Publications:

    Books

    Observationes criticae in comoediam Graecam selectae. Dissertatio inauguralis ... in alma litterarum universitate Friderica Guilelma ad summos in philosophia honores rite capessendos (Berlin, 1870); Analecta Euripidea. Inest Supplicum fabula ad codicem archetypum recognita. (Berlin, 1875; reprinted Hildesheim, 1963); Mauricii Hauptii opuscula 3 vols. (Leipzig, 1875-1876; reprinted Hildesheim, 1967); Euripides Herakles als Manuskript gedruckt (Berlin, 1879); Aus Kydathen, Philologische Untersuchungen 1, ed. with A. Kießling & C. Robert (Berlin, 1880); Antigonos von Karystos. Philologische Untersuchungen 4, ed. with A. Kießling (Berlin, 1881; reprinted Berlin & Zurich, 1965; pp. 185-186, 194-197, 263-272, 279-288 translated in La scuola dei filosofi, ed. C. Natali (L’Aquila, 1981): 29-45); Callimachi hymni et epigrammata (Berlin, 1882; 2d ed., 1897; 3d ed., 1907; 4th ed., 1925; 1958; 1962); Homerische Untersuchungen. Philologische Untersuchungen 7, ed. with A. Kießling, (Berlin, 1884; 1914); Aischylos Agamemnon. Griechischer Textmit deutscher Ubersetzung (Berlin, 1885; 1940; translation reprinted in Griechische Tragödien, vol. 2. Berlin 1900; 1901; etc.); Isyllos von Epidauros, Philologische Untersuchungen 9, ed. with A. Kießling (Berlin, 1886; reprinted Dublin, 1967); Euripides Herakles erklärt, Vol. 1: Einleitung in die attische Tragödie. Vol. 2: Text und Kommentar (Berlin, 1889. Vol. 1 chapters 1-4 reprinted as Einleitung in die griechische Tragödie (Berlin, 1907; 1910; 1921, etc.; reprinted Darmstadt, 1959; 1981. Vol. 1, chs. 5-6, Vol. 2 revised and reprinted in 2 vols. as Euripides Herakles; 2d ed. Berlin, 1895; 1909, etc.; reprinted Darmstadt, 1959;1981); Aristotelis ΠΟΛΙΤΕΙΑ ΑΘΗΝΑΙΩΝ, with G. Kaibel (Berlin, 1891; 2d ed., 1891; 3d ed., 1898); Euripides Hippolytos griechisch und deutsch (Berlin, 1891; Translation reprinted in Griechische Tragödien, vol. 1. Berlin, 1899; 1900; etc.; Preface “Was ist Übersetzen?” reprinted with revisions in Reden und Vorträge, Editions 1-4; Aristoteles und Athen. 2 vols. [Berlin, 1891; 1910; reprinted [1 vol.] Berlin, Dublin, and Zurich, 1966; 1985]); Aischylos Orestie griechisch und deutsch. Zweites Stück: Das Opfer am Grabe. (Berlin, 1896; Dublin and Zurich, 1969; translation reprinted in Griechische Tragödien, vol. 2. Berlin, 1900; 1901; etc.); Griechische Tragödien übersetzt, Erster Band: Sophokles Oedipus, Euripides Hippolytos, Euripides Der Mutter Bittgang, Euripides Herakles (Berlin, 1899; 1900; 1901; 1904; etc.; all translations published separately. Berlin, 1899, etc.); Die Textgeschichte der griechischen Lyriker. AGWG 4.3, 1900; (Berlin, 1900; reprinted Nendeln, 1970); Griechische Tragödien übersetzt, Zweiter Band: Orestie (Berlin, 1900; 1901; 1904; etc.; all translations published separately, Berlin 1900, etc.); Bion von Smyrna, Adonisdeutsch und griechisch (Berlin, 1900); Reden und Vortäge (Berlin, 1901; 2d ed., 1902; 3d ed., 1913; 4th ed. [2 vols.], 1925-1926; reprinted in 1 vol. Zurich, 1967); Griechisches Lesebuch, 2 vols. in 4 (Berlin, 1902; 1903, etc.; 13th ed. of 1.1, 1936, 6th ed. of 1.2, 1926, reprinted in 1 vol. Zurich and Berlin, 1965; 9th ed. of 2.1, 1929, 5th ed. of 2.2, 1932, reprinted in 1 vol. Dublin and Zurich, 1966; Dutch translation Utrecht, 1902; Italian translation Palermo, 1905; partial English translation and adaptation in 2 vols. Oxford, 1905-1906); Timotheos: Die Perser (Leipzig, 1903; reprinted Hildesheim and New York, ca. 1973); Die griechische Literatur des Altertums in P. HinnebergDie griechische und lateinische Literatur und Sprache. Die Kultur der Gegenwart Teil 1, Abt. 8 (Leipzig & Berlin, 1905: 1-236; 2d ed., 1907: 3-238; 3d ed., 1912:3-3180; Bucolici graeci, Oxford Classical Texts (Oxford, 1905; rev. ed. 1910); Griechische Tragödien übersetzt, dritter Band: Euripides Der Kyklops, Euripides Alkestis, Euripides Medea, Euripides Troerinnen (Berlin, 1906; 1910; 1916, etc. All translations published separately. Berlin, 1906, etc.); Die Textgeschichte der griechischen Bukoliker, Philologische Untersuchungen 18, ed. with A. Kießling (Berlin, 1906); Epische und elegische Fragmente, Berliner Klassikertexte 5.1, with W. Schubart (Berlin, 1907); Greek Historical Writing and Apollo. Two lectures delivered before the University of Oxford June 3 and 4, 1908, trans. Gilbert Murray (Oxford 1908; reprinted Chicago, 1979); Staat und Gesellschaft der Griechen, in P. Hinneberg, Staat und Gesellschaft der Griechen und Römer. Die Kultur der Gegenwart, Teil 2, Abt. 4.1 (Leipzig and Berlin 1910; reprinted New York 1979: 1-207; rev. ed. Leipzig and Berlin, 1923) 1-214; Sappho und Simonides. Untersuchungen über griechische Lyriker (Berlin, 1913; 1966; 1985); Aeschyli tragoediae (Berlin, 19l4; editio minor 1915; 2d ed. revised by K. Latte. Berlin, 1958); Aischylos: Interpretationen (Berlin, 1914; reprinted Dublin & Zurich, 1966); Reden aus der Kriegszeit, Hefte 1-2 (Berlin, 1914; 1915: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12; 1915: 1-12); Die Ilias und Homer (Berlin, 1916; 1920; Berlin, Zurich, and Dublin, 1966); Vitae Homeri et Hesiodi in usum scholarum, Kleine Texte für Vorlesungen und Übungen 137 (Bonn, 1916; Berlin, 1929); Platon, 2 vols. (Berlin 1919; 2d ed., 1920; 3d ed., 1929; revision of 3d ed. by B. Snell; Berlin, 1948; 1959; revision of 3d ed. by R. Stark. Berlin, 1962); Griechische Verskunst (Berlin, 1921; reprinted Darmstadt, 1958; 1984); Geschichte der Philologie in A. Gercke, E. Norden, Einleitung in die Altertumswissenschaft 1.1. 3d ed., Leipzig, 1921; 1927; 1959; Italian translation Turin, ca. 1967; 1971; English translation Baltimore, 1982); Pindaros (Berlin, 1922; 1966; 1985); Griechische Tragödien Übersetzt, Vierter Band: Sophokles Philoktetes, Euripides Die Bakchen, Die griechische Tragödie und ihre drei Dichter (Berlin, 1923; both translations published separately. Berlin, 1923, etc.); Hellenistische Dichtung in der Zeit des Kallimachos, 2 vols. (Berlin 1924; rev. ed. in 1 vol. 1962; Dublin & Zurich, 1973); Menander Das Schiedsgericht (Epitreponteserklärt (Berlin, 1925; 1959; 1969; Euripides Ion erklärt (Berlin, 1926; Dublin and Zurich, 1969); Die Heimkehr des Odysseus. Neue homerische Untersuchungen (Berlin, 1927; reprinted Dublin and Zurich, 1969); Aristophanes Lysistrate erklärt (Berlin, 1927; 1964); Erinnerungen 1848-1914 (Leipzig, 1928; rev. ed. 1929; English translation London, 1930); Hesiodos Ergaerklärt (Berlin, 1928; 1962; 1970); Der Glaube der Hellenen, 2 vols. (Berlin, 1931-1932; 2d ed. Berlin, Darmstadt, 1955; 1984; 3d ed. Basel, Darmstadt, 1959); ΕΛΕΓΕΙΑ, ed. W. Buchwald (Berlin, 1938); In wieweit befriedigen die Schlüsse der erhaltenen griechischen Trauerspiele? Ein ästhetischer Versuch, ed. W. M. Calder III (Leiden, 1974); Cultura classica e crisi tedesca. Gli scritti politici di Wilamowitz 1914-1931, ed. & trans. L. Canfora (Bari, 1977); Tra stienza e politico: quattro saggi, ed. with an introduction by L. Canfora, Antiqua 18 (Naples, 1982).

    Articles (Collected)

    Kleine Schriften 1. Klassische griechische Poesie, ed. P. Maas (Berlin, 1935; reprinted Berlin, 1971 = KS 1); Kleine Schriften 5.1. Geschichte, Epigraphik, Archäologie, ed. E. Schwartz, F. Frhr. Hiller von Gaertringen, G. Klaffenbach, G. Rodenwaldt (Berlin, 1937; reprinted Berlin 1971 = KS 5.1); Kleine Schriften 5.2. Glaube und Sage, ed. L. Malten (Berlin, 1937; Berlin, 1971 = KS 5.2); Kleine Schriften 2. Hellenistische, spätgriechische, lateinische Dichtung, ed. R. Pfeiffer, R. Keydell, H. Fuchs (Berlin, 1941 = KS 2); Kleine Schriften 4. Lesefrüchte und Verwandtes, ed. K. Latte (Berlin, 1962 = KS 40); Kleine Schriften 3. Griechische Prosa, ed. F. Zucker (Berlin, 1969 = KS 3); Kleine Schriften 6. Philologiegeschichte, Pädagogik und Verschiedenes. Nachlese zu den Bänden I und II. Nachträge zur Bibliographie, ed. W. Buchwald (Berlin, 1972 = KS 6).

    Articles (Selected)

