Bernhard Bischoff

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Bernhard Bischoff (born December 20, 1906 in Altendorf near Altenburg (Thuringia), † September 17, 1991 in Munich ) was a German palaeographer , philologist and historian .

Live and act

His parents were the state tenant Emil Bischoff and his wife Charlotte von Gersdorff, who died giving birth to their son. He was brought up in the spirit of a Prussian-Protestant Pietism .

After receiving his doctorate from the University of Munich in 1933, Bischoff was hired by the American paleographer Elias Avery Lowe as an assistant for the catalog “ Codices Latini Antiquiores ”. He was involved in this project, which was to include all Latin manuscripts written around 1800 before 800 AD, until it was completed in 1972. In 1943 , Bischoff completed his habilitation with a thesis on "the Latin education of the Celtic peoples in the early Middle Ages". In 1947 Bischoff became a private lecturer in Munich, where in 1953 he took over the chair of his teacher and doctoral supervisor Paul Lehmann for Latin Philology of the Middle Ages , which he held until his retirement in 1974. Here he continued to work in the tradition of his predecessor Ludwig Traube .

In 1953, Bischoff was elected to the central management of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica (MGH). In the last years of his life he concentrated his work on a catalog of approx. 7000 continental manuscripts from the 9th century, which was published posthumously by the Bavarian Academy of Sciences (see below under Writings ). Bischoff was able to achieve special achievements in the field of Latin palaeography . His skills lay particularly in determining the temporal and local origins of medieval manuscripts. In his scholarly life, he has answered thousands of inquiries from all over the world promptly and precisely. Bischoff's bibliography comprises about 240 titles.

Bischoff was honored with four honorary doctorates . He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Dublin in 1962, that of the University of Oxford in 1963 and that of the University of Milan . He was a member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences (since 1956), the Royal Irish Academy (since 1957), the Medieval Academy of America , the British Academy (since 1960), the German Archaeological Institute (since 1962), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (since 1968) and since 1989 the American Philosophical Society . He was also a member of the Pour le mérite order for sciences and arts and holder of other orders. He was awarded the Great Federal Cross of Merit with Star (1987).

Bischoff had been married to Hanne Oehlerking since 1935 and last lived in Planegg ( Upper Bavaria ). He died in 1991 in a Munich hospital as a result of a traffic accident.

Fonts (selection)

  • The Southeast German writing schools and libraries in the Carolingian era, Part I: The Bavarian Dioceses , Leipzig 1940 (2nd edition: Wiesbaden 1960, 3rd edition: Wiesbaden 1974); Part II: The predominantly Austrian dioceses , Wiesbaden 1980.
  • Medieval studies. Selected essays on written and literary history. 3 vol., Hiersemann, Stuttgart 1966–1981.
  • Catalog of the mainland manuscripts of the ninth century (with the exception of the wisigoth) (publications of the commission for the publication of the medieval library catalogs of Germany and Switzerland / Bavarian Academy of Sciences), Harrassowitz: Wiesbaden 1998. Part 1: Aachen - Lambach. ISBN 3-447-03196-4 .
  • Catalog of the mainland manuscripts of the ninth century (with the exception of the Wisigothic) , edited from the estate by Birgit Ebersperger (publications of the commission for the publication of the medieval library catalogs of Germany and Switzerland / Bavarian Academy of Sciences). Part 2: Laon - Paderborn. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2004. ISBN 3-447-04750-X .
  • - - Part 3: Padua-Zwickau. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2014. ISBN 978-3-447-10056-4 .
  • Manuscripts and Libraries in the Age of Charlemagne , translated and edited by Michael Gorman (Cambridge Studies in Palaeography and Codicology 1), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1994, ISBN 0-521-38346-3 .
  • Paleography of Roman Antiquity and the Occidental Middle Ages. Berlin 1979; 3rd unchanged edition in 2004. (Basics of German Studies 24). ISBN 3-503-07914-9 .


Web links


  1. Book of Members 1780 – present, Chapter B. (PDF; 1.2 MB) In: American Academy of Arts and Sciences ( Retrieved May 3, 2018 .
  2. ^ Member History: Bernhard Bischoff . American Philosophical Society, accessed March 27, 2020.
  3. Horst Fuhrmann : Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Report for 1991/1992. In: German Archive for Research into the Middle Ages. 48, 1992, pp. I – XIX, here: p. II ( online )