Franz Heinrich Ludolf Ahrens

Heinrich Ludolf Ahrens ( born June 6 1809 in Helmstedt, † September 24, 1881 in Hannover ) was a German classical scholar, who published as headmaster fundamental works on the dialects and the beginning lessons of the ancient Greek language.


Ahrens grew up as the seventh son of a teacher in Helmstedt and attended the local grammar school Julianum from 1817. He studied from 1826 to 1829 under Karl Otfried Müller and Dissen in Göttingen antiquity and linguistics. His early work De statu politico Athenarum was awarded by the Faculty of Arts, and he received his doctorate and his habilitation in 1829 - at age 20. In 1830 he was collaborator at Göttingen School and 1831 Teacher at Pädagogium in Ilfeld, where he remained for 14 years, married a daughter of the director Adolf Friedrich Brohm and his groundbreaking masterpiece to Greek dialects published, which was based on the Jacob Grimm's method and makes him a " founder of modern dialectology " made ​​. In writing, he retired to an inflammation of the right hand, which he tried in vain to heal during a stay in Berlin, but where he made ​​the acquaintance of distinguished scholars. Ahrens learned to write with his left hand ( to 1869 he was able to use the right again).

In 1845 he was appointed director of the high school in Lingen and 1849 as the successor to Georg Friedrich Grotefend director of the Lyceum, the Hanoverian classical languages ​​grammar school, an office which he held for nearly 30 years. His pupil Otto Crusius remembered " as the unassuming man knew how to force the souls of his listeners with genteel, thoughtful speech." The lessons especially for the lower classes turned Ahrens to a new organizational basis and sat through their own textbooks permanent standards for the teaching classical languages ​​. He sat on the Homer method, namely as soon as possible (usually after a six- week basic course in grammar and lexis ) to start with the classic Odyssey as the original reading, instead of the current mechanically to practice grammatical forms.

As a scientist Ahrens explored many areas; In addition to classical philology, mythology, and the interest in antiquities he also published theological and historical issues regionally. He often pioneered, but was refuted in hindsight in many places, which is why he is counting on the second row of the scientists of his time, but there 's outstanding.

As a deputy of the high schools in 1849, he was a member of the First Chamber of the States General of the Kingdom of Hanover, but was soon dismissed from there, because he made no secret of his patriotic German (instead of Hanoverian ) attitude. 1869 Ahrens was appointed by King William of Prussia in the first Hanoverian synod. He was a foreign member of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen ( historical- philological class) and the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences and since 1863 a member of the Instituto di Corrispondenza Archaeological Rome. Ahrens joined in 1879 as a Privy Councillor to retire and died on 24 September 1881 in Hanover. He had two daughters and three sons.


His 100 publications are listed in: Heinrich Ludolf Ahrens: Small writings of HL Ahrens. Edited by Otto Crusius, Hanover, 1891, pp. X -XV.

  • De Graecae linguae dialectis. Göttingen 1839-1843, 2 ​​vols; 2nd Edition of Master, 1881 ff and
  • Bucolicorum Graecorum reliquiae. Leipzig 1855-1859, 2 vols; Text output, ibid 1850 and more

In addition, he has published numerous papers, most recently

  • Contributions to Greek and Latin etymology. First book, Leipzig, 1879.

For the school are determined:

  • Greek elementary book of Homer. 2nd edition, Göttingen 1870 and
  • Greek morphology of the Homeric and Attic dialect. 2nd edition, Göttingen 1869.

Here is a selection of his historical work:

  • The Office of the keys. Hannover 1864. Ahrens Here interprets the key Peter's as an official of the administration of the remedy (p. 98), rather than to consider it only as housekeepers office. Digitized by Google Books.
  • History of the Lyceum to Hannover from 1267 to 1533. Hannover 1870.
  • Nickname and time of the Campus Martius of the ancient Franks. Hannover 1872.
  • For the ancient history of the monastery Loccum. In: Journal of the Historical Society for Lower Saxony 38 (1872 ), pp. 1-47 (Part 1), 40 ( 1874/1875 ), pp. 372-423 (Part 2), 41 (1876 ), pp. 47-156 (Part 3). ( Digitized SLUB Dresden)