    Zukunftsphilologie! eine erwidrung auf Friedrich Nietzches . . . ‘Geburt der Tragödie,’ (Berlin, 1872; reprinted in Der Streit um Nietzsches “Geburt der Tragödie”); Die Schriften von E. Rohde, R. Wagner, U. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, ed. K. Gründer (Hildesheim, 1969) 27-55; Zukunftsphilologie! Zweites Stück (Berlin, 1873; reprinted in K. Gründer, op. cit.: 113-135); “Abrechnung eines boiotischen Hipparchen,” Hermes 8 (1874) 435-441 = KS 5.1:245-255; “Liber Nucis,” Commentationes philologae in honorem Theodori Mommseni scripserunt amici (Berlin, 1877) 390-401 = KS 2:231-245; “Die Thukydideslegende,” Hermes 12 (1877) 326-367 = KS 3:1-40; “Commentariolum Grammaticum I-IV,” Index scholarum . . . Gryphiswaldiae (WS 1879; WS 1880); Index scholarum . . . Göttingae (SS 1889; WS 1889) = KS 4:583-696; “Parerga 1-27,” Hermes 14 (1879) 161-186 = KS 4:1-23; “De Lycophronis Alexandra commentatiuncula,” Index scholarum . . . Gryphiswaldiae (WS 1883) = KS 2:12-29; “Curae Thucydideae,” Index scholarum . . . Göttingae (WS 1885) = KS 3:62-84; “Thukydideische Daten,” Hermes 20 (1885) 477-490 = KS 3:85-98; “Oropos und die Graer,” Hermes21 (1886) 91-115 = KS 5.1:1-25; “Demotika der attischen Metoeken I-II,” Hermes 22 (1887) 107-128, 211-259 = KS 5.1:272-342; “Die erste Rede des Antiphon,” Hermes 22 (1887) 194-210 = KS 3:101-116; “Zu Plutarchs Gastmahl der Sieben Weisen,” Hermes 25 (1890) 196-227 = KS 3:117-148; “Die Überlieferung der Aischylos-Scholien.” Hermes 25 (1890) 161-170; “Die sieben Tore Thebens,” Hermes 26 (1891) 191-242 = KS 5.1:26-77; “De tribus carminibus latinis commentatio,” [Horace Carmina 1.28; Statius Achilleis; Plautus Persa] Index scholarum . . . Göttingae (WS 1893) = KS2:249-274; “Über die Hekale des Kallimachos,” NAWG (1893) 731-747 = KS 2:30-47; “Ein Weihgeschenk des Eratosthenes,” NAWG (1894) 15-35 = KS 2:48-70; “Aratos von Kos,” NAWG (1894) 182-199 = KS 2:71-89; “Hephaistos,” NAWG (1895) 217-245 = KS 5.2:5-35; “Die Herkunft der Magneten am Maeander,” Hermes 30 (1895) 177-198 = KS 5.1:78-99; “Des Mädchens Klage,” NAWG (1896) 209-232 = KS 2:95-120; “Der Chor der Hagesichora,” Hermes 32 (1897) 251-263 = KS 1:209-220; “Lesefruchte 1-280,” Hermes 33 (1898) - 65 (1930) = KS 4:24-527; “Die griechischen Technopaegnia,” JDAI 14 (1899) 51-59 = KS 5.1:502-513; “Der Landmann des Menandros,” Neue Jahrb. 3(1899) 513-531 = KS 1:224-248; “Asianismus und Atticismus,” Hermes 35 (1900) 1-52 = KS 3:223-273; “Die sechste Rede des Antiphon,” SPAW (1900) 398-416 = KS 3:196-217; “Hieron und Pindaros,” SPAW (1901) 1273-1318 = KS6:234-285; “Die hippokratische Schrift περὶ ἱρῆς νούσου,” SPAW (1901) 2-23 = KS 3:278-302; “Geschichte der griechischen Religion,” Jahrb. des freien deutschen Hochstifts (Frankfurt 1904) 3-30; reprinted in Reden und Vorträge, 3d ed.: 169-198; “Panionion.” SPAW (1906) 38-57 = KS 5.1:128-151; “Über die ionische Wanderung,” SPAW (1906) 59-79 = KS 5.1:152-176; “Theodor Mommsen,” [1907] KS 6:11-17; “Der Menander von Kairo,” Neue Jahrb. 21 (1908) 34-62 = KS 1:249-270; “Pindars siebentes Nemeisches Gedicht,” SPAW (1908) 328-352 = KS 6:286-313; “Thukydides VIII,” Hermes 43 (1908) 578-618 = KS 3:307-345; “Erklärungen Pindarischer Gedichte,” SPAW (1908) 328-352 = KS 6:314-343; “Über die Wespen des Aristophanes,” SPAW (1911) 460-491, 504-535 = KS 1:284-346; “Die Spiirhunde des Sophokles.” Neue ]ahrb. 29 (1912) 449-476 = KS 1:347-383. “Neue lesbische Lyrik.” Neue Jahrb. 33 (1914) 225-247 = KS 1:384-414; “Die Samia des Menandros,” SPAW (1916) 66-86 = KS 1:415-439; “Oedipus auf Kolonos,” in Tycho von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, Die dramatische Technik des Sophokles, Philologische Untersuchungen 22, ed. with A. Kießling (Berlin, 1917; Zurich, 1969) 313-373; “Theodor Mommsen” [Written in 1917] KS 6:18-28; “Kerkidas,” SPAW(1918) 1138-1164 = KS 2:128-159; “Theodor Mommsen. Warum hat er den vierten Band der Römischen Geschichte nicht geschrieben?” [1918] KS 6:29-39; “Athena.” SPAW (1921) 950-965 = KS 5.2:36-53; “Melanippe,” SPAW (1921) 63-80 = KS 1:440-460; “Sphakteria,” SPAW (1921) 306-318 = KS 3:406-419; “Die griechische Heldensage I-II,” SPAW (1925) 41-62, 214-242 = KS 5.2:54-126; “Pherekydes.” SPAW (1926) 125-146 = KS 5.2:127-156; “Storia italica. Conferenza tenuta in Firenze nel maggio, 1925,” RFIC n.s. 4 (1926) 1-18 = KS 5.1:220-235; “Ein Siedelungsgesetz aus West-Lokris,” SPAW(1927) 7-17 = KS 5.1:467-480; Geschichte der griechischen Sprache. Vortrag auf der Philologenversammlung in Göttingen, 27. Sept. 1927 (Berlin, 1928); “Die Καθαρμοί des Empedokles.” SPAW (1929) 626-661 = KS 1:473-521; “Kronos und die Titanen,” SPAW (1929) 35-53 = KS 5.2:157-183.

  • Notes:

    Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff is commonly called, with justice, the greatest Hellenist of modern times. This appellation is not granted merely because of the staggering range of his activities and his sheer philological power, impressive as these are, and unequalled in anyone else since Richard Bentley (1662-1742); it is granted because he transformed the whole discipline and brought it from the nineteenth century into the twentieth. When he came to the subject, it was in danger of death due to specialization. Philologists, historians, archaeologists, art critics, and philosophers all went their own ways. Greek philology was informed by the spirit of Gottfried Hermann (1772-1848), who was a very great scholar indeed but a Wortphilobg who firmly restricted his activity within certain bounds. Students of literature saw their highest task in conjectural criticism. For Wilamowitz, interpretation of the literature was the pinnacle of philological activity; emendation was only one part of it. If a text was to be fully understood, it had to be placed in its original context; the philologist would need to know everything about the historical, cultural, and intellectual milieu in which the work was created. Wilamowitz therefore insisted that the barriers between the various departments of classical scholarship be knocked down, and the true unity of the subject restored. This was the ideal of Altertumswissenschaft, “the science of antiquity,” already enunciated by F. A. Wolf (1759-1824), August Bockh (1785-1867), and F. G. Welcker (1784-1868), but for many reasons the ideal had been lost sight of. In part, the time was not ripe; in part, energies had been diverted elsewhere; perhaps most importantly, the necessary material was not at hand, particularly of the archaeological sort. By temperament, talent, education, and place in time, Wilamowitz was ideally suited to bring about a revitalization of classical studies. By the end of his long life he had made contributions of fundamental importance across the whole spectrum of the discipline; his impact was not confined to the Greek sphere alone. Through his books and his students, his influence is still very much alive; in the everyday work of the classicist, the writings of Wilamowitz are, or should be, constantly at hand.

    Ulrich Friedrich Wichard von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff was born the third child of his parents in the family home at Markowitz in the Prussian colonial province of Posen, now part of Poland, on 22 December 1848. His ancestry was predominantly Prussian and aristocratic (his father, Arnold, bore the title Freiherr). Certain aristocratic habits of mind are traceable in Wilamowitz and set him off from other scholars, who tended to be pastors’ or teachers’ sons: his easy assumption of superiority; his unhesitating honesty in judging character and ability; his refusal to be bound by the conventions of the scholarly bourgeoisie; and, on a more positive note, his genuine magnanimity. His simple and austere tastes were characteristic of the Prussian aristocracy in particular. He was fiercely loyal to his king, and, after 1871, the empire. In spite of his birth, however, he turned his back on a military and diplomatic career, a decision for which his father never forgave him. His mother, Ulrike (nee von Calbo), after whom he was named, was the real influence on his early life. She saw to his early schooling in both literature and religion. Not many important lessons were learned on the former head, but valuable introductions were made to Homer, Shakespeare, and the German classics; in religion, Wilamowitz acquired the undogmatic, theistical, anti-institutional attitude that found fullest expression in the last book of his life. His devotion to his mother was profound and forms the subject of some moving pages in the Erinnerungen.

    The greatest service she did her son was to send him for serious schooling at age thirteen to Schulpforte, near Naumburg. This school, founded in an old Cistercian monastery in 1543, was the alma mater of many famous scholars and an ideal choice for the young Wilamowitz. Being entirely surrounded by an academic environment awakened his scholarly instincts. The teachers were sympathetic and, if not all of them were really learned, they were capable of inspiring their charges with enthusiasm for learning. And some, such as August Koberstein (1797-1870), Wilhelm Corssen (1820-75), Karl Steinhart (1801-72), and Karl Peter (1808-93), were learned enough to rival or outperform Wilamowitz’s later teachers at university. Latin was stressed more than Greek, in particular Latin prose and verse composition; Wilamowitz became a master in this art and rightly appreciated its usefulness to the scholar. He transferred the skill to Greek, where plenty of opportunity existed for keen students to study on their own. He learned English, French, and some Hebrew; Italian was acquired in voluntary evening lessons. He excelled in mathematics. When he left the school his sense of indebtedness was overwhelming. He swore to dedicate his first great book to it, as he did when he published his commentary on Euripides’ Herakles. To his teachers he dedicated his Reden und Vorträge, the preface of which contains an impassioned encomium of them and their calling. Most beloved of all was the Rector, Karl Peter, in whose house Wilamowitz lived while attending the school as a day-boy, and who was clearly a substitute father for him. His doctoral dissertation was dedicated neither to his parents nor any professor, but to Rector Peter “pietatis ergo.”

    One day at Pforte Wilamowitz read Plato’s Symposium, which proved to be an experience of religious dimensions; as he tells us many years later at the end of Platon and again in his memoirs, he then learned the purpose of life: to search unceasingly for knowledge, inspired by Platonic Eros with the love of the eternal world of God. In his valedictory address to his teachers and fellow pupils, the eighteen-year-old Wilamowitz declared that he would be a “disciple of scholarship”; he explicitly renounces “the supposedly higher circles into which I was born." He goes on to quote verses 673ff. of Euripides’ Herakles, a passage on lifelong service to the Muses that provided him with his motto; the words appear on the dedication page of his edition of the play and again in the Nachwort to the second volume of Platon, written during the darkest hours after World War I, when life seemed almost pointless.

    Wilamowitz graduated from Schulpforte 9 September 1867 and matriculated at Bonn in October of the same year. Not all his professors were up to the job of teaching him. Hermann Usener (1834-1905) had the ability, but Wilamowitz conceived an antipathy to his speculative scholarship; he later realized his mistake and paid full homage to Usener’s stimulative genius, although their approaches remained irreconcilable. With Otto Jahn (1813-69), however, he formed a warm personal relationship, and learned much from him about art history and the Hellenistic age. Jacob Bernays (1824-81) made a strong impression; so did Anton Springer (1825-91) and Reinhard Kekulé (1839-1911). In the autumn of 1869, following Jahn’s death, he transferred to Berlin; of his teachers there the Aristotelian Hermann Bonitz (1814-88) had the greatest effect on him. He heard Ernst Curtius (1814-96) and Adolf Kirchhoff (1826-1908) but was not much impressed with either; he respected Moriz Haupt (1808-74), the nominal director of his dissertation, but they met only a few times to discuss it. He was to learn more from editing Haupt’s Opuscula than from Haupt himself. Theodor Mommsen (1817-1903) was not much at Berlin in 1869-1870. Wilamowitz’s main instruction, indeed, came from the books of scholars dead or all but dead: Porson (1759-1808), Elmsley (1773-1825), Hermann (1772-1848), Welcker; in the years after promotion he added Böckh (1785-1867) and K.O. Müller (1797-1840). From the first three he learned the central importance to the classical scholar of wide and exact linguistic knowledge; from the last three, Welcker in particular, he acquired the Totalitätsideal and a great deal about religion, mythology, archaeology, and art. He was also an enthusiastic devotee of Lachmann (1793-1851) in these days, whose work aroused his intense interest in the problems of textual transmission; however, he soon realized the narrowness of Lachmann’s approach.

    His great friendships were formed in his student days or shortly afterward and should be mentioned here, since it is with these scholars that Wilamowitz was to inaugurate the new age in classical studies. Carl Robert 1860-1922) and Hermann Diels (1848-1922) he met at Bonn; Georg Kaibel (1849-1901) too, although they did not become close friends until 1872 in Rome. Friedrich Leo (1851-1914) was added to the group in Rome in 1873. It was a happy coincidence that these like-minded men lived and studied together at the formative point of their careers. Robert, Kaibel, and Leo were thoroughly under the guidance of Wilamowitz; Diels had somewhat different interests, but they complemented rather than contradicted those of Wilamowitz. They made a perfect pair together at Berlin from 1897 on. With respect to the early years, it is interesting that Wilamowitz in his memoirs twice acknowledges that Diels was ahead of him in scholarly accomplishment, although they were the same age. Not a member of this close group, but a good friend of Wilamowitz, was the first secretary of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut in Athens, the archaeologist and diplomat Otto Lüders (1844-1912).

