The Archipelagus

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Friedrich Hölderlin around 1797. Characteristic is the raised skirt collar and the fashionably short cut hair that falls over the forehead
The island of Kalauria belonging to the Archipelagus according to Richard Chandler , 1777.

The Archipelagus is a poem in hexameters by Friedrich Hölderlin , with 296 verses one of his longest. It was written in the years 1800 and 1801. With its meter, its partly epic , partly lyrical parts, partly elegiacally plaintive, partly hymnically praising it, it occupies a special position in Hölderlin's work. In addition to the simultaneous elegy of bread and wine , it is Holderlin's most perfect representation of his pantheism . He believed the divinely seen “nature” and man-made culture in the past of the Greek polis , especially Athens , harmoniously connected, experienced “nature” and human work painfully disintegrating in his present and hoped they would flourish again together in the future.


In the autumn of 1798, after breaking up with Jakob Friedrich Gontard-Borkenstein (1764–1843) , Hölderlin fled Frankfurt and has lived in nearby Homburg ever since . On May 8, 1800 he met Susette Gontard , his Diotima , for the last time. In mid-June he hiked via Nürtingen , where his mother and sister lived, to Stuttgart. There he lived with his friend, businessman Christian Landauer (1769–1845). He shaped his feeling of a homecoming in the poem Die Heimath - "Happy the boatman returns home to the silent river", his friendship with Landauer in the elegy The Walk to the Land. An Landauer and the song-like poem An Landauer - "To be friends until you are born" - for his birthday on December 11, 1800. In January 1801 he took up a position as court master with the linen manufacturer Anton von Gonzenbach (1748-1819) in Hauptwil in Switzerland. At the beginning of April, however, he returned to Nürtingen, again with the feeling of coming home, from which the elegy Heimkunft - To the relatives - “They receive me there. O voice of the city, the mother! ”. On December 10th, he went to another position as court master with the wine merchant and Hamburg consul Daniel Christoph Meyer (1751-1818) in Bordeaux . It was a time full of plans, but at the same time pressing needs. The plan to create a financial basis by publishing a magazine Iduna failed.

On January 29, 1800, he wrote to his mother from Homburg: “You mustn't worry about my health, dearest mother! I have enjoyed this precious commodity undisturbed for a long time, and I am all the more pleased because I always feared that the nasty, convulsive state would become permanent. ”Similarly happy to the mother in the middle of the year from Stuttgart:“ The participation and Encouragement of loyal, well-meaning minds is to me at the point of my life, on which I am now, a greater gift than anything on which one has otherwise cause great importance. I found my lodging and admission to my friend's house entirely according to my wishes. In general, my old acquaintances received me so good-naturedly that I can hope to live here in peace for a while and to be able to do my day's work more undisturbed than before. "On the other hand, Gustav Schwab reports on Holderlin's constitution in Stuttgart:" His mood seemed dangerous. Even his outward appearance gave evidence of the change his being had suffered in the past few years; when he returned from Homburg, one believed to see a shadow, so much the inner struggles and suffering had attacked the once blossoming body. The irritability of his state of mind was even more striking; an accidental, innocent word that had absolutely no relation to him could upset him so much that he left the society in which he found himself and never returned to it. "

In this unstable situation, apart from bread and wine and several odes , including Heidelberg , Der Archipelagus was created.


Two manuscripts by Holderlin with fragments and two complete or almost complete manuscripts have been preserved, all of them today in the Württemberg State Library in Stuttgart . The so-called “Berliner Manschrift” and the so-called “Homburg Manuscript”, from which the illustrations in this article originate, are complete or almost complete. Hölderlin sent the poem to Johann Bernhard Vermehren in Jena in the spring of 1801 with the request that it be forwarded to Ludwig Tiecks Poetisches Journal . The mediation was unsuccessful because the journal was discontinued. Der Archipelagus was first printed in 1804 in the quarterly conversations of the Cotta'schen Verlagsbuchhandlung in Tübingen , published by Ludwig Ferdinand Huber . It was then included in the first collective edition of the “Poems” in 1826, edited by Ludwig Uhland and Gustav Schwab, and in 1846 in the “Sämmlichen Werke”, edited by Gustav Schwab's son Christoph Theodor Schwab (1821–1883). Of the historical-critical editions , the Propylaea edition started in 1913 by Norbert von Hellingrath and Friedrich Seebaß (1887–1963) , the Stuttgart edition by Friedrich Beissner and Adolf Beck and the Frankfurt edition by Dietrich Sattler , this article is based on the Stuttgart edition Edition cited.



