Franz Boll (philologist)

Franz Johann Evangelista Boll ( born July 1, 1867 in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, † July 3, 1924 in Heidelberg ) was a German philologist Classic, astrology and astronomy historian and librarian.


He was the son of a judge and studied from 1885 in Berlin and 1887 in Munich, among others, William of Christ, Rudolf Schoell and Michael Bernays. In 1894 he received his doctorate with a thesis on Claudius Ptolemy. In 1891 Boll worked in the Manuscript Division of the Court and State Library in Munich, from 1898 as a conductor. In 1903, he joined the university career and became Professor of Classical philologist in Würzburg from 1908 in Heidelberg.

Boll mainly dealt with the ancient astronomy and astrology. He explored, based on handwriting studies, the astronomical world view from the ancient Near East through Greek and Roman to modern times and the history of constellations and astrology. Since 1909, he was in close contact with the art and cultural historian Aby Warburg, goes back to the well Bolls bookplate with the motif of a thoughtful astronomers and its culture Science Library Warburg revision by Wilhelm Gundel and repeated revisions of the Boll along with his friend Carl Betzold first published in 1918 the book star faith and astrology. The history and the essence of astrology caused.

He was a member of the Academies of Sciences in Heidelberg, Munich and Bologna, as well as honorary doctorate from the University of Padua. Among his pupils was, among other academic Helene Homeyer (PhD 1922).


  • Studies on Claudius Ptolemy. A contribution to the history of Greek philosophy and astrology. In: New Year Books for philology and pedagogy. Supplement volume 21.2. Teubner, Leipzig, 1894, pp. 49-244.
  • Sphaera. New Greek Texts and Studies on the History of the constellations. Teubner, Leipzig, 1903. Reprint Olms, Hildesheim 1967.
  • Catalogus codicum astrologorum Graecorum. Vol 7: codices Germanicos descripsit Franciscus Boll. Lamertin, Brussels 1908.
  • From the Revelation of John. Hellenistic studies to the world of the Apocalypse. Teubner, Leipzig, 1914. Reprint Hakkert, Amsterdam 1967.
  • Ancient observations of colored stars. Academy of Sciences, Munich, 1916.
  • ( composed of Orientalists Carl Bezold ): Star Faith and astrology. The history and the essence of astrology. Teubner, Leipzig 1918; 7th edition Wiss. Book Company, Darmstadt 1977, ISBN 3-519-07202-5 (also Hungarian and Italian translation ).