    The dissertation dealt with selected critical problems in Greek comedy. There are enough lasting results for it to find frequent citation in the latest edition of the Greek comic poets, for example in an emendation of Aristophanes fr. 415 (Kassel- Austin). It was a good start to his career; his examiners knew his talents well enough and hardly bothered to read the dissertation before passing it.

    Following graduation Wilamowitz spent a year as a grenadier in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871; he then embarked on his Wanderjahre in Italy and Greece. Before he departed there occurred the celebrated incident of Zukunftsphilologie! Wilamowitz’s attack on Nietzsche’s Die Geburt der Tragödie. His two pamphlets earned Wilamowitz the scorn and slander of Nietzsche’s later apostles, from whom, one suspects, more people have derived their image of Wilamowitz than from the man himself. With regard to the main facts of the issue under dispute, Wilamowitz was absolutely right. Moreover, the work masqueraded as a work of historical interpretation and deserved to have its errors exposed. On the other hand, it was something other than philology; Wilamowitz later realized this and expressed regret in his memoirs for the intemperance of his polemic. His original motives in writing were not blameless; Nietzsche (1844-1900) had been an earlier favorite of Rector Peter at Pforte, and a protege of Ritschl (1806-76), the archenemy of Wilamowitz’s teacher Jahn. By the time he wrote his memoirs, he had recognized Nietzsche’s greatness, but he remained profoundly out of sympathy with his thinking.

    For the next two years, from 1872 to 1874, Wilamowitz lived in Italy; a little over two months in the winter of 1873 were spent traveling in Greece—a vital pilgrimage for any young Hellenist, but especially for one with Wilamowitz’s taste for historical actualization. “Attica was no longer the fairyland of poetry, but a living reality,” he says of this trip in his memoirs; he felt able for the first time really to understand Hellenic history and people, “and above all their gods.” By a marvelous chance the letter Wilamowitz wrote to his parents on this occasion survives; it mingles the excitement of immediacy with the expected touch of awe and an unexpected touch of youthful irreverence. Many scholars have had similar experiences, but few had them when archaeology was in its youth, and the feeling was abroad that antiquity was really being discovered for the first time; nor did they all have Wilamowitz’s sense of what could be done with the new discoveries.

    He returned to Italy in May 1873 and “entered the service of Mommsen.” Confident of superiority to a fault, the young Wilamowitz nonetheless wanted an authority figure. The Römische Geschichte was well-known to him from his school days, and Wilamowitz had met Mommsen in Berlin, but the close contact and influence dates from this period. Mommsen’s historiography, instead of concentrating on the great protagonists and the great writers of history for protreptic purposes, made its object the full complexity of human life, and therefore made use of every primary source available, particularly inscriptions. The vibrant realism of his work appealed directly to Wilamowitz. Mommsen taught him many lessons: the importance of understanding institutions and the evolution of societies; epigraphy and the use of sources; the greatness of Rome and Italy; the indissoluble unity of Greco-Roman civilization. He inspired him with his boundless learning, his energy and devotion, and his ability to make the ancients come alive through historical imagination. Wilamowitz had already formed the view that all aspects of a culture—literature, art, history, philosophy, society—must be treated together if they were to be adequately understood; so these lessons fell on willing ears. Mommsen widened his horizons to the whole of the Greco-Roman world and gave him practical signposts along the road he already knew he must travel.

    From autumn 1874 to Easter 1876 Wilamowitz was Privatdozent at Berlin. During the summer of 1874 he wrote his Habilitationsschrift, Analecta Euripidea. Much of it was written at the family home in Markowitz, without books—a regular habit of his, which is quite disconcerting to scholars of ordinary intelligence who can scarcely credit the fabulous capacity and precision of his memory. The reason for choosing Euripides as the subject of his habilitation was not a particular love of that author, whom in his valedictory essay he called “a middling poet and a poor tragedian”; it was that he had had enough of the canonized Sophocles. “Nothing distorts the image of a man more than his apotheosis,” he later wrote. Vague enthusiasm about the beauties of form in Sophocles only served to remove him from the realm of reality. Wilamowitz’s strong sense of the Greeks as real people made him reject the prevailing image of them as classical abstracts. Throughout his life he decried the classicistic approach as unhistorical. It is probably the most prominent theme in his works; he plainly regarded classicistic prejudice as the most serious obstacle to truth. In its place he substituted his “historicism,” the art of seeing the Greek world as the Greeks saw it. This entailed seeing the ugly bits too. From the start he showed a tendency to seize on the irregular, the imperfect, the abnormal as a better handle on the realities of life. Not that he found second-rate art congenial, but he held that the great works had first to be understood in their original contexts if we wished to extract what was truly valuable, eternal, and “classic” from them. Euripides was an ideal author with whom to start this program, since everyone, even Mommsen, despised him because he was not “classical” enough.

    Analecta Euripidea is dedicated to Mommsen in an emotional preface; the subject matter was not exactly Mommsenian, but Wilamowitz wanted to declare his allegiance. The first part of the book discusses the vexed problem of the relation of manuscripts L (C) and P; Wilamowitz’s careful work and sharp eyes dragged a good deal more out of the old books than his predecessors had done, and he put the whole problem on a new basis. His hypothesis that P is not a copy of L, but was copied from the same source as L, is now rejected; but the solution of this exceedingly difficult problem was not reached until 1965. On the basis of his reconstruction, Wilamowitz provides an edition of the Supplices.He explains that recensio, not emendatio, is his main purpose, although, he adds, he cannot shirk his duty where he sees that corruption can be healed. The edition contains not a few convincing conjectures and is competent enough for its time, but Wilamowitz later thought that he had attempted it too early. For one thing, he had not yet begun his original study of meter. The apparatus criticus is notable for its simplicity, omitting all quisquiliae; Wilamowitz more than anyone else found ways of making the apparatus both compendious and truly indicative of the textual tradition. More important than the text were the beginnings of certain lines of inquiry that were completed in later years, most notably in the Heraklescommentary. Wilamowitz has realized that the story of a book must be told from the autograph on, not just from the archetype of the medieval manuscripts. In other words, he wants to go beyond the point at which a Lachmannian inquiry would stop. The evidence lay in scholia, lexica, and grammatical treatises—difficult and abstruse sources. The twenty-six-year-old author already shows a solid grasp of this material. Thinking about scholia and transmission led him to notice that the titles of Euripidean plays without scholia were in alphabetical order; he inferred rightly that a single volume of a collected, uncommented edition had been separated from its fellows and subsequently copied. The commented plays, by contrast, implied sustained interest and therefore unaccidental preservation. In another place he observes that most of the major corruptions in tragic texts occurred before the days of Lycurgus in the fourth century BCE—a thesis amply confirmed since by the papyri. These observations were the first of many. By going beyond the Lachmannian archetype, Wilamowitz brought to light a vast area of knowledge of the utmost importance to textual criticism and the history of scholarship. The magnitude of this change in perspective is hard to overestimate.

    Early in 1876 Wilamowitz gained his first appointment: a chair in the windy city of Greifswald. During the next four years, he spent most of his time acquiring the knowledge he needed for his great projects, in addition to facing the pressures of any new teacher. The preparation of Haupt’s Opuscula cost him a good deal of labor. Nevertheless, his output and range of activity in these years are notable: Menander, manuscripts, pseudo-Ovid, history of Greek language, epigraphy, Hellenistic poetry, etc. “Commentariolum grammaticum I” and “Parerga” (1879) inaugurated a long series of miscellanea critica which in themselves would be enough to establish Wilamowitz as a great scholar. As a teacher he was an instant success. Students no longer heard morally satisfying lectures on Demosthenes; they heard of tinkers and sawyers and cobblers and harlots, of politicians’ accounts and grammarians’ corner-humming, of stage props and rhapsodes, of saga and belief. In time they came from farther afield, men of promise such as Hans von Arnim (1859-1931), Bruno Keil (1859-1916), Wilhelm Schulze (1863-1935), Eduard Schwartz (1858-1940), Ludwig Traube (1861-1907), and Friedrich Spiro (1863-1940). Among his colleagues Wilamowitz numbered Adolf Kießling (1837-93), to whose edition of Horace he made vital contributions and, more importantly, Julius Wellhausen (1844-1914). Wilamowitz was attracted by his historical criticism of the Old Testament, and the two men enjoyed a fruitful exchange of ideas. Homerische Untersuchungen used methods for Homeric research similar to Wellhausen’s and is dedicated to him. The material for the fine portrait drawn by Eduard Schwartz of this great man in the first volume of his Gesammelte Schriftenwas mostly provided by a letter of Wilamowitz, since discovered and published.

    In 1880 Aus Kydathen appeared, a book of Attic history and topography with a chapter contributed by Carl Robert. The opening section is an expanded version of an address delivered on the Kaiser’s birthday in 1877, entitled “On the Splendor of the Athenian Empire.” It is obvious enough that the author sees a parallel in the splendor of the German empire; he admits as much on page 45, and is unapologetic about his use of modem terminology to describe the ancient institutions. This habit of his (and Mommsen’s) could be overdone, but it was all part of making the ancients come alive again. The assumption is that they were pretty much the same as we are today. Later generations, whose sense of continuity with the past was forever broken by the events of the twentieth century, tended to stress the differences; Wilamowitz’s contemporaries were prepared to believe in the similarities.

    In Aus Kydathen and many other books, one has the impression of being given a guided tour by a native inhabitant of old Greece. One reason for the immediacy is Wilamowitz’s habit of working only from the primary sources. He knew the secondary literature very well but had the knack of bypassing it without ignoring it. The facts lived again in his mind in a recreation of past life; his books merely tell what he sees within. This skill is granted to few; Uvo Hölscher (1914-96) called it “half his genius.” In this connection the anti-positivist manifesto at the end of the book is highly interesting. In it Wilamowitz argues that Athenian greatness did not come about through a mechanical or automatic process, like a plant growing from seed, owing to the accidental combination of certain historical factors; rather, it was the work of the unique Athenian spirit, their daimon—a quality of soul, in other words, and not something material or contingent. Athens first showed the world how to transcend its temporal limitations. Those who associate Wilamowitz with positivism would do well to contemplate this passage. Certainly his methods owed something to positivism, but he always looked for eternal values in the literature of antiquity and was well aware of his own subjective involvement in his historical reconstructions. If you are going to describe yesterday as if it were today, you are bound to stress what you think is important in your own society. A certain amount of distortion is inevitable as ancient and modern terms mix. But this is not to say that deliberate falsehood is permitted. The whole effort is based on a wide and exact knowledge of the primary sources, and conscious imposition of modern preconceptions is avoided. Wilamowitz, indeed, excelled precisely at identifying anachronistic interpretations. At bottom the exercise is one of translation, which in a famous essay Wilamowitz calls “metempsychosis.” The ancient writer must be made to speak in a modern tongue and call forth the same reactions as the ancient reader once had. To achieve this result the translator must first have thought himself into the mind of the ancient writer. An attempt to remain “objective” would be as lifeless as a slavishly literal translation. In another famous passage, Wilamowitz declares that the ghosts of antiquity will not speak until we give them our own blood; but that very act, he adds, imports something alien, which must be cast out in the name of truth. It is a difficult business to do these contradictory things at once, but it can sometimes be done by the right person.

    In Aus Kydathen Wilamowitz was finally able to show how Mommsen’s lessons could be relevant to the study of Greek literature. The Mommsenian slant of his approach is explicit on page 5, where we are told how new methods, beginning from a juristic standpoint, had revolutionized Roman history—“the proudest triumph of classical studies our age has seen.” Only the name Mommsen is missing. Wilamowitz hopes that someday the same methods will be applied to Attic history. Obviously his little book is meant to be a model. It is stuffed with details of imperial administration, trade, finance, military service and the like. But toward the end of the opening essay it becomes clear that everything has been only background to what really matters: the cultural achievements of Athens. The two generations who created the Athenian empire did not worship Mammon; they created the right climate for the arts, literature, science, and philosophy—the truly immortal things. The greatest Greek literature was in a real sense the literature of the empire and could only be understood by one who knew literature and empire well. Here was the reason why the young philologist had so puzzled his contemporaries by writing articles on Thucydides and Boeotian epigraphy. For him it was all the same subject.

    Wilamowitz’s connections with Mommsen had taken an even closer form when he married his daughter Marie on 20 September 1878. After Aus Kydathen, however, there is not much by Wilamowitz that owes its specific inspiration to Mommsen. There are exceptions (Aristoteles und Athen and Staat und Gesellschaft), and the general inspiration abided; but Wilamowitz was after all a philologist, not an historian. The relationship was not all one of taking on Wilamowitz’s part; he made decisive contributions to the fifth volume of the Römische Geschichte and the third volume of Römisches Staatsrecht. Indeed, these books would not have been written without Wilamowitz’s help and encouragement. In time certain differences asserted themselves—-personal, political, scholarly; one can even speak of alienation. But Wilamowitz never doubted Mommsen’s greatness and asserted in 1910 that the philologist who had not learned from him did not count.