Holderlin divided the poem into twelve stanzas. At a higher level, three parts not expressly marked by Hölderlin can be clearly distinguished. The opening part (verses 1-61) with four stanzas is the hymn price of the Archipelagus . The first stanza (verses 1-8) calls upon him; the second (verses 9-24) declares him the father of the Aegean islands ; the third (verses 25–53) celebrates his relationship with the universe ; the fourth (verses 54-61) recognizes him as sad and gives the reason. The middle section (verse 62–199) with six stanzas evokes ancient Athens. In the first stanza (verses 62–85) a past prosperity of the city is praised without fixation on a certain historical epoch; the second stanza (verse 86-103) describes the fall of Athens in the Persian Wars , the third (verse 104-124) the sea ​​battle at Salamis , the fourth (verse 125-135) the defeat of the Persians at Salamis from their point of view, the fifth (Verse 136–178) the return of the Athenians to their destroyed city, the sixth (Verse 179–199) the reconstruction. The final part (verses 200-296) with two stanzas is awareness of the poet's presence; the first stanza, with 78 verses by far the longest (verses 200–277), leads from sadness to hope; the second (verse 278–296) looks back on the lost antiquity with sadness and renewed confidence.

Text and comment

The word archipelagus , formed from ἀρχή, beginning, and πέλαγος, sea, is not documented from antiquity and the Middle Ages. For Holderlin, the Archipelagus is geographically the Aegean Sea with its islands and coasts, the Greek inhabited world, Oikumene , but in its essence it is the divine nature, the divine universe, the loving community of all living things. The word appears only in the title of the poem; but it is always present as a synonym for the "sea god" (for example verse 85) or the "mighty one" (verse 9). The ancient Greek sea gods Oceanus , Pontus and Poseidon were absorbed in him.

First part (verses 1-61)

In the first verses the “I” (verse 8) calls on the Archipelagus in the joy of spring with loving, pressing questions.

Page 1 of the manuscript Der Archipelagus - Homburg , verses 1–19. The manuscript sheets measure 19 × 23 cm.

0000Do the cranes return to you, and do
0000the ships seek their course again on your banks? breathe in the
0000air you want to breathe in the calm tide, and does the dolphin
0000sunbathe, lured from the depths, its back in the new light?
005 0Is ionia blooming? is it the time? because always in spring,
0000when the heart of
0000the living awakens again and the first love awakens the people and memories of golden times,
0000I come to you and greet you in your silence, old man!

The archipelagus extends from the height where the cranes return from more southern countries and blow "desired breezes" into the depths of the sea from which the dolphin emerges. Six islands represent the horizontal dimension.

0000Always, mighty one! do you still live and rest in the shade
010 of 0your mountains, as usual; with the arms of young men you
0000still embrace your lovely country, and your daughters, O father!
0000Your islands are still in bloom, none are lost.
0000Crete stands and Salamis is green, dawned by laurels,
0000rings of rays blooming, at the hour of rising
015 0Delos raises their enthusiastic heads, and Tenos and Chios
0000have enough of the purple fruits,
0000the cyprid drink wells from drunken hills , and
0000silver streams fall from Kalauria , as once, in the old waters of the father.
0000All they are still alive, the hero mothers who Islands,
020 0Bloom from year to year, and if at times the abyss
0000the flame of the night, untre thunderstorms suppleness,
0000One of the lovely seized, and the dying woman you fell into the lap,
0000Divine ! you, you endured, because over the dark
0000depths some things have already risen and gone.

The Archipelagus , repeatedly addressed as “you”, is the “mighty one”, the “old man” and yet at the same time a young man (verse 10). He is the "father" of the Aegean islands. Holderlin characterizes them as he knew them from Richard Chandler's travelogues, among others . Crete "stands" with its over 2000 meter high mountains. Salamis “green” as in the first volume of Hölderlin's letter novel Hyperion , published in 1797 . Delos , the island of Apollo , who was also a god of light, is "surrounded by rays". Tenos , Chios and Cyprus are wine islands. Kalauria , the home of Diotima, has - like here "silver streams" - in Hyperion hills with "foaming streams". The islands are ephemeral. Volcanism , “the flame of the night, the thunderstorm below” can destroy the “daughters” of the father, who alone as the divine universe has duration. The cosmos is included in its price.

Page 2 of the manuscript, verses 20-38.
Page 3 of the manuscript, verses 39–40 and 43–58; Verses 41 and 42 are missing from this manuscript.

