Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher

Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher ( born February 12, 1845 in Göttingen, † March 9, 1923 in Dresden ) was a German classical scholar, best known as the explorer of the Greek and Roman mythology.

Life and work

The son of the economist Wilhelm Roscher studied after attending the Prince's School St. Afra in Meissen in 1864 in Göttingen and Leipzig and received his doctorate in 1868 with a thesis De aspiratione vulgari apud Graecos. He worked from 1869 as a high school teacher in Bautzen, since 1871 at the Prince's School in Meissen and from 1882 as a vice principal at the high school in Wurzen; In 1894 he became rector of this school. After his retirement in 1905 Roscher moved to Dresden. Repeated study tours have taken him to Italy, France, Dalmatia, Montenegro, Greece and Asia Minor.

From 1884 Roscher this Concise Dictionary of Greek and Roman mythology were out at the head of a large number of renowned scholars of antiquity, the most comprehensive work of this kind, which had for its object the Greco-Roman myths and cults, taking account of the monuments as objectively as possible and completely represent. For the development and perfection of these mythological research method Roscher wrote numerous monographic studies.

The lexicon is still considered a standard work; It consists of six volumes, published 1884-1937. According to Roscher's death, it was published by Konrat Ziegler and later supplemented by four supplementary volumes.

Roscher in 1891 a full member of the Saxon Academy of Sciences. The Athens University awarded him an honorary doctorate.


  • Studies on the comparative mythology of the Greeks and Romans. Vol 1: Apollo and Mars, Leipzig 1873; Vol 2: Juno and Hera, Leipzig 1875.
  • The natural feeling of the Greeks and Romans. Meissen in 1875.
  • Hermes the god of wind. Leipzig 1878.
  • The Gorgons and related styles. Leipzig, 1879.
  • Nectar and ambrosia. Leipzig 1883.
  • Selene and related styles. Leipzig 1890.