    The year after Aus Kydathen was published, Antigonos von Karystos appeared, dedicated to Hermann Usener. The book was a reaction to the treatise of one of Wilamowitz’s earliest and most loyal pupils, Ernst Maass (1856-1929), De biographis Graecis quaestiones selectae (Philo logische Untersuchungen 3, 1880). As he tells us in the preface to Hellenistische Dichtung, his interest in the Hellenistic period had already been awakened; it was a natural part of his anticlassicistic program. He also felt the need to improve his knowledge of ancient philosophy, Bernays’s subject. Furthermore, Antigonos (or rather, the three Karystians of that name, who he argued were identical) made a good case study in the problems of source criticism. Wilamowitz saw that such issues were not settled until all the rivulets had been traced to their ultimate source and, more importantly, it had been shown how and under what circumstances the stream had been divided. He had already demonstrated his grasp of a basic truth about ancient biography, that it is normally based on inferences from the authors’ own works, in an influential article of 1877, “Die Thukydideslegende.” A recent spur to write on the subject was Hermann Diels’s masterpiece, Doxographi Graeci (1879). Wilamowitz wanted to broaden and extend its principles, for biographical traditions were more complex than the doxographic, which sprang from a single book of Theophrastus. In the course of his reconstruction he gives a characteristic sketch of the age in which Antigonos lived, and has much to offer on the philosophical schools of the third century BCE. His investigation also had important results for the source criticism of Diogenes Laertius (on whom, incidentally, Nietzsche had written). Only recently has attention been directed to this subject, and the book must still be consulted.

    In autumn 1883 Wilamowitz was appointed Ordinarius at the Georgia Augusta University of Göttingen, a far more prestigious post than Greifswald. The next fourteen years were in many ways the most productive, and certainly the happiest, years of his life. The year 1884 saw the publication of a major book, Homerische Untersuchungen. The bulk of it is taken up with dissection of the Odyssey according to now-outdated analytical assumptions, building on foundations laid by Adolf Kirchhoff. The details of the analysis need not concern us now, but it was influential until superseded by Wilamowitz’s own second effort in 1927 (Die Heimkehr des Odysseus), which is in many ways merely a refinement of the first. His effort to understand the character of the poets behind the poems is worth comment, however. It ran counter to the Romantic tendency to think of the poems as “folk poetry,” a series of lays not really the property of any one creator. For Wilamowitz, this vague appeal to the Greek “people” as if they were the same everywhere at every time was simply unhistorical. Each stage of the poem’s creation could be tied to specific times and places of Greek history and culture. This idea would find fuller expression in Die llias und Homer. It is also significant that he looks for the individual creators of the poem, whom he tries to revivify. His scholarship had a strong biographical bent; figures of genius form the titles of most of his books, reflecting his view of what is important in history and how it works. No Hegelian he.

    Of more lasting importance than the analysis are the chapters on a variety of Homeric topics, including the Peisistratid recension, Lycurgus, the supposed rewriting of the poems into a different alphabet, and the epic cycle. Discussion revolves around problems such as the orthography of early texts, their transmission, early corruptions, the international book trade, the history of dialects, the use of inscriptions as evidence for these questions, and the results for textual criticism. The ground broken in Analecta Euripidea and Antigonos von Karystos was beginning to yield rich fruit, and the way was prepared for the full harvest of Herakles. The book is still consulted for many details. Wilamowitz’s discussion of the epic cycle is worth particular mention, for it was the single most important contribution after Welcker’s and, with the possible exception of the work of Wilamowitz’s pupil Erich Bethe (1863-1940), dominated subsequent research until Albert Severyns’s (1900-70) thorough examination of the whole subject in 1963.

    In 1885 Wilamowitz published a text and translation of Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, the first substantial evidence of his consuming interest in this author and thehttps://dbcs.rutgers.edu/e0a7e437-4b8a-4bec-b53e-957735e0a839" alt="" width="10" height="12" />
     first public proof of his prowess as a translator. When the Agamemnon and other plays were published in two volumes as Griechische Tragödien in 1899-1900, they were immediately popular and remained so for half a century or more. A vigorous and idiosyncratic style challenged prevailing notions of classical tragedy and gave the plays a direct and realistic appeal. Producers found them eminently produceable, and a flurry of performances followed closely on their appearance. In November 1900 the first production of the Oresteia ever seen in Germany—and, with one apparent exception, the first production of any Aeschylean tragedy—was put on by Hans Oberlander (1870-1942) in Wilamowitz’s translation and enthusiastically received. Wilamowitz must be given a great deal of the credit for the revival of interest in ancient drama among the educated public of his country.

    One day in 1885 Wilamowitz read in the latest issue of the Greek journal Ephemeris Archaiologike a few poems by one Isyllus uncovered by archaeologists in the sanctuary of Asclepius at Epidaurus. A few months later (14 October 1885) he had finished a monograph, which was published early the following year; nearly forty years later he pronounced himself still pleased with this amazingly rapid production. The conjunction of archaeology and literature was exactly the sort of thing to fire Wilamowitz. By drawing on a wide store of learning, he wrings the full significance out of the dumb stones; he gives them a context and makes the reader feel as if he shares the perspective of an educated ancient counterpart. A few baffling scribbles turn out to have religious, historical, mythological, and literary importance. The book is a good example of what Gilbert Murray (1866-1957) meant when he said that many other scholars might competently edit a papyrus or inscription, but Wilamowitz asked questions the others never dreamed of.

    Trying to reconstruct the thoughts of the original reader or audience was the cornerstone of Wilamowitz’s method of interpretation; it was not so naive as twentieth-century hermeneutics now makes us think. His approach is most famously illustrated in his commentary on Euripides’ Herakles, which he published in his fortieth year, the peak of life according to ancient views. It is his greatest work, variously and rightly called the foundation of modern classical scholarship, the first modern commentary on a Greek tragedy, the one book every classical scholar must know. It made an epoch in textual criticism and the history of texts, meter, literary history, and the study of myth and religion. Even now that a great deal of the material in the first volume, Einleitung in die attische (or griechische in the separate edition) Tragödie, has been superseded, it is still constantly read, for it is the background of all subsequent discussions; and in the commentary, it need hardly be said, the individual notes are an inexhaustible fund of knowledge. Wilamowitz’s mastery of Greek, which lay at the heart of his scholarship, is first visible here in all its range.

    As early as January 1877 he had formed a plan to edit the play, and two years later he had completed a text and translation, which was privately printed as a gift for the Mommsens’ silver wedding anniversary. We have already discussed his reasons for studying Euripides at this stage of his career, but what attracted him to this play is not clear; it had provided him with his motto as early as his school days, but one passage does not seem enough to explain attachment to the whole play. A better clue is offered by the strong sympathy Wilamowitz felt for the hero. Self-identification with his subject is not confined to this book; the portrait of Hippolytus in his edition of the play (1891) as an idealistic youth who attempted too much and whose father could not understand him is strongly reminiscent of the young Wilamowitz, and in his old age, as is well known, he put a great deal of himself into Platon. The portraits never match perfectly, and one must be careful of mistaking a good actor’s imaginative impersonation for self-portraiture; but in Herakles, the personal commitment is unmistakable. Ultimately Wilamowitz fathers his own values upon the ancient hero. The Dorian, aristocratic, duty-bound, hardworking Herakles (“You want life: so work,” is the summation of the creed in vol. 2, p. 41) is Prussian enough. “Born a man, become a god; labors borne, heaven won,” runs the summation in another place (38): Christian enough. Wilamowitz later abandoned the thesis of Herakles as the Dorian hero par excellence (and one must not think that Wilamowitz overestimated the importance of Dorian values in Greece; in lsyllos von Epidauros he criticized K. O. Müller for his exaggerations and repeatedly stated that the Ionian contribution, as tempered by the Dorian, was the real source of Athenian greatness). More important than the thesis itself is the passionate revival of Müller’s method of interpreting the Greek legends, with the history of the tribes at the center. The advance of archaeology seemed to confirm Müller’s insights, and Wilamowitz showed how much further they could be taken. The inspiration of Friedrich Gottlieb Welcker must be mentioned in the same connection. Wilamowitz was an unrepentant adherent of this school all his life, even after it was long out of date. In 1889 he was in the forefront; his methods, providing as they did a great many new, sensible, and convincing insights, constituted a great advance over the ridiculous allegorizing of a Max Muller (1823-1900).

    The introduction also contains famous sections on the origin of tragedy and comedy and the history of the text. On the former topic, Wilamowitz’s discussion remained the starting point for forty years and still exercises recent authors. Again, more important than the actual thesis is the perspective. The section sets out to answer the simple question, “What is an Attic tragedy?” Already the form of the question—not “what is Attic tragedy (in essence)” but “what is an Attic tragedy”—suggests that the answer will be empirical and realistic, describing what we actually have, rather than a few plays that we think embody the true nature of tragedy according to some aesthetic theory. His purely historical answer has often been quoted: “An Attic tragedy is a self-contained piece of heroic legend, poetically reworked in elevated style for dramatic presentation by a chorus of Attic citizens and two or three actors as a part of public worship in the sanctuary of Dionysus.” On the history of texts, Wilamowitz can still form the starting point in spite of new discoveries. The masterful overview of all the relevant materials, presented with clarity and concision, gives a history not only of Euripides’ text, but, in essence, of all Greek texts; the implications for editorial practice are constantly brought forward. What was possible in this field had already been hinted at in earlier works, but this book contained the fully matured version and would find a broader readership. To manyhttps://dbcs.rutgers.edu/e0a7e437-4b8a-4bec-b53e-957735e0a839" alt="" width="9" height="12" />
     these revelations came as a complete surprise. Dozens of possibilities for new research were suddenly created.

    Wilamowitz presented Euripides himself as a restless child of the Sophistic age, a changeling, a thinking dramatist, a realist, a critic of tradition who nonetheless saw much truth in it, if expressed in new terms. He did not make him a progressive liberal in the manner of Murray’s Euripides, nor again a rationalist in Verrall’s sense; he was stimulated by Verrall’s views but in time came to see their folly. The general outline of his portrait did not change much through the years, as can be seen from the discussions in Euripides Hippolytos griechisch und deutsch (1891), Die griechische Literatur des Altertums (1905, 1912), and Griechische TragOdien 4 (1923). Wilamowitz has been accused in this respect once again of importing modern notions into ancient drama, seeing in Euripides the counterpart of the realistic drama of his own day. In this case one can only be grateful, for it is of course true that Euripides was the most realistic of the dramatists—and the most mannered, as Wilamowitz also knew. His interpretation of the poet was decisive in Germany for decades and exerted great influence abroad as well. For the young Gilbert Murray, professor in Glasgow, reading this book was a change of life.

    On pages 254ff. of volume 1, Wilamowitz concludes a section on the history of modern criticism with a discussion of the tasks facing contemporary philology. Here may be found the clearest and most forceful statement of his aims and beliefs. All of the leading notes had been sounded in earlier publications, as we have noted above: the central importance of language (“Our first and noblest task is to learn as much Greek as Hermann and Elmsley knew”), the new historical perspective of philology, the necessity of integrating all aspects of classical studies (“Tragedy is the poetry of the Athenian Empire”), the importance of approaching historical situations empirically and not forcing the untidy facts of real life to fit a priori, logical constructions. These ideas need no further comment here, except to draw attention to their succinct expression in a very significant place.

    If Herakles is Wilamowitz’s greatest work, Aristoteles und Athen is not far behind it. The publication of Aristotle’s Constitution of Athens in 1891 was followed closely by a joint edition by Wilamowitz and Georg Kaibel, then two years later by this weighty two-volume monograph on the historical problems. The appearance of such a mass of new evidence left most historians dazed and uncertain as to how it fitted in with known sources; but the philologist Wilamowitz stepped forward with his usual assurance to clear away the confusion. The speed of production was astonishing; he started to write in late 1891, was forced to suspend work because of his duties as Prorektor of the University of Göttingen, and resumed again in late 1892 to finish 22 May 1893. Yet, writes Mortimer Chambers: “In originality, breadth, and detailed observation it is one of the jewels of all modern work on Greek history. All scholars who work on any topic that he covers in the 800 pages of this study constantly cite it. Indeed, one may suspect that it is the most quoted of all Wilamowitz’ many books.” It would be impossible here even to list the many topics he covers, much less follow the fortunes of his discussions. Of some biographical interest, however, is the obvious influence of Mommsen’s theory about the origins of Roman historiography on Wilamowitz’s theory about the beginnings of the Atthis. The putative involvement of the exegetai was eventually disproved by Felix Jacoby, but it took one of his stature to do it, in a long and careful discussion. As so often, even when Wilamowitz’s own answer to a question is now rejected, one still learns from the terms in which the question was put.