025 0Also the heavenly ones, they, the powers of the highest , the silent ones, who bring
0000the serene day and sweet slumber and
0000foreboding far over the head of the sentient people
0000From the abundance of power, they too, the old playmates
0000live with them, as once to you, and often in the twilight evening,
030 0When the holy moonlight comes in from Asia’s mountains
0000and the stars meet in your wooge,
0000You shine with heavenly shine, and as they walk,
0000the waters change for you, the way of life sounds Brothers
0000upstairs, their night song in the loving bosom of you again.
035 0When the all-transfiguration, the sun of the day, is there,
0000you, the child of the Orient, the miraculous,
0000then the living begin all in the golden dream,
0000which the poet always prepares for them in the morning, to
0000you, the grieving God, sends you they happier magic,
040 0And their own friendly light is not so beautiful itself
0000Because the love symbol, the wreath, which always, as before,
0000remembers you, but it winds around the gray lock.
0000And does the ether not embrace you, and do the clouds,
0000your messengers, sweep away from it with the gifts of gods, the strale.
045 0From above do not you? Then you send them across the country,
0000That on the hot shore the thunderstorm forests
0000rustle and weigh with you, that soon, like the wandering son,
0000When the father calls him, with the thousand brooks meander
0000away from his madmen and from the plain Kayster
050 0you rejoices, and the firstborn, the old man,
0000hid too long, your majestic Nile strides high from the distant mountains, as in the sound of arms,
0000victorious comes, and extends the open arms of the longing.

There is sympathy between the heavenly bodies, the “old playmates” (verse 28) of the Archipelagus , and the sea. The “holy moonlight” and the stars shine on the “Wooge” in “heavenly shine”, the harmony of the spheres created by the movement of the heavenly bodies resounds “in the loving bosom” of the sea. According to the phases of the moon , the waters “alternate” (verse 33) in ebb and flow. The sun sends joy to the “grieving God” and, as a “symbol of love”, its reflection. The fact that the Archipelagus is surrounded by “ether” (verse 40), the all-nature with emphasis on the spiritual in nature, indicates “the intimate connection between nature and spirit”. The togetherness of Archipelagus- Sea-Land and Aether-Spirit is developed. The water evaporates from the sea and condenses in clouds, the "messengers" of the Archipelagus , which drift lightning-charged across the land and make the water rain, so that the rivers swell and hurry into the "open arms" of the sea to close the circle. The naming of the rivers extends the Oikumene. "Kayster", today Small Meander , and "Meander", today Large Meander , are rivers in western Asia Minor; the “lunatics” (verse 49) of the latter gave the name to the “meander” of geography and ornamentation. The Nile was the "firstborn" of the Ocean and the Titan Tethys . The fact that he “hid too long” alludes to the fact that his sources were unknown in antiquity. But why does the Archipelagus mourn , the islands emerge and fade, and they donate and receive water?

0000Yet you feel lonely; in silent night listening to
055 0your woe suit the rock, and often escapes you
0000in anger of mortals away the winged Wooge to heaven,
0000because it live with you the precious darlings ever,
0000The you honored once with the beautiful temples and cities
0000garlanded your shores, and always seek and miss,
060 0Like heroes, the wreath, the consecrated
0000elements for glory always need the hearts of sentient people.

In preparation for looking back, a deficit is established: that culture “with the beautiful temples and cities” has passed, which was in harmony with the all-pervading God-nature, intertwined with everything that existed by a sacred bond. "The beautiful temples and cities" of Greece are also mentioned in bread and wine . Similar to The Archipelagus it says there (verse 59) “But the thrones, where? the temples and where the vessels ”and (verses 99-100)“ But where are they? where do the acquaintances flourish, the crowns of the festival? Thebe withers and Athens ”. The archipelagus misses the praising affirmation by the people, "the necessary interrelationship between nature and man" . Very close to verses 60-61, the hymn Der Rhein from 1801 says: "and need / the heavenly ones one thing / so are heroes and people / and mortals otherwise."

Page 4 of the manuscript, verses 59-76.
Page 5 of the manuscript, verses 77-97

Middle section (verses 62-199)

The middle part begins again with pressing questions for the Archipelagus , emphasizing his love for Athens (verses 62–64): “Tell me, where is Athens? is over the urns the master / your city, the most beloved to you, on the holy shores, / mourning God! you slumped in ashes <...>? ”The lost Athens of the first stanza is not that of a particular historical epoch. Only in the transition to the second stanza can it be identified as Athens before the Persian Wars.

