Georg Wissowa

Georg Otto August Wissowa ( born June 17, 1859 in Neudorf, near Breslau, † May 11, 1931 in Halle an der Saale ) was a German philologist Classic, was a professor at Marburg ( 1886-1895 ) and Halle ( 1895-1924 ) worked. His main area of ​​work was the study of Roman religion.


Georg Wissowa, grandson of the high school director August Wissowa (1797-1868) and son of the court assessor Otto Wissowa (1818-1870) at the University of Breslau, studied after the visit of St. Matthias Catholic High School in Breslau from 1876 Classical Philology, especially at August Reifferscheid. He received his doctorate in 1880 with a dissertation on the sources of Macrobius ' Saturnalia. He then spent a year at the University of Munich in order to expand his knowledge of archeology at Heinrich Brunn. In 1882 he qualified as a professor in Breslau with a thesis on the Roman representations of Venus and went with a travel grant from the German Archaeological Institute for one year for a research visit to Rome.

From 1883 to Wissowa taught as a lecturer in Breslau and was at this time in contact with Theodor Mommsen. In 1886 he was appointed as an associate professor at the University of Marburg, where he took over the management of the Proseminar. In 1890 he was appointed full professor. The German Archaeological Institute appointed him in 1892 as a full member.

1895 Wissowa successor, Henry wedge on the Department of Latin Studies at the University of Halle. 1917 chose the Bavarian Academy of Sciences Wissowa corresponding member of their Philosophy and History class. After he had suffered a stroke in 1923, he was able to do scientific work only with great difficulty. In 1924 he was relieved of his teaching duties. He died on 11 May 1931 aged 71 years.


Focus of Wissowas research was since his habilitation Roman religion, to which he devoted numerous, 1904 published in an anthology essays, but especially a systematic presentation as part of the Manual of classical antiquity, which first appeared in 1902, in a revised edition in 1912. Moreover worked he with to Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher detailed encyclopedia of Greek and Roman mythology and published a revised edition of Ludwig Friedländer's moral history of Rome.

Wissowa was known primarily as an editor of the new edition of Pauly's Realencyclopädie of classical archeology, which is named after the founder August Friedrich Pauly and Pauly - Wissowa him since then. He took over the editorship in 1890, after Otto Crusius had returned it. Wissowa strove successfully to find suitable scientists for various thematic areas. The first volume appeared in 1893. However, very quickly it became apparent that the work would not be completed in the planned period of twelve years ( it was not completed until 1978, after 66/2 volumes and 15 supplementary volumes ). Wissowa was why in 1903 a first supplementary volume out to compensate for the obsolescence of the first volumes. He supervised 12/2 volumes ( volumes 1.1 to 6.2 ), a thirteenth (7.1, published 1910), together with Wilhelm Kroll, to which he relinquished in 1906 the editorship of the Encyclopaedia.

From 1914 to 1922 Wissowa was with Carl Robert editor of Hermes. He was in Hall twice Dean of the Faculty of Arts and in 1908 /09 President of the University. In addition he was from 1902, which was founded by his friend Eduard Meyer " spirit circle " influential professors. From 1891 he was a regular member of the German Archaeological Institute, from 1907 corresponding member of the Academies of Sciences in Munich and Göttingen. In 1911 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Breslau.


  • Religion and Culture of the Romans. Handbook of classical antiquity V.4, CH Beck, Munich 1902, digitized; 2nd edition, 1912, of which reprint 1971, ISBN 3-406-03406-3.
  • Collected Essays on Roman religion and history of the city, CH Beck, Munich, 1904.