    The first reaction to these two great works was not always favorable and was often at least ambivalent. To some contemporaries, Wilamowitz seemed to be attempting too much. He seemed restless, impatient, inconsistent, careless. His professional manners, particularly in the early days, could seem offensive. It is well known that he can contradict himself in his books, print poor Greek, or translate inaccurately. Those whose toes were trodden on when he was alive, like those who now resent his apotheosis, were more inclined to base their judgments on these faults than to applaud his merits. But these were recognized by some people, among them the powerful and autocratic Minister of Culture, Friedrich Althoff (1839-1908), who overcame Wilamowitz’s own reluctance and the opposition of nay-sayers to arrange his transfer to the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Berlin, in 1897.

  • Notes (2):

    Nominally, Wilamowitz was the successor of Ernst Curtius as Professor of Rhetoric. The older Johannes Vahlen (1830-1911) and Adolf Kirchhoff were still there as the Ordinarii of Classical Philology. Wilamowitz would work alongside his friend from student days, Hermann Diels; together they started a “Proseminar” (as opposed to the Seminar of the senior professors) in which the students were exposed to the new philology. With the arrival of Eduard Norden (1868-1941) in 1906 the triumvirate was in place. At Wilamowitz’s instigation they established an Institute of Classical Studies, a single building uniting the philological, historical, and archaeological branches of the discipline, with library and seminar facilities. The plan became a model for Germany and beyond.

    In the beginning Wilamowitz had many tasks to attend to, sometimes at the behest of Althoff, sometimes for the Academy, of which he was a corresponding member since 1891, and a regular member since 1899. He was unable to devote himself wholly to research of personal choosing for sixteen years. All the books he published in this period were either the completion of earlier promises or tasks put in his hands by others. (His articles continued unabated, among them the Lesefrüchte and the famous “Asianismus und Atticismus,” which threw floods of light on the whole history of rhetoric; when one speaks of a reduction of research in Wilamowitz’s case, one speaks in relative terms.) Work for the Textgeschichte der griechischen Lyriker (1900) had begun with an earlier promise to edit the fragments of the lyric poets; his Textgeschichte der griechischen Bukoliker (1906) was done in conjunction with his edition of the bucolic poets for the Oxford Classical Texts, a commission he felt unable to decline in the interests of international cooperation. Both these textual histories are special studies in the general field of textual history, “a field of which he had a unique mastery,” as A. S. F. Gow (1886-1978) puts it, editor of the now-standard text of Theocritus. Every page of Gow’s preface shows the extent of his debt, and all students of archaic poetry must still be closely familiar with the lyric book.https://dbcs.rutgers.edu/19748d1e-05cf-43ec-ad78-fde4388f1fa0" alt="" width="9" height="10" />

    Wilamowitz’s Griechisches Lesebuch (1902) arose from a promise given in connection with Althoff’s educational conference of 1900. Interestingly, this book cost him more pains than any other. He wanted to include as wide a variety of texts as possible in order to counteract the classicizing tendencies of schoolmasters, but then he found he could not print texts without editing them properly for himself. The book did not have the impact Wilamowitz hoped it would, but it has enjoyed a long-term success among scholars rather than students; the brief notes included by way of commentary often contain gems of learning and insight. It has been translated into Dutch, English, and Italian.

    Timotheos: Die Perser (1903) arose from his work on the many unpublished papyri in the Royal Museums of Berlin that he saw it as his duty to edit. It too is an important contribution to the study of lyric poetry, particularly of dithyramb and citharody. Two longer works were written for the series Die Kultur der Gegenwart: Die Griechische Literatur des Altertums (1905) and Staat und Gesellschaft der Griechen (1910). He tells us that he allowed himself to be talked into writing the first because it could be done quickly without much research. Perhaps also he felt some responsibility, as a teacher, to contribute to this series of educational works for the general public. The book is saved from the usual faults of its genre by its liveliness and is filled with typical bons mots and useful insights (the summation of Euripides on pages 80-81 of the third edition seems particularly brilliant); but Wilamowitz himself was not happy with the general arrangement of the content even after some radical additions (in the third edition of the host volume; in the second edition Wilamowitz’s contribution was unchanged). Staat und Gesellschaft, on the other hand, is thoroughly satisfactory, but perhaps the most neglected of Wilamowitz’s books. This neglect is undeserved, for it is a clear and compendious treatment of the whole of Greek history and society, full of facts and beautifully written. It is a kind of superior version of the ubiquitous modern civilization course and might be consulted by teachers who are able to identify what is no longer true. Alfred Zimmern’s The Greek Commonwealth, a book with a long and useful record, affords a good comparison in spite of its very English perspective; in tone and content it is quite Wilamowitzian, and not surprisingly evoked a good review from him.

    Other tasks that robbed Wilamowitz of time included his membership of the Academy’s Kirchenväterkommission,which oversaw the edition of the Church Fathers; similar involvement with the production of the Corpus Medicorum Graecorum; and work for the German Archaeological Institute. Papyri and the Institut fur Altertumskunde have already been mentioned. Most time-consuming of all was the direction of Inscriptiones Graecae, a project that lay in utter disarray and required Wilamowitz’s personal scrutiny of the texts. He had already contributed much to earlier volumes edited by Georg Kaibel and Friedrich Hiller von Gaertringen (1864-1947), and had clear views on how the series ought to be produced. His many innovations put the whole science of editing inscriptions on a new footing, and it is difficult to think what might have happened to these fundamental documents without Wilamowitz’s self-sacrificing intervention. The theatrical productions of his translations also occupied him, and he had much work to do for the international meeting of historical societies in Berlin in 1908. As always, he gave generous help to anyone who asked; the “Mitarbeiter” sections of the Wilamowitz-Bibliographie amount to a life’s work in themselves. Eduard Fraenkel remarked that Wilamowitz gave more time to others’ works than most scholars give to their own.

    In 1913 he was able to return to a work of his own choosing, Sappho und Simonides; even so, the book was not exactly as he would have liked. The plan to edit the lyric poets had been abandoned by now; he offered as a settling of the debt this book and his earlier Textgeschichte. Sappho und Simonides consists of a series of essays on lyric subjects, in some respects a miscellany of unconnected pieces, but for all that covering the ground quite thoroughly. A main purpose of the essay on Sappho was to save her honor against the lascivious suggestions of a certain French book that would now be quite forgotten had not Wilamowitz mounted his horse and tilted against it. We smile at his chivalry and tend to think he was blind to the facts, but forget his frankness, quite unusual for the time; one may compare the discussion of pedophilia in Staat und Gesellschaft and the straightforward treatment of sexual matters in his edition of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata. He hated prudery. Of lasting importance in this book is the demonstration, in Welcker’s footsteps, that the popular tradition about Sappho was decisively influenced by the willful misrepresentations of comedy. The essay on the dialect of Lesbian lyric forms the background to the later work of Edgar Lobel (1888-1982) and Denys Page (1908-78); the chapter on Solon contains some of the best interpretation ever written of the long, difficult elegy fr. 13 West. Two concluding chapters discuss the influence of archaic Greek lyric on Latin poetry, a most fruitful subject scarcely explored in those days; Eduard Fraenkel (1888-1970) found the essay on Horace a masterpiece, from which one could learn more about Latin poetry than from many books devoted exclusively to the subject.

    The following year saw the publication of Wilamowitz’s text of Aeschylus and a book of interpretations to go with it. These works were the product of lifelong engagement with the poet, his favorite tragedian. The text alone, with its superior analysis of the manuscripts, typically incisive and circumspect apparatus, and many important conjectures, constituted a major advance. Innovative sections at the foot of the page entitled “Actio” show how Wilamowitz constantly thought of the text as a dramatic script—a radical departure from previous critical practice. The book of interpretations is somewhat selective and leaves many topics untouched; gaps often can be filled from Griechische Tragödien and the important commentary on the Choephoroe (1896). One topic treated for every play is the previous state of the myths; these discussions are still required reading, for only a handful of scholars have ever possessed Wilamowitz’s mastery of the whole mythographical tradition. The general literary interpretations are often rejected now (in particular the thesis, repeated from Aristoteles und Athen, that Aeschylus maintained a scrupulous neutrality in the Eumenides, seems untenable), but discussions of individual passages are, as ever, enlightening. In 1982 it was still possible for a  distinguished critic to write that “... his feeling for poetry and the dramatic skill of Aeschylus was such that . . . Aischybs-Interpretationen remains the primer to which all critics of Aeschylus must turn.” The book ends with a passage of autobiographical intensity. Aeschylus’ religion, says Wilamowitz, was one of true piety and reliance upon God; it was perfectly compatible with traditional cults, which even Plato retained, not out of superstition but because he recognized “the one God in the gods of others, so long as he is alive in them.” Wilamowitz’s own undogmatic religion allowed him to believe in the gods of others too; he thought this empathy was essential for understanding Greek religion. For Wilamowitz, scholarship and poetry alike served the eternal world of God, each in its own way attempting to glimpse and communicate some of that reality; he found this Goethian idea incarnate in the greatest Greek poets, Aeschylus in the forefront, and, of course, in Plato. The attraction to Aeschylus was at bottom religious. In this light we can understand the rest of his summary: Aeschylus was a thinker who saw the symbolic meaning of myths and from them extracted a belief in a divine ruler who reveals himself in the justice of the world order; he was a patriot who kept above party strife and only taught the moral qualities that made Athens great; he was a poet who created tragedy out of Homer’s stuff and never ceased improving his art; he was a craftsman in language who wrote the first great Attic works and made the rest of the world read them. We know little of his person, but that was only a mortal      body; from the plays arises the specter of the poet’s immortal soul, “which even today forces us to our knees before this man and the God he reveals to us.”

    A book of not much less passion is Die llias und Homer (1916). The war had turned his thoughts to the poet, as they turned Eduard Schwartz’s to Thucydides; both men lost sons in the war, and Wilamowitz’s work is dedicated to his beloved Tycho (killed 15 October 1914), a promising scholar whose influential book, Die dramatische Technik des Sophokles, was finished by his father. Like almost everyone else in his day, Wilamowitz accepted the Analytical premise that the Iliad had begun as a very much smaller epic, to which additions and alterations had been made in the course of time. Debate revolved around the precise arrangement of the layers, and the role of Homer himself in the evolution of the poem. Many scholars tended toward the extreme position that the Iliad was a patchwork quilt of many different songs, not very competently put together by an editor of the sixth century BCE; if Homer had anything to do with this at all, he would have been the author of one of the earlier songs, but he existed before the time of writing and was really only a figure of legend. Wilamowitz argued that this purely mechanical view of the poem’s composition was as unhistorical as the Unitarian position, which believed in the miraculous composition of the whole by one great poet. The poem’s evolution was at once more simple and more complex than the Analysts had believed; the number of hands involved in its creation was smaller, but the amount of intelligent reworking was greater. For all their analysis, he says, they had ignored the poem itself, which obviously contains a certain degree of artistic integrity. The result of his analysis was to place Homer toward the end of the Iliad’s evolution and make him responsible for a substantial part of it; the main post-Homeric additions were books 8-10 and 24 (most of books 18-20 was also reworked).

    Homer himself was a Smyrnean of about 750 BCE. Nowadays this book is commonly dismissed in English-speaking countries as the main example of the much-derided Analytical school. It is not realized that it in fact represented a very large step in the direction of the Unitarians, precisely on aesthetic grounds. There are very strong words about this on page 20; learning is misplaced, says Wilamowitz, if it treats the poem only as an object of cold research. A poem is a poem, and the real purpose of learning is to help the reader appreciate its beauty and extract its truth. Of course, there remains much over which one shakes the head; in particular, Wilamowitz could not see that books 9 and 24 lie at the very heart of the poem’s artistic conception. But it is wrong to blame him for views that seemed self-evident to his contemporaries almost without exception, and one must acknowledge the strong influence this book exerted on such scholars as C. M. Bowra (1898-1971), Wolfgang Schadewaldt (1900-74), and Karl Reinhardt (1886-1958), whose books on Homer are still widely read. E. R. Dodds (1893-1979), surveying in 1956 the Homeric scholarship of the previous fifty years, called it “one of the great books on Homer.”