0000Tell me where is Athens? is over the urns of masters
0000your city, the most beloved to you, on the holy banks,
0000mourning God! you collapsed in ashes,
065 0Or is there another sign from her that perhaps the skipper,
0000when he passes by, will name her and think of her?
0000Did the pillars rise there and did not
0000the gods shine from the roof of the castle?
0000Did the voice of the people rustle there, which moved stormily,
070 0Not from the agora, and hurried from joyful gates
0000There the alleys not down to the blessed harbor?
0000Please refer! there solved his ship fernhinsinnende merchant,
0000Glad, because it blows 'also his inspiring air and the gods
0000as the poet, because he also Loved him the good
075 0Gaaben the Earth' united equalizer and Remote up close.
0000Remote after Cypros he let them go and distant to Tire,
0000aim to Colchis up and down to the old Ägyptos,
0000That he purple and wine and grain and fleece win
0000for their own city, and often on the bold
080 0Herkulessäulen addition to new blessed islands
0000carrying the hopes of him and the ship wings, however,
0000moved Anders, on the shore of the city a lonely young man
0000overheard Tired and Wooge and Great punishes the Serious
0000If it's feet as the earth-shaking master
085 0harken and sits, and not for nothing that brought him the Sea god.

It is characterized ex negativo . The splendid "castle" (the acropolis ), the splendid ( emphasized on the middle syllable ) "agora" (verse 70), the numerous people, metonymously represented by the "alleys" that rush "down to the blessed harbor" - are no more . The “far-sighted merchant” (verse 72) and a “lonely young man” (verse 82) stand for the totality of the “people”. The merchant, expanding the Oikumene once more, ships from Cyprus with his "Cypriot drink" (verse 17) to the Phoenician purple city of Tire on the east coast of the Mediterranean, from Colchis on the east coast of the Black Sea , which delivers "fleece", animal skins, to " Corn "chamber (verse 78) of the Mediterranean area " Aegyptus " , even over" the bold Hercules pillars ", the pillars of Heracles on the Strait of Gibraltar , out to the" sacred islands "from which Heracles took the apples of the Hesperides , maybe the Canary Islands . The lonely youth ponders on the seashore. Both are connected to the Archipelagus : "While the lonely young man listens to the earth-shaking waves, the merchant exchanges the treasures of the earth over the vastness of the sea." The young man is an allusion to Themistocles , and the great that he "punishes" and to educated by the sea god, was his activity as an Athenian statesman and general in the Persian Wars. In doing so, the poem shifts from the unhistorical image of the lost city to historical events. The following five stanzas describe the fall of Athens in 480 BC. Chr .; the sea ​​battle at Salamis in the same year; the defeat of the Persians from their point of view; the return of the Athenians; and the reconstruction under Pericles from 447 BC. "This portrayal of a historical event stands in great perfection far above all similar attempts in German language and poetry."

Page 6 of the manuscript, verses 98–117 with deviations from the Stuttgart edition.

0000For the enemy of genius, the
0000far-reaching Perse, has been counting them for years, the multitude of weapons, the servants,
0000mocking the Greek land and its few islands,
0000And they seemed a game to the ruler, and still, like a dream, was
090 to 0him the intimate people, armed by the spirit of the gods.
0000He utters the word easily and quickly, like the flaming mountain spring,
0000When it is poured about terribly by the fermenting Aetna,
0000cities buried in the purple flood and gardens in bloom,
0000Until the burning river in the holy sea cools down,
095 0So with the king now, scorching, devastating cities,
0000rushes from Ekbatana therefore its splendid tumult;
0000Sore! and Athena, the splendid, falls; Well looking and wrestling
0000From the mountains where the game hears their screams, old people fleeing
0000back to the apartments there and the smoking temples;
100 0But the holy ashes of the sons' prayer are
0000no longer brewing , in the valley there is death, and the cloud of fire
0000disappears in the sky, and to reap further in the land, Passes by, heated
0000by iniquity, with the spoil of the Perse.

