Ada Adler

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Ada Adler, around 1900

Ada Sara Adler (born February 18, 1878 in Fredriksberg , † December 28, 1946 in Copenhagen ) was a Danish classical philologist and librarian.

Life path

Adler's family was of Jewish origin: Her parents were the merchant Bertel David Adler (1851–1926) and Elise Johanne nee. Fraenckel (1852-1938). Her paternal aunt, Ellen Adler, was married to the doctor Christian Bohr . The physicist and Nobel Prize winner Niels Bohr was thus Ada Adler's cousin.

She belonged with William Norvin and Hans Ræder to the circle of the important Danish philologists Johan Ludvig Heiberg (1854–1928) and Anders Bjørn Drachmann (1860–1935), who pushed ahead with a large-scale edition project on the technical literature of the ancient Greeks. Adler's most important achievement is the critical edition of the Byzantine Lexicon Suda in five volumes (Leipzig 1928–1938), which was reprinted from 1967–1971 and is still considered the standard today. In this context, she also introduced the system of identifiers that has been used since then for the unambiguous designation of Suda articles, which are known today as Adler numbers .

Although she belonged to the same generation as Margarete Bieber , who was the first woman in Germany to do his habilitation and to be appointed to a full professorship, Ada Adler did not aspire to an academic career. She did research as a private scholar, held lectures as a private lecturer at the University of Copenhagen and in 1916 published a catalog of the manuscripts there in the Danish Royal Library . She was also one of the first women to write articles for the revision of the Realencyclopedia of Classical Classical Studies . Her edition of the Etymologicum Genuinum remained unfinished and was continued by Klaus Alpers in Hamburg after her death . In 1931 Adler was awarded the Tagea Brandt Rejselegat . During the occupation of Denmark by the German Reich in World War II , Ada Adler was Jewish and forced to emigrate to Sweden in October 1943. After the war ended she returned to Copenhagen.

Since 1901 Adler was married to the philosophy lecturer Anton Thomsen (1877–1915). The marriage ended in divorce in 1912.


  • Per Kranip, Hans Ræder: Adler, Ada . In: Dansk biografisk leksikon , Volume 1 (3rd edition, 1979), pp. 55-56.
  • Adda Hilden: Adler, Ada Sara . In: Abel Catrine, Lise Hannestad (eds.), Dansk Kvindebiografisk Leksikon , København 2000, pp. 6-7.

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