Alfred Körte

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Alfred Körte.

Alfred Körte (born September 5, 1866 in Berlin , † September 6, 1946 in Leipzig ) was a German classical philologist . He made outstanding contributions to the comedy writer Menander through his research, editing and translating activities, as well as through his discovery of the ancient city of Gordion .


Alfred Körte was one of ten children of the doctor Friedrich Körte (1818–1914) and his wife Marie, b. Thaer (1832-1898). His siblings included the archaeologist Gustav Körte (1852-1917), the surgeon Werner Körte (1853-1937), the architect Friedrich Körte (1854-1934), the painter Martin Körte (1857-1929) and the Königsberg mayor Siegfried Körte ( 1861-1919).

Körte studied classical philology at the universities of Berlin and Bonn , among others with Hermann Usener , and received his doctorate in Bonn in 1890. From 1895 he was a lecturer here and completed his habilitation in 1896 . In 1899 he accepted an appointment as associate professor at the University of Greifswald . In 1903 he switched to a full professorship at the University of Basel as the successor to Erich Bethe . In 1906 he followed Bethe to the University of Giessen . In 1914 he moved to Freiburg , in 1917 to Leipzig , where he worked until his retirement in 1934. Until 1926 was the director of the student welfare in Leipzig . In November 1933 he was one of the signatories of the professors' commitment at German universities and colleges to Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist state .

Körte was a member of the Saxon Academy of Sciences and the German Archaeological Institute .

Alfred Körte was married to Frieda Gropius (1873–1963), a daughter of the architect Martin Gropius , from 1896 . They had three daughters and two sons, one of whom was the art historian Werner Körte , who both died in World War II .


In 1895, after carefully studying the sources and the topography, he discovered the Phrygian city ​​of Gordion in Asia Minor, where he and his brother Gustav carried out excavations in 1900.

After the extensive papyrus finds by the poet Menander in 1905, Körte obtained the relevant edition, which was only partially overtaken by new finds after his death. He also got a translation of the comedies, which was published by Insel-Verlag. Körte's work around Menander is also highlighted in Webster's obituary.

Körte was the best connoisseur of Greek comedy of his time and added numerous articles to the Realencyklopädie of classical antiquity . He also dealt with Hellenistic poetry. Together with his friend Richard Heinze , he published the magazine Hermes from 1923 . For the volume dedicated to Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff in 1932, he contributed an article Character , which gave an extract from his Menander studies.

Publications (selection)

  • with Gustav Körte: Gordion. Results of the excavations in 1900 . Berlin 1904 ( digitized version ).
  • Menandrea. Ex papyris et membranis vetustissimis . Leipzig 1910.
  • The Greek Comedy (= From Nature and Spiritual World, Vol. 400). Leipzig 1914.
  • The Hellenistic Poetry . Leipzig 1925.


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