    Platon (1919) is Wilamowitz’s act of homage to the Greek author he loved most, and the one who provided him with his religion. The autobiographical aspects of the book were noticed immediately; the portrait of the lover of knowledge estranged from his own time but devoted to the eternal world of learning bore obvious resemblances to Wilamowitz himself, particularly after the war. For all its passion, however, it was the least well received of all Wilamowitz’s books. His aim was to restore “Plato the man” to the world; he wanted to write his biography by going behind the works to the author himself. This was the same task he set himself in all his works of interpretation. In a way, the work of art mattered less than the artist, because art, as Goethe held, was the personal expression of a creative individual to whom some eternal truth had been vouchsafed. Wilamowitz sometimes seems impatient to peel off the layers of art, as if they were so much clothing, to get at the artist’s personality. He has been fairly criticized for paying insufficient attention to how the art itself works, seeming to think that poems consisted only in coded statements of personal views. In the case of Plato, he deliberately avoided purely philosophical discussion, for which he had no inclination. Philosophers derided his amateurishness; nowadays they mostly ignore the book. In the opening pages Wilamowitz tries to defend his practice, arguing that the tasks of the philologist and philosopher are different; the philologist/biographer proceeds from work to work, interpretation to interpretation, until the individual details fall together into a convincing portrait of the whole man, and then willingly steps aside for the philosopher to criticize the man’s thoughts. Reviewers rightly pointed out that the first activity cannot be done independently of the second. They also noted that Wilamowitz had to assume as settled many controversial details regarding the order of the dialogues and the data for Plato’s life if he was going to write his biography. Although Wilamowitz did not completely avoid discussion of these problems, the foundations of his book must be as shaky as the evidence is inconclusive. All this admitted, however, Wilamowitz’s argument is correct, that Plato is not a philosopher like a modern one, for whom philosophy is almost all theoria and no praxis; for the ancient philosopher, praxis meant a good deal, and the experiences of Plato’s life had a strong impact on his thinking. His biography is relevant to his philosophy, and in that respect Wilamowitz has done more than any other writer. The opening chapter on Plato’s youth also provides a unique sketch of the intellectual milieu of contemporary Athens, which no one was better qualified to write than he. The many translations in the first volume (which contains no Greek) ought to be constantly consulted by philosophers, for none of them knows Greek as he did. Even Greek scholars who know their business will consult these—to say nothing of the textual criticism in volume 2; Plato’s Greek is much more difficult and subtle than its brilliantly clear patina suggests.

    Platon appeared at the very end of the Great War, an event that broke the pattern of Wilamowitz’s life as it did that of so many others. The agonized Nachwort in which he weeps for the “self-emasculation” of his country was added shortly after the German surrender and dated to his seventieth birthday. For an old man of Prussian honor, he says, there was nothing to do but die away. During the war, particularly in 1915-1916 when he was Rector of the University, Wilamowitz had spoken out on public affairs as never before; he correctly perceived the threat that defeat posed to German culture, and took an uncompromisingly conservative stand on war policy. But even he could not foresee the extent of the catastrophe. The old world was destroyed forever, and all that he had worked for seemed in vain. Politically, Germany was a madhouse; in scholarship, the younger generation was beginning to find him distinctly old-fashioned. His forced retirement in 1921 contributed to his sense of isolation. But he persevered all the same, finding consolation in work and reminding himself of the promise given to “dear mother Pforte” to serve the world of Forms as long as he drew breath.

    Thus, the final decade saw an increase in an already astonishing rate of production. Practically every year a stately volume appeared, none of them showing any diminution of mental powers. Partly, of course, he had more time owing to retirement. Some of the books were written for the same reason as his others—merely as things came into his hands, or as he perceived the need. In the preface to the edition of Hesiod’s Works, for instance, he tells us that he noticed while teaching the poem how much remained to be done for it. (He continued teaching without interruption until winter semester 1927-1928, as always selecting new or long-neglected topics—a habit, incidentally, which helps to explain how he learned so much.) On the other hand, there is a sense of urgency about his later work, and one has the impression, as Calder observes, of a desperate attempt to record knowledge that could never be duplicated. His four commentaries (Menander’s Epitrepontes, 1925; Euripides’ Ion, 1926; Aristophanes’ Lysiscrata, 1927; Hesiod’s Works, 1928) are quite compendious and selective, but they record what was essential in Wilamowitz’s view and are on that account precious; the work on comedy and Hesiod in particular has been recognized as fundamentally important by recent experts. There is also a programmatic aspect to these commentaries: they illustrate the true method of interpretation against the increasingly popular emphasis on the aesthetics of the poetry, an pproach that in Wilamowitz’s view was as unhistorical as the criticism of the eighteenth century. (See, for example, the preface to Hesiodos Erga.) Only by careful, unprejudiced reading of verse by verse could one build up a picture of the whole. Bringing preconceptions about the nature of poetry to a text, he argued, only leads to the imposition of alien views on it. It must have irked Wilamowitz to be told, in effect, that he did not know what poetry was. His greatest love was poetry; it won him for scholarship. But what he understood best about poetry was what a philologist understands, the words. On the level of Stilgefühl, he had no equal; his ability to think in the Greek of different styles and periods was legendary. He could and did charge his critics with ignorance. But they might reply that an “unprejudiced” reading is impossible, and that poetry is much more than a philologist thinks it is. Ideally, of course, one ought to use the best of both ways, but in practice, the philological and the aesthetic approaches tend to find champions in persons of very different character. In Wilamowitz and his later critics we see the beginnings of an argument that is still unresolved, and has, one could maintain, played more mischief with classical studies than any other issue.

    Griechische Verskunst (1921) is the book with the least outdated material, even though some important parts of it were published much earlier (“De versu Phalaeceo” in Mélanges Weil, 1898; the two Commentariola metrica in 1895; “Choriambische Dimeter” in SPAW for 1902). Wilamowitz tells us in the preface that it was a duty to produce the book; his views about meter had long been partly explained, but a full account was required. Ideally he would have rewritten everything, he says, and he is keenly aware that he had not provided a systematic treatise; but building a theoretical system was after all never his aim, only understanding the poetry. There is, in fact, a coherent system underlying the book (it was expounded by Paul Maas), and the treatment of the major species of rhythm in part II is thorough enough; but one sees what he means: all his metrical thinking was from the start conditioned by the texts in which the rhythms occurred, and it was impossible for him to divorce discussion of theory from discussion of practice. When he began the serious study of meter, the elaborate theories of R. Westphal (1825-1892) and J. H. H. Schmidt (1830-1913) were widely approved, but Wilamowitz perceived that there must be something wrong with these wonderfully complicated schemes if they could be made to work for even the most corrupt texts. Textual criticism and metrical study, he argued, must proceed together. Metrical rules may be developed only from the strictest empirical inferences. The ancient handbooks can provide the names of the basic cola, but we are no more bound by their strange metrical theories than we are by their primitive grammar. In addition to this strong dose of common sense, Wilamowitz added, as might be expected, a historical perspective. He insisted that any rhythm had to be understood in context; one had to know how any poet’s practice differed from that of his predecessors and successors. Wilamowitz effected a revolution in metrical studies that has not yet run its course; the latest handbook of Greek meter still works within the Wilamowitzian framework. Only in very recent years has the use of linguistics opened up lines of inquiry wholly unthought-of by Wilamowitz, and even these are not incompatible with his; they try to explain the reasons for the rules whose existence he established.

    In the same year Wilamowitz wrote an eighty-page outline of the history of classical scholarship for the series Einleitung in die Altertumsuiissenschaft. No one but Wilamowitz had the comprehensive experience to write the book—not only in philology but also in general European culture. One of the work’s virtues is its constant awareness of the context of classical scholarship within the history of the various nations; Wilamowitz was well read in, and spoke, the languages of a great many countries. And only he could present so many facts in such a finely judged, easily absorbed, witty and incisive survey. There is no point denying his occasional unfairness or glossing over his prejudices, which are as frank as ever; but the book remains unique in its genre for balance and concision.

    Pindaros appeared in 1922. The aristocratic Dorism of the poet had always appealed to Wilamowitz, for all that his “heart belonged to the Athenians.” As usual, he set himself the task of discovering the man behind the works. The issue of the philological or biographical versus the aesthetic approach is at its most acute in this book, or at least has become so in the light of subsequent research. Pindar has always seemed obscure; in Wilamowitz’s day it was natural to attribute this obscurity to the character of the poet and to assume that his darker utterances were personal statements motivated by something in the circumstances of the poem’s composition. As a result of ground-breaking discoveries by E. L. Bundy (1920-75) in 1962, we now understand the conventions of the epinician genre much better and can use them to explain many difficult passages. Wilamowitz’s book, until then a standard, has come to be regarded as the extreme example of “historico-biographical” criticism. Certainly it seems odd to begin a book on Pindar with a long chapter on life in Boeotia. But once again the thing must be put in perspective. Before Wilamowitz, the search for unity in Pindaric odes had led to the invention of some absurd schemes according to which Pindar was supposed to have composed them. These must have seemed to him as foolish as the metrical schemes he had rejected in Griechische Verskunst. In turning away from these notions to seek the unity of the poems in the poet, Wilamowitz was not being obtuse. Moreover, he occasionally saw the literary point of a gnomic passage in which others had found an historical allusion; A. B. Drachmann (1860-1935), a respectable authority, drew particular attention in his review to Wilamowitz’s good sense about this. Other reviewers declared themselves unable to measure the advance Wilamowitz had achieved with this book. Of course, the book is filled, as usual, with valuable textual criticism, metrical observations, and interpretations of individual passages, for which it is continually cited.

    Hellenistische Dichtung in der Zeit des Kallimachos (1924) is arguably the great book of his old age. Wilamowitz had always had the taste for Hellenistic poetry denied to his classicizing contemporaries, and he was uniquely fitted to work in a field where a great deal of rarefied learning must be kept constantly on call yet the temptation avoided of calling it in at the wrong time. His program of rehabilitating Hellenistic literature was begun early in his career at Jahn’s stimulus, and found vigorous expression at the midpoint in Die griechische Literatur des Altertums. Hellenistische Dichtung is the last word. The amount of new territory mapped out by Wilamowitz over the course of his career allows comparison only with great pioneers like Richard Bentley (1662-1742) or J.J. Scaliger (1540-1609).

    Typically, Hellenistische Dichtung opens with a survey of the Hellenistic world, but if one wonders about the relevance of such a survey in Pindaros, it is obvious here. For most students, because of the emphasis still prevailing in school and university, the writers of the Hellenistic age seem to swim in a timeless sea without shores. The Classical Ages of Greece and Rome are terra firma somewhere on either side. The links between the different periods are forged with difficulty, if at all, by the student in private study; the task is not made easier by the fragmentary nature of the sources. Readers would be saved a lot of trouble if they started with Wilamowitz. The chapter on the Hellenistic world is followed by one on the revolution in poetry in the later fourth century; the first volume concludes with a look forward to Roman literature and a sketch of the intellectual climate of the second century. These chapters are excellent examples of Wilamowitz’s wonderful powers of combination and historical reconstruction, the ability that Eduard Fraenkel singled out as his salient characteristic. The second volume contains discussions of many individual poems, including all the hymns of Callimachus (edited four times by Wilamowitz between 1882 and 1925) and seven poems of Catullus. Rudolf Pfeiffer (1889-1979), a pupil of Wilamowitz and the greatest master of the Hellenistic age after him, drew attention in his review to the countless ways this book improved our understanding of the age and its poetry.

    Mention should be made of the seminal address of 1925, “Storia italica,” in which Wilamowitz expounded a favorite thesis, that Roman history was really Italian history. Over sixty years later, the present writer heard the distinguished Roman historian E. T. Salmon (1905-88), reviewing a life of work in the field, begin his remarks by stressing the importance of this article. In 1927 Die Heimkehr des Odysseus was written in reaction to Eduard Schwartz’s (158-1940) Die Odyssee (1924); it was highly influential in the short term on Analytical criticism, but has now been mostly superseded along with other works of the school. Apart from the immortal Erinnerungen, the remaining years of his life were taken up with the composition of Der Glaube der Hellenen. Wilamowitz’s interest in Greek religion goes back as far as Isyllos von Epidauros, and he had written and taught much on the subject since; three important articles on mythography in 1925-1926 indicate his increasing preoccupation with the subject in his last decade. Greek religion was a natural choice for his last book, not because an old man tends to think a lot about religion, but because the whole thrust of his career demanded it. Interpretation was the highest philological activity, according to Wilamowitz; as we have seen, “interpretation” meant extracting the ideas and beliefs of the artist from his creation. Wilamowitz had spent his life interpreting one artist after another; a book about Hellenic belief in general was an appropriate conclusion, particularly when this belief was his own.

