Felix Dahn was the son of the actor Frederick Dahn and his first wife Constance Le Gaye; his younger brother was the actor Ludwig Dahn. After leaving grammar school in 1850 at Wilhelmsgymnasium Munich, he began at the Ludwig- Maximilians- University of Munich to study law and philosophy, moved temporarily to the Friedrich- Wilhelms- University of Berlin and received his doctorate, back in Munich, Dr. iur ..
After his habilitation he first taught German Law in Munich. In 1863 he became an associate in 1865 and a full professor at the Julius- Maximilians- University of Würzburg. In 1872 he moved to the Chair of the Albertus University of Königsberg. For the academic year 1877/78 he was elected Rector of the Albertina. In 1888, he finally went to the Silesian Friedrich Wilhelm University in Breslau. 1895/96 he was also rector.
Dahn turned in his research early to even the science of history. His main research work, The kings of the Germans appeared in 11 volumes ( 1861-1909 ). In addition, thanks to its Dahn applies Theodor Mommsen dedicated monograph Procopius of Caesarea (1865 ) considered the founder of modern Procopius research. His works on the history of late antiquity and the Migration Period are today known as the king of his former colleague William Berger Drumann and Friedrich Wilhelm Schubert. In addition, Dahn also published a hardly manageable wealth of legal literature, ranging from trade to international legal issues.
But with a purely academic career, Felix Dahn was not satisfied. Already in the 1860s, he brought it to the house of the author of the gazebo, the then largest-circulation German magazine by far. In it, he published numerous poems over many years. He was also a member of the politically influential, under the aegis of Emanuel Geibel Munich circle of poets as well as in its Berlin counterpart tunnel over the river Spree. Politically, Dahn committed beyond as a member of the Pan-German League, which was one of the intellectual pioneers of the national socialism.
Dahn Popularity founded primarily on a historical novel, one of the learned professor novels that enjoyed in the early years of the German Empire extraordinary popularity: A Struggle for Rome (1876 ). In this book Dahn, limited according to the source moderately guaranteed historical events, but with strong and diverse relations to the political affairs of his time, the demise of the late antique Ostgotenreiches in Italy in the period from the death of Theodoric the Great ( 526) until the defeat of King Teja ( 552). The novel is one of the most influential literary works of Intent to historical meaningfulness, germanenmythisch connoted national liberal nationalism early days. At the same time can be found in the work but even decidedly social Darwinist moments in conjunction with ethnic elements. The novel was a popular reading for decades and was still 1968 ( with Orson Welles as Justinian I ) filmed consuming.
Partial together with his second wife Therese, a niece of the poet Annette von Droste- Hulshoff, he wrote about it, a number of voluminous historical novels for early German history and collections of legends and mythological tales, almost all also vary the German theme. In the 1880s and 1890s he wrote an extensive polemic in verse and prose against the naturalistic writers, including against Gerhart Hauptmann. Its historic main work is the early history of the Germanic and Latin peoples, published 1880-1889 in four volumes. This Dahn describes the development of individual ethnic groups from its beginnings up to the death of Charlemagne.
Between 1882 and 1901, leaving Dahn in 13 volumes Little novels of the Great Migration, 1890-1895 also in one or several volumes, is one about three thousand-page autobiography. In 1909 he wrote the booklet for the general public intended to thousand nine hundred year anniversary of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. In his last years he was involved in the construction of the Battle of the Nations Monument in Leipzig, whose inauguration, however, he no longer witnessed in 1913 ( the 100th anniversary ). With a total of about 30,000 printed pages comprehensive oeuvre Felix Dahn is one of the most prolific writers of his century.
Writings (selection )
- The kings of the Germans - The essence of the ancient kingdom of the Germanic tribes and its history up to the feudal period ( 11 volumes and index volume ), 1861-1911. Volume 1: The time before the hike - The Vandals. Würzburg in 1861, full text.
- Volume 4: Appendices to the third band. 1 Appendix: The edicts of kings Theodoric and Athalaric. 2 Appendix: The Gothic law in the Gothic kingdom.. Würzburg in 1866, full text.
- Vol I - Felicitas. Historical novel from the Migration (a. 476 AD) 1882
- Vol II - Bissula. Historical novel from the Migration (a. 378 AD), 1884
- Vol III - Gelimer. Historical novel from the Migration (a. 534 AD), 1885
- Vol IV - The bad nuns of Poitiers. Historical novel from the Migration (a. 589 AD), 1885
- Vol V - Fredigundis. Historical novel from the Migration ( end VI. Century), 1886
- Vol VI - Attila. Historical novel from the Migration (a. AD 453 ), 1888
- Volume VII - The Batavian. Historical novel from the Migration (a. 69 AD )
- Vol VIII - Chlodovech. Historical novel from the Migration (a. 481-511 ), 1895
- Vol IX - From the Chiemgau. Historical novel from the Migration (a. 596 AD), 1896
- Vol X - Ebroin. Historical novel of the Great Migration, 1897
- Vol XI - Am Hof Mr. Charles. Four stories, 1901
- Vol XII - Stilicho. Historical novel of the Great Migration, 1900
- Vol XIII - The father and sons. Historical novel of the Great Migration, 1901