In the battle of Marathon , which the poem later commemorates (v. 282), the Athenians had in 490 BC. A first Persian attack at the time of the great king Dareios I repelled. In 480 BC The large-scale attempt at conquest of Darius' son and successor Xerxes I followed. He is the "Perse", as Holderin called him with a name customary at the time, "the far-reaching Perse", after Herodotus with an army of over 5 million warriors. He set out from his residence “ Ekbatana ” (emphasized on the third syllable; verse 96). After he had defeated a Greek army under the Spartan king Leonidas I in the battle of Thermopylae , which the poem also commemorates later (verse 286), he was able to plunder Athens, which had been abandoned by the inhabitants according to the plan of Themistocles, "scorching, devastating" and destroy. The Persians appear as the “ruler” (verse 89), the king, his “servants” and the “multitude” (verse 87) of war material, as “dull violence, spiritless power”, “a barbaric, remote from nature and therefore nature like self-oppressive humanity ”. The Greeks, on the other hand, appear as the “genius” (v. 86), “the intimate people, armed by the divine spirit” (v. 90), “armed by the spirit that emanates from the strengthening and inspiring bond with the 'divine' nature of the Archipelagus ".

Page 7 of the manuscript, verses 118–135.

0000But on Salami's banks, oh day on Salami's banks!
105 0Waiting for the end stand the Athenian women, the virgins, stand the
0000mothers, cradling in their arms the rescued little son,
0000But to those who listen, the voice of the sea god
0000echoes up from the depths , prophesying healing, the gods of heaven
0000look down, weighing and judging, because there at him trembling shores
110 0Staggered since the beginning of the day like slowly walking thunderstorms,
0000There on foaming waters the battle, and noon glows,
0000unnoticed in anger, already over the heads of the fighters.
0000But the men of the people, the heroes 'nobility, they are
0000watching with lighter eyes now, the gods' favorites think
115 0Of the humble happiness, the children of Athens are not taming
0000their genius, him, the death- despising man .
0000For how out of smoking blood the wild game of the desert
0000rises once more, transformed one last time, like the nobler power,
0000And terrifies the hunter; Now returns in the gleam of arms,
120 0By the ruler's command, the savages
0000horribly collected , In the midst of doom, the tired soul once more.
0000And it starts with aflame; Like couples of struggling men,
0000the ships grab each other, the steering wheel stumbles into the wooge
0000, the bottom breaks among the warriors, and skipper and ship sink.

With Salamis the Greek world of harmony with God-nature triumphs over the Persian world of anti-nature; the “men of the people” (v. 113) win over the “servants” (v. 87). The god of the sea proclaims victory to the pious Athenian women "prophesying" (verse 108). At the time of the French Revolution , Holderlin shaped his affirmation of democracy and rejection of the monarchy. “The stanza is laid out as a huge crescendo towards the last word, on which the heroically bent sinks . After that the language falls silent in the stanza transition. "

125 0But sung in a dizzying dream of the song of the day,
0000the king rolls the blik; smiling madly at the exit he
0000threatens, and pleads, and rejoices, and sends, like Blize, the messengers.
0000But he sends for free, nobody returns to him.
0000Bloody messengers, slain by the army, and bursting ships,
130 0Throws the avenger countlessly, the thundering wooge in
0000front of the throne, where he sits on the trembling bank, the poor
0000looking at the flight, and away into the fleeing crowd, he
0000hurries him the god drives, his squadron
0000goes astray. Over the floods the god, who mockingly smashed his vain jewelery
135 at 0last and reached the weak in the threatening armor.

If the previous stanza (verse 86-103) described the fall of Athens, this one the fall of the Persians. According to Herodotus, Xerxes observed the sea battle from Mount Αἰγάλεως, Egaleo , opposite the island of Salamis. What he must see, still “sung” in the “dizzying dream” of Persian hubris, namely “The army's slaying and ships bursting” (verse 129), is what Holderlin describes based on Aeschylus ' tragedy The Persians . There Xerxes complains, asked by the choir about his warriors: "I left them dead there, / fallen from the Tyrierbord, near Salamis beach: / on the rocky island / shattered by the surf! <...> Woe, woe, looking / To the hated Athens, the ancient one, / With waves and waves against the shore, / So drifts, so it drifts up and down the surf! ”As with Aeschylus the surf drives the corpses drifts up and down, so in Hölderlin “the god”, the sea god himself Xerxes and “his erring squadron over the floods” (verse 133). According to Herodotus, Xerxes had built bridges over the Hellespont in preparation for war and, when the storm destroyed it, chastised the sea with three hundred lashes and had a pair of ankle shackles sunk in the sea. The vengeance of the sea god is "nature's revenge on violent anti-nature".