    A book called “The Belief of the Greeks”—or let us translate it rather as “The Faith of the Greeks”—implies already a certain perspective. “Faith” has unavoidable Christian overtones of a personal creed and relationship to God such as can hardly be documented in Greek culture apart from a few thinkers or some cults (e.g., Orphism) traditionally regarded as foreign. Even in a Greek mystery cult like that of Eleusis, where parallels to Christianity have often been sought, the term “faith” would scarcely be used by scholars now without careful qualification. It would seem that Wilamowitz is claiming for the Greeks a kind of religion that is atypical of most of them. Despite his protests to the contrary, he does not succeed in keeping Christian preconceptions out of his discussion. But the attempt is not wholly misconceived. Wilamowitz argued that one must distinguish the higher and lower aspects of Greek religion. The cults of the masses belonged to the latter, the religion of an Aeschylus or a Plato to the former. One studies the cults, to be sure, but only in order to understand the gods worshiped in them; in other words, to articulate and intellectualize the collective impulse of the worshipers in terms a thinking person can accept. The true—that is, the best—belief of the Hellenic people will be found, in this view, in the greatest writers, and in the body of heroic legend that provided their subject matter. In adopting this approach, which was that of Müller and Welcker, Wilamowitz was deliberately turning his back on the advances of religious studies in Germany and England since the turn of the century. In Isyllos von Epidauros and Euripides Herakles he stood on firm ground, for the validity of the new science was very uncertain. In 1931, indeed, he still had many discoveries to reveal; Der Glaube der Hellenen, as all experts readily admit, is an inexhaustible treasury of notes, suggestions, source criticism, and so on. But in 1931 it was more difficult to ignore the new school, which had achieved many positive results; it has achieved many more since. One can argue further: even accepting Wilamowitz’s sharp dichotomy of higher and lower, of true religion and “superstition,” his understanding of the higher aspect is at fault; what is most truly Greek is not the mystical otherworldliness of Plato but the pessimistic realism of a Homer or Sophocles as understood by followers of Nietzsche—Wilamowitz’s old adversary, inventor, in his words, of an “irreligious religion.”

    The circumstances of his last decade naturally reinforced Wilamowitz’s conservative tendencies. His intellectual world was formed in the 1860s on the basis of German thought of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries; throughout his life he never found anything better. His consistency demands respect; the heroic and defiant struggle with death to complete Der Glaube der Hellenen demands unconditional admiration. Even after he was confined to bed and in great pain from kidney disorders, he continued to dictate page upon page, eventually reaching the penultimate chapter, the proofs of which arrived the morning of the day he died.

    Summation of Wilamowitz’s achievement is next to impossible. He would prefer to be remembered first as a teacher. In his memoirs he makes the claim—remarkable in view of his huge output—that for a German professor teaching was more important than research. This may not have been true of everyone, but it was true of him. Many of his books have a sustained didactic tone, omitting the ordinary apparatus of footnotes and breathing the spirit of a man with a message. In the lecture hall he could be transported by his material and give the impression of a preacher before a mob of determined heathens. His sparkling performances two evenings a week in Berlin became social events that attracted huge audiences. At the University, he always had time for his students and was indulgent to beginners. His seminar could be poorly prepared and somewhat disorganized, but more important than the content of the lessons was the stimulation he imparted. Students were infected by his enthusiasm; many fine minds were won by him for the classics. The list reads like a roster of the modern discipline’s founding fathers: Hans von Arnim, Erich Bethe, Wilhelm Cronert, Paul Friedländer (1882-1968), Johannes Geffcken (1861-1935), Rudolf Keydell (1887-1982), Gunther Klaffenbach (1890-1972), Walther Kranz (11889-1960), Ludolf Malten (1879-1969), Werner Peek (1904-94), Max Pohlenz (1872-1962), Karl Reinhardt (1886-1958), Hans Wegehaupt (1872-1914), to mention only a few of the eighty-nine whose dissertations he directed; to them must be added men who studied under him in different capacities, such as the students from Greifswald days mentioned above, and others like Eduard Fraenkel, Hermann Frankel (1888-1977), Felix Jacoby (1876-1959), Werner Jaeger (his successor at Berlin) (1888-1961), Friedrich Klingner (1894-1968), Paul Maas (1880-1964), Hans-Joachim Mette (1906-86), Giorgio Pasquali (1885-1952), Rudolf Pfeiffer, Otto Regenbogen (1891-1966), Wolfgang Schadewaldt (1900-74), Friedrich Solmsen (1904-89), Konrat Ziegler (1884-1974), Friedrich Zucker (1881-1973), and Gunther Zuntz (1902-92). Many of these men made enormous contributions, although confining themselves to only one part of their teacher’s universal activity. No student of his could ever wholly escape his influence, even those who held radically different views about the Greeks. Those who differed most, Reinhardt and Friedländer, felt most keenly the need to come to terms with him. Their generation bridges the gap to the present day; if they were so exercised by Wilamowitz, it is a good argument for us to be.

    In the various activities of traditional philology Wilamowitz’s status is beyond contention. As a textual critic alone his achievement is monumental. His editions of Aeschylus, Callimachus, Theocritus, and of selected works of Euripides, Aristophanes, Hesiod, and Menander, in addition to many shorter editions and the textual notes scattered throughout his oeuvre, are a body of work of the highest significance. In a private letter A. E. Housman (1859-1936), the greatest English textual critic since Richard Porson (1759-1808), said he was “a very great man, the greatest now living and comparable with the greatest of the dead.” The judgment is significant, for Wilamowitz was guilty of some of the faults that most aroused Housman’s wrath (haste and carelessness). Housman placed him in a category by himself, beyond such criticism. As an explicator of texts he will be consulted, like the great scholars of past centuries, as long as classical philology survives.

    As an interpreter of antiquity Wilamowitz might seem dated. He was, after all, a man of the nineteenth century, a fact perhaps most evident in the attempt to master the whole of the discipline. He was the last one to try. The burgeoning of knowledge now makes the attempt impossible, but more than this, the infinity of questions to be asked of the individual facts makes it seem naive. “Fully” understanding even a single text is not humanly possible. Wilamowitz’s notions of literature and society now seem superficial and jejune. On the other hand, it is significant that people still argue about the validity of his approach. This attests the continuing attraction of his work. Reading contemporaries of his like Gilbert Murray (1866-1957) or A.W. Verrall (1851-1912), we do not expect to be taught; we still expect insights from Wilamowitz and slip easily into the trap of judging him by present-day standards. The reason for his continuing immediacy may lie in the central goal of his work: “wieder lebendig zu machen,” to make the past come alive again. He can still make us see ancient life directly. Of course, there is some naiveté here too; one has to ask what “alive” means. We tend to give a very complicated answer nowadays, conditioned by all kinds of considerations—psychological, sociological, philosophical. But complexity is not always better. Technicality makes a subject more and more esoteric; we begin to teach only our fellow experts. For ordinary folk, life is lived intuitively, and even for not-so-ordinary folk more depends on character than intellect. Philosophy has too few answers, theology has too few questions; most ethical decisions are based on neither but on an ad hoc calculation of the most advantageous course. The great people of history make these calculations better than others. In the end, a book written about such people by such a person has a better chance of providing lasting inspiration than a book with the most brilliant theoretical basis. It is on the intuitive, ordinarily human level that Wilamowitz speaks to readers.

    That a talent of Wilamowitz’s proportions should find common lodgings with an admirable character almost defies the laws of probability. But this was the case. Arrogance is the chief fault with which he is charged, justly to some extent; but only a saint could combine humility with intelligence like his. And if he never concealed his contempt for certain types of scholars, he never bragged about his own accomplishments or put on false airs; he never placed any artificial barriers between himself and his colleagues or students; he was always ready to forgive and was extraordinarily open to justified criticism. When he suffered from insomnia, stress, or grief, he hardly ever gave those around him the slightest evidence of it, except in the early 1920s. This is only a small example of his Prussian sense of duty and honor, which forbade him to put personal convenience ahead of responsibility; the greatest example is his acceptance of the call to Berlin. He remarks about this in his memoirs, that “man is not here to be happy, but to do his duty.” Every minute of his waking time (which was probably about eighteen hours a day, if not more) was efficiently used to maximize work; he rarely went out in the evenings, because it robbed him of time. His stature naturally tended to isolate him from his fellows, and, though he was by no means reclusive and opened his house once a week to students, he was not markedly gregarious. He had few close friends, and in private could exhibit a pronounced streak of melancholy. Yet he was anything but glum; on tite contrary, he was filled with the joy of life, perhaps deeper than ordinary gaiety precisely because he strongly sensed the world’s sorrows. Everything fascinated him, from the plants of his beloved garden (Norden reports his tears for a favorite tree destroyed by a freezing rain; it was the “nymph” of the garden) to the sublime thoughts of Aeschylus.

    Eduard Fraenkel likened the job of one who would give a complete picture of Wilamowitz to that of an artist required to depict the Battle of Waterloo on a piece of jewelry. A great deal has to be omitted; it may be doubted that anyone can do an adequate job. But all who seriously study the life and works of this complex man must admit that he was a genius of the first rank, one of the great glories of his discipline and of his country.

  • Sources:

    Autobiographies

    Erinnerungen 1848-1914 (Leipzig, 1928; rev. ed., 1929; English translation as My Recollections, London, 1930); W.M. Calder, Ill, “Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff: An Unpublished Autobiography,” GRBS 12 (1971) 561-577; reprinted in Studies in the Modern History of Classical Scholarship. Antiqua27 (Naples, 1984) 125-145; ------, “Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff: An Unpublished Latin Autobiography,” A&A27 (1981) 34-51; reprinted in Studies in the Modem History of Classical Scholarship 147-164.

    Bibliographies

    Friedrich Hiller von Gaertringen, Günther Klaffenbach, Wilamowitz-Bibliographie 1868 bis 1929 (Berlin, 22 December 1929); W. Buchwald, “Ergänzung und Fortsetzung der 1929 erschienenen Wilamowitz-Bibliographie,” U. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, KS 6.394-400. 