Page 8 of the manuscript, verses 136–155
Page 9 of the manuscript, verses 156-175

0000But lovingly return to the lonely river
0000Comes the Athenian people and from the mountains of their homeland
0000Woogen, happily mixed, the shining multitudes down
0000into the deserted valley, alas! like the aged mother,
140 0When, after years, the child, the lost one, comes alive again to
0000her breasts, an adult youth,
0000But her soul has withered in grief and the joy
0000comes too late for the hopeless and with difficulty hears it,
0000What the loving son spoken in his thank you;
145 0This is how the soil of the home appears to those who come there.
0000For it asking in vain for their groves the pious,
0000And the winner does not receive the friendly door again,
0000as the hiker or they empfieng if he pleased from the islands
0000of the mother Athena re hand 'and the blissful Castle
150 0About yearning major walked up to him fernherglänzend.
0000But they are well aware of the deserted alleys
0000and the mourning gardens around and on the agora,
0000Where the portico's columns have fallen and the divine images
0000lie, there is movement in the soul, and loyalty rejoices
155 0Now the loving people join hands again.
0000Soon the man seeks and sees the place of his own home.
0000Under the rubble the man; he cries in the neck, the trust
0000slumber Tate commemorative, his wife, is to ask the child
0000After the tables, where else in lovely row they sat,
160 0Seen from the fathers, the smiling gods of Hausses.
0000But the people build tents, the old
0000neighbors join in again, and according to the heart's habit,
0000the airy dwellings are arranged around the hills.
0000So however they now live, like the outdoors, the elderly,
165 0The, the strength and the coming days certainly trusting
0000Migratory birds alike, with singing of mountain to mountain 'once
0000Attracted, the princes of Forst and the weitumirrenden current.
0000But still, the mother earth, the faithful, embraces, as usual
0000Again her noble people, and holy heaven
170 0Resting her gently, when mild, as usual, the air of youth
0000To the sleepers waft, and sycamore Ilissus
0000you over rushes, and proclaiming new days,
0000enticing to new deeds, at night the wooge of the sea god
0000Fernher sounds and sends happy dreams to loved ones.
175 0The flowers are already sprouting and blooming, the golden ones
0000On the trampled field, waited by pious hands,
0000the olive tree grows, and on Kolonos fields
0000nourish peacefully, as usual, the Athenian horses again.

The Athenians “lovingly” return “to the lonely river”, the Ilissus , actually a stream. "The wonderfully simple parable of the prodigal son and the aged mother" also speaks of love. With the "ah!" It releases itself from the text; between the “like the aged mother” (that is, “like the aged mother”, verse 139) and the corresponding “so” (verse 145), independent sentences are inserted in a complicated syntax. The homecoming is told centripetally in three groups of five verses each. At first, the returnees are still outside the destroyed, friendly gates, the city gates (verses 146–150). “But they are well aware of the deserted alleys” in the interior of the city, the “mourning gardens” and the “agora”, where a new covenant of love is made (verses 151–155). Finally, the third group of five (verse 156-160) leads to the “place of one's own home”, to wife and children. The images of gods are also mentioned from the outside in. The Parthenon of the city goddess Athena on the Acropolis used to be "far-shimmering" (verse 150) . "The divine images" (v. 153) lie overturned on the agora. Finally, the “little children” were seen by “the smiling gods of the house” (verse 160). Reconstruction can begin in the memory of what is no longer. He remains committed to the past - "according to the heart's habit" the apartments are arranged, "as usual" it says three times - and harmonizes with the Archipelagus , with "the mother earth" (verse 168), the "holy heaven" (verse 169) , the airing of the youth (verse 170) and the "plane trees" on the "Ilissus" (verse 171). Above all, however, those who have returned hear “the wooge of the sea god at night”, which proclaims “new days” and sends “happy dreams”. The return stanza closes with the recovery of the biological world, the "flowers", the olive tree, the horses of the community " Kolonos " (emphasized on the middle syllable; Ίππειος Κολωνός, horse hill).

Page 10 of the manuscript, verses 176-194.

0000But in honor of the mother earth and the god of Wooge,
180 0If the city now blossoms, a glorious structure, securely founded like the star
0000, the work of genius, because
0000if he likes to create shackles of love , he holds
0000himself in great shapes built up, the ever-moving one remaining.
0000Look! and the creators serve the forest, it goes with the other
185 0mountains near at hand Pentele marble and ores,
0000but alive, as he did, and glad and glorious it entquillt
0000His hands, and light, like the sun, thrives Geschäfft him.
0000Wells rise up and,
0000guided over the hills in pure paths, the spring overtakes the shining basin;
190 0But around shines on them, the same festive heroes
0000On the same cup that the number of apartments, high rises
0000The Prytanes chamber, it stand open schools,
0000temples of the gods arise, a holy bold thought
0000rises, Immortals close Olympion into the ether
195 0from the peaceful grove; still some of the heavenly halls!
0000Mother Athena, you too, your glorious hill grew up
0000proudly out of sorrow and bloomed for a long time,
0000God of Woogen and you, and your darlings
0000often sang thanks to you , gathered in joy on the foothills.

The warlike events between the Battle of Salamis 480 BC And the Peace of Callias 449/448 BC. Skipping over BC, the final stanza of the middle section describes the reconstruction of Athens from 447 BC. BC What historically, above all, Pericles and the sculptor Phidias achieved is the work of the Greek "genius" (verse 181) in the poem. The guarantee of success is his love affair with the Archipelagus . In his honor, “the mother earth and the god of Wooge” (verse 179), and for him “love” (verse 181), genius creates. The Archipelagus willingly provides "forest" (verse 184), the famous Pentelic marble from the mountain "Pentele" and the "source" for the water supply (verse 189). This is how “the Prytanen Gemach”, the Prytaneion , the seat of the highest administrative officials, and “gymnasiums” and sports facilities arise . This is how the "Olympion" , the temple of Zeus and largest temple of ancient Greece, hence "a daring thought" (verse 193), and Athenes "magnificent hill", the Acropolis, come into being. Because Poseidon was worshiped there in addition to Athene, the Acropolis “grew up” (verse 196) also to the “god of the woogens” (verse 198). Salutation to him with a reminder of his love for Athens closes the middle part (verse 198-199) - "God of woogen and you, and your loved ones sang / gladly gathers thanks you often on the foothills" - as she opened it (verse 62– 64). Poseidon owned a temple on the "promontory" of Cape Sounion .

Final part (verses 200-296)

Page 11 of the manuscript, verses 195–213.
Page 12 of the manuscript, verses 214-233.

Athens went under. Suddenly the "I" (verse 205) becomes aware of the distance from the Greek past. The enthusiasm turns into sadness. Passionately and longingly, the "I" asks about the finality of the loss. Will it remain “always mourning” (v. 206)?

200 0O the happy children, the pious! Do you walk far away now
0000your fathers at home and forgotten the days of fate, Over on the Lethestrom, and no yearning brings you back,
0000Does my eye never see you? Oh! find over the thousand
0000paths of the green earth, ye godlike figures!
205 0The seeker never for you, and that is
0000why I heard the language, why the legend of you, that always mourning the soul flees from
0000me to your shadow before time?

In several approaches, each of which is introduced with "but", it struggles for hope.

0000But closer to you, where your groves still grow,
0000Where the holy mountain wraps its lonely head in clouds,
210 0I want to Parnassus, and when
0000shimmering in the darkness of the oak , I meet the erring fountain of Kastalia,
0000I will, mixed with tears, From a bowl scented with flowers
0000There, on the germinating greenery, pour the water, so that,
0000O you sleepy ones ! a dead sacrifice to you.
215 0There in the silent valley, cliffs hanging on Tempes,
0000I want to live with you, there often, you wonderful names!
0000Call to you by night, and when you appear angry,
0000Because the plow has desecrated the graves, with the voice of the heart
0000I will atone for you with pious song, holy shadows!
220 0Until to live with you, completely accustomed your soul.
0000The consecrated will then ask you many things, you dead!
0000You, you living ones too, you high powers of heaven,
0000When you pass over the rubble with your years,
0000you are on the safe path! for often the insane hall
225 0under the stars seizes my bosom like gruesome air,
0000That I look for advice, and for a long time they have never
0000spoken of consolation to the needy, the prophetic groves of Dodona,
0000the Delphic God is mute, and lonely and lying desolate
0000long since the paths where once led by hopes quietly,
230 0coming up Questioning the man to the city of bona fide seer.