    Biographical

    W. Abel, “Studium Berolinense I. Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff (425.9.1931),” Gymnasium 88 (1981) 389-408; ------, “Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff,” Berlinische Lebensbilder Geisteswissenschaftler (Berlin, 1989) 231-251; H.-U. Berner, “Index dissertationum Udalrico de Wilamowitz-Moellendorff promotore conscriptarum,” QS 15 (1982) 227-234; F. Bertolini, “L’Omero di Wilamowitz,” PP 30 (1975) 382-400; A. Brandi, Zwischen Inn und Themse. Lebensbeobachtungen eines Anglisten (Berlin, 1936) 56, 219-223, 331-332; B. vom Brocke, “ ‘Von des attischen Reiches Herrlichkeit’ oder die ‘Modernisierung’ der Antike im Zeitalter des Nationalstaats. Mit einer Exkurs über die Zerschlagung der Wilamowitz-Schule durch den Nationalsozialismus,” HZ 243 (1986) 101-136 (Review of Wilamowitz nach 50 Jahren, ed. W. M. Calder III, et al.); W.M. Calder, III, Studies in the Modern History of Classical Scholarship. Antiqua 27 (Naples, 1984); ------, “Schwester Hildegard von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff: Meine Erinnerungen beim Lesen der Erinnerungen meines Vaters,” QS 24 (1986) 121-126; ------, “Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff: Sospitator Euripidis,” GRBS 27 (1986) 409-430; ------, “F. G. Welcker’s Sapphobild and its Reception in Wilamowitz,” in Friedrich Gottlieb Welcker Werk und Wirkung. Hermes Einzelschriften 49, ed. W. M. Calder III, Adolf Köhnken, Wolfgang Kullmann, & Gunther Pflug (Stuttgart, 1986) 131-156; W.M. Calder, Ill, H. Flashar, and Th. Lindken, eds. Wilamowitz nach 50 Jahren. Darmstadt, 1985 (Essays by many contributors.); W.M. Calder, Ill and R. Schlesier, “Wilamowitz on Mommsen’s ‘Kaisergeschichte’,” QS 21 (1985) 161-163; A. Demandt, “Wilamowitz 1918 an die Deutschen,” QS 24 (1986) 127-132; M. Dessoir, Buch der Erinnerung, rev. ed. (Stuttgart, 1947) 15-16; A. Favuzzi, trans., “Ricordi su Wilamowitz di Eduard Schwartz e Friedrich Frhr. Hiller von Gaertringen,” QS 7 (1978) 211-216; R.L. Fowler, Review of Wilamowitz nach 50 Jahren, ed. W. M. Calder III et al. CJ 82 (1986-1987) 67-72; E. Fraenkel, “Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff,” [1921] Kleine Beiträge zur Idassischen Philologie 2 (Rome, 1964) 555-562; ------, “The Latin Studies of Hermann and Wilamowitz,” JHS 38 (1948) 28-34; Reprinted in Kleine Beitrage 2:563-576; ------, “Wilamowitz,” QS 5 (1977) 101-118; P. Friedländer, Studien zur antiken Literatur und Kunst (Berlin, 1969) 681; M.F. Galiano, “Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff y la filologia clasica de su tiempo,” EClás 13 (1969) 25-57; M. Gigante, “Dal Wilamowitz al Pfeiffer. Storici della filologia classica,” PP 29 (1974) 196-224; R. Harder, “Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff,” Gnomon 7 (1931) 557-560; reprinted in Harder’s Kleine Schriften (Munich, 1960) 466-470; D. Hiller von Gaertringen, D., née von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, “Bericht über den Nachlass von Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff,” A&A 4 (1954) 14-15; U. Hölscher, “Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff.” Die neue Rundschau 73 (1962) 166-185; reprinted in Die Chance des Unbehagens. Drei Essais zur Situation der klassischen Studien (Göttingen, 1965): 7-30; F. Hüffmeier, “Unvermutete Begegnung mit Wilamowitz,” Gymnasium 83 (1976) 238-239 (On the grave at Markowitz); W. Jaeger, “Gedachtnisrede auf Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff,” SPAW (1932) 123-128 = Die Amike 8 (1932) 319-324 = W. Jaeger, Humanistische Reden undVorträge, 2d ed. (Berlin, 1960) 215-221; ------, “Rezension von Theodor Mommsen und Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, Briefwechsel,” DLZ (1936) 271-281 = Jaeger’s Scripta Minora (Rome, 1960) 2:137-147; ------, “Classical Philology at Berlin: 1870 to 1945.” [1960] Five Essays trans. A. M. Fiske (Montreal, 1966) 47-74; R. Kassel, “Wilamowitz über griechische und römische Komödie,” ZPE 45 (1982) 271-300; ------, Review of Wilamowitz nach 50 Jahren, ed. W. M. Calder III et al. GGA 239 (1987) 188-228; A. Körte, Review of Hermann Usener-Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff. Ein Briefwechsel. Die Antike 11 (1935) 211-235; M. Landfester, “Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff und die hermeneutische Tradition des 19. Jahrhunderts,” H. Flashar, K. Grunder, A. Horstmann, Philologie und Hermeneutik im 19. Jahrhundert. Zur Geschichte und Methodologie der Geisteswissenschaften (Göttingen, 1979) 156-180; D. Lanza, “II suddito e la scienza,” Belfagor 29 (1974) 1-32; L. Lehnus, “Verso Wilamowitz,” Maia n.s. 36 (1984) 171-180 (review of W. M. Calder III, ed. Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff: Selected Correspondence 1869-1931 (with excellent bibliography); J. Mejer, “Henrik Ibsen and the Revival of Euripides,” GRBS 27 (1986) 399-407; E. Mensching, “U. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, W. Kranz und das ‘Dritte Reich’,” Hermes 116 (1988) 357-376; A. Momigliano, “Premesse per una discussione su Wilamowitz,” ASNP 3.3.1 (1973) 105-117 = RSI 84 (1972) 746-755 = A. Momigliano, Sesto contributo alia storia degli studi classici e del mondo antico 1 (Rome, 1980) 337-349; F. Müller, “Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff 1848-1931 (extr. Port. 1862-1867, val.)” in H. Gehrig, Schulpforte und das deutsche Geistesleben: Lebensbilder alter Pförtner Almae Matri Portae zum 21. Mai 1943 gewidmet (Darmstadt, 1943) 120-130; G. Murray, Review of My Recollections by U. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, The Observer (22 July 1930) 5; ------, “Wilamowitz.” CR 45 (1931) 161-162; ------, “Memoirs of Wilamowitz,” A&A 4 (1954) 9-14; E. Norden, “Worte des Gedächtnisses an Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff” [1931] KS zum klassischen Altertum (Berlin, 1966) 664-668 (excerpted in CP 27 (1932) 66-69; M.I. Parente, “Rileggendo il Platon di Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff,” ASNP 3.3.1 (1973) 147-167; G. Pasquali, “Ulrico di Wilamowitz-Moellendorff,” Pegaso 4 (1932) 8-33 = Pasquali’s Pagine stravagana (Florence, 1968) 1:56-92; H. Patzer, “Wilamowitz und die klassische Philologie,” in H. Kusch, Festschrift Franz Dornseiff zum 65. Geburtstag (Leipzig, 1953) 244-257; R. Pfeiffer, “Nachruf auf Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff,” Süddeutsche Monatshefte 25 (1931-1932) 148-152 = Pfeiffer’s Ausgewählte Schriften. Aufsätze und Vorträge zur griechischen Dichtung und zum Humanismus, ed. W. Bühler (Munich, 1960) 269-276; M. Pohlenz, “Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff,” NAWG Geschaftliche Mitteilungen Fachgr. 1.10 (1931-1932) 74-85; K. Reinhardt, “Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff,” Die großen Deutschen.Deutsche Biographie. Ergänzungsband, ed. H. Heimpel, Th. Heuss, B. Reifenberg (Berlin, 1957) 415-421 = K. Reinhardt, Vermächtnis der Antike. Gesammelte Essays zur Philosophie und Geschichtschreibung2d ed. (Göttingen, 1966) 361-368; L.E. Rossi, “Rileggendo due opere di Wilamowitz: Pindaros e Griechische Verskunst,” ASNP 3.3.1 (1973) 119-145; W. Schadewaldt, “Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff zum 100. Geburtstag am 22.12.1948,” Gymnasium 56 (1949) 80-81 = Schadewaldt’s Hellas und Hesperien, 2d ed. (Zürich and Stuttgart, 1970) 2.698-699; https://dbcs.rutgers.edu/bd7d78b8-4731-400e-b2fe-dc5e3014d0fa" alt="" width="11" height="10" style="margin-left: 150pxpx; margin-right: -150pxpx;" />U. Schindel, “Wilamowitz in den GGA,” GGA 234 (1982) 1-11; E. Schwartz, “An Ulrich v. Wilamowitz-Moellendorff,” [1928] Gesammelte Schriften 1: Vergangene Gegenwärtigkeiten (Berlin 1938); ------, “Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff.” Jahrb. d. Bay. Akad. d. Wiss. (1932) 29-41 = Schwartz’s Gesammelte Schriften 1:368-382; ------, “Zur Einführung,” Mommsen und Wilamowitz. Briefwechsel 1872-1903, V-XVIII; B. Snell, “Klassische Philologie im Deutschland der zwanziger Jahre,” [1932] DerWeg zum Denken und zur Wahrheit. Studien zur frühgriechischen Sprache. Hypomnemata 51 (1978) 105-121; ------, “Wilamowitz und Thomas Mann.” A&A 12 (1966) 95-96; F. Solmsen, “Wilamowitz in his Last Ten Years,” GRBS 20 (1979) 89-122 = Solmsen’s Kleine Schriften (Hildesheim, Zürich, and New York, 1982) 3:430-463; E. Vogt, “Ein neues Zeugnis zur Lehrtätigkeit des jungen Wilamowitz,” in Festschrift für Franz Egermann, ed. W. Suerbaum & F. Maier (Munich, 1985) 171-180; Fanny Grafin von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff (née Baronin von Fock), Erinnerungen und Begegnungen (Berlin, 1936); H. Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, “Erinnerungen an meinen Vater, U. von Wilamowitz- Moellendorff,” In wieweit beffiedigen die Schltisse der erhaltenen griechischen Trauerspiele, ed. W. M. Calder III (Leiden, 1974) 159-163.

    Letters

    S. Accame, “Premessa,” G. De Sanctis, Atthis 3d ed. (Florence, 1975) xx-xxi (Letter to De Sanctis); K. Aland, Glanz und Niedergang der deutschen Universität. 50 Jahre deutscher Wissenschaftsgeschichte in Briefen an und von Hans Lietzmann (1892-1942) (Berlin and New York, 1979); F. Bertolini, “Wilamowitz a Wissowa: ‘Krieg,’ ‘Studenten,’ ‘Wissenschaft’ (tre inediti),” QS 4 (1976) 47-54;     ------, “Wilamowitz a Wissowa e Praechter,” QS 7 (1978) 185-210; reprinted and translated in L. Canfora, Cultura classica e crisi tedesca. Gli scritti politici di Wilamowitz 1914-1931 (Bari, 1977) 181-209; Berufungspolitik innerhalb der Altertumswissenschaft im wilhelminischen Preußen. Die Briefe Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorffs Friedrich Althoff (1883-1908), ed. W. M. Calder III and Alexander Kosenina (Frankfurt am Main, 1989); W.M. Calder, Ill, “Wilamowitz on Demosthenes,” CW 72 (1978-1979) 239-240; ------, Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff. Selected Correspondence 1869-1931, Antiqua 23 (Naples, 1983); ------, “Wilamowitz on Adolf Erman,” QS 18 (1983) 273-282; ------, “Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff to Kekule von Stradonitz on Friedrich Gottlieb Welcker,” SIFC 3.2 (1984) 116-133; ------, “Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff to Hermann Sauppe: Two Unpublished Letters.” Philologus 129 (1985) 286-298; ------, “Wilamowitz’ Call to Göttingen: Paul de Lagarde to Friedrich Althoff on Wilamowitz-Moellendorff,” SIFC 3.3 (1985) 136-160; ------ & R.L. Fowler, The Preserved Letters of Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff to Eduard Schwartz, ed. with Introduction and Commentary, SB AW 1986, Heft 1; W.M. Calder, Ill and C. Hoffmann, “Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff on the Basel Greek Chair,” MH 43 (1986) 258-263; H. Dieterich & F. Frhr. Hiller von Gaertringen, eds. Usener und WilamowitzEin Briefwechsel 1870-1905 (Leipzig and Berlin, 1934); J. Dummer, “Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff und die Kirchenväterkommission der Berliner Akademie,” ed. J. Irmscher and P. Nagel, Studia Byzantina, Folge II (Berlin, 1973) 351-387; M. Gigante, “Premesse,” A. Maiuri, Epicedio napoletano (Naples, 1981) 12-14 (Letter to Maiuri); F. Frhr. & D. Hiller von Gaertringen, Mommsen und Wilamowitz. Briefwechsel 1872-1903 (Berlin, 1935); J. Malitz, “Nachlese zum Briefwechsel Mommsen-Wilamowitz,” QS17 (1983) 123-150; J. Mansfeld, “The Wilamowitz-Nietzsche Struggle: Another Document and Some Further Comments,” Nietzsche Studien 15 (1986) 41-58 (Letter to Ernst Howald); H.J. Mette, “Nekrolog einer Epoche: Hermann Usener und seine Schule,” Lustrum 22 (1979-1980) 5-106. (Republication, occasional corrections of some of the Usener-Wilamowitz letters.); R. Pintaudi & C. Römer, “Le Lettere di Wilamowitz a Vitelli,” ASNP 3.11 (1981) 363-398; S. Prete, Tra filologi e studiosi della nostra epoca dalla corrispondenza di Günther Jachmann (Pesaro, 1984) 119-128 (Seven letters to Jachmann); O. Skutsch, “Wilamowitz an Norden über dessen ‘Ennius und Vergilius’,” A&A 29 (1983) 90-94; E. Tieche, Briefe von Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff an Georg Finsler. Der Bund 145, Literatur- und Kunstbeilage (27 March 1953); also printed separately Bern, 1953.

    Papers

    The Wilamowitz-Nachlaß resides in the Niedersachische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek, Göttingen. Other papers are preserved among the archives of various correspondents; for details see the editions of his letters. Wilamowitz’s working library and his collection of offprints are housed in the Akademie der Wissenschaften der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik.

  • Author: Robert L. Fowler