“But closer to you” (verse 208), demanding the children of happiness at the forgetting “Lethestrom” (verse 202), the “I” evokes Greek places, first (verse 210–214) Delphi at the foot of “Parnassus” (verse 210). From “Kastalia's source” (verse 211) it wants to offer the chthonic gods “a death sacrifice” (verse 214), as the choirmaster describes in Oedipus on Colonus of Sophocles : “First draw water from the holy spring, / the inexhaustible, with a pious hand. <...> There are jugs, works by an artist. Wreath their edge and both handles. <...> Pour cast on cast, facing east. <...> water and honey, but no wine. <...> Put olive branches, three times nine, with both hands / over them and offer your prayer. ”From the“ darkness of the oak ”(verse 210) on Panassos, the imagination of the“ erring ”(verse 211) wanders into that of“ hanging rocks “Delimited, deeply cut Tempe valley in Thessaly between Olympus and Ossa (verse 215-219). But the imaginary wandering does not lead to the enlivening of the “children of happiness” (v. 200), the “godlike figures” (v. 204). Rather, the “I” now expresses his innermost need, “because the madhouse <...> often seizes my bosom like gruesome air” (verses 224–225), as if Holderlin felt his incipient psychosis . "This existential melancholy of those who almost bleed to death in memory is a problem that Hölderlin suffered again and again and around which his poetic self-reflection revolves, especially in his later work." Even Greek oracles have no "advice" or "consolation" for the "needy" (Verse 226–227), neither “ Dodona ” (verse 227), where Zeus prophesied, nor “Delphi” (verse 228) with the oracle of Apollo, nor Thebes , the city of “the honest seer” (v. 230) Teiresias .

Page 13 of the manuscript, verses 234-253.
Page 14 of the manuscript, verses 254-272.

0000But above the light, it still speaks to people today,
0000full of beautiful interpretations and the voice of the great thunderer
0000it calls: do you think mine? and the mourning wave of the sea god
0000echoes it: do you never remember me as before?
235 0For the heavenly ones like to rest on the feeling heart;
0000Always, as usual, they still accompany, the inspiring forces,
0000gladly the striving man and over the mountains the home
0000rests and rules and lives omnipresent,
0000That a loving people gathered in the father's arms,
240 0humanly joyful, as usual, and one Spirit is common to all.

“But the light above,” the “I” pulls itself up in a second approach (v. 231). The eternal - pantheistically seen - nature, the light, the sea god, the "heavenly ones" (verse 235), "omnipresent the ether" (verse 238), with the term of the poem of the Archipelagus : they live, give inspiring (verse 236) Inspiration and for their part long for a “loving people” (verse 239), similar to the opening part (verses 60-61): “For the heavenly ones like to rest on the feeling heart” (verse 235). For a moment the feeling of loss fades.

0000But woe! it walks in night, it dwells like in orcus,
0000without divine our race. Ans own doings
0000they are forged alone, and in the roaring workshop
0000Hear any just and much work savages
245 0With a mighty arm, restless, but over and over
0000Sterility, like the Furies, is the effort of the poor.
0000Until, awakened from the anxious dream, the soul
0000rises to the people , youthfully happy, and the love seeping Othem
0000again, as often before, with Hella's blossoming children,
250 0Waves in new times and over freer foreheads
0000Us the spirit of nature, the distant wandering,
0000The god appears in silence again in golden clouds.
0000Oh! and are you still lining up? and those who are divinely born,
0000dwell always, oh day! Even more than in depths of the earth
255 0Lonely down, however, an ever living spring
0000unsung dawn the sleeper above the main?

"But woe! it walks in night, it dwells like in orcus, / without divine our race ”. The vision "that a loving people gathered in the Father's arms <...> and one spirit is common to all" is abruptly interrupted by the horror of the present. Hyperion had already written in his scandal against the Germans at the end of the letter novel: “Barbarians of old, become more barbaric through industry and science and even through religion, profoundly incapable of any divine feeling. <...> It is a harsh word and yet I say it because it is truth: I cannot imagine a people that would be more torn than the Germans. You see artisans but no people, thinkers but no people, priests but no people, masters and servants, boys and sedate people, but no people. ”The“ savages ”of the poem (v. 244) are the“ barbarians ”in Hyperion's letter. As specialists narrow-minded “they are forged into their own hustle and bustle” in the poem, “craftsmen”, “thinkers” or “priests” without any sense of general humanity, without an open view into the distance, they are in the letter; “Without the divine” in the poem, “profoundly incapable of any divine feeling” in the letter. If the Greek “genius” (v. 181) created the new Athens “happy and glorious” (v. 186) in harmony with nature after the Persian wars, the “toil of the poor” (v. 246) must be in the one that has disintegrated with the divine nature Remaining “sterile” in the present. The depression has bottomed out. From it, however, the “I” succeeds in liberation “in real heroic dissonance”: “Until, when the anxious dream awakens, the soul rises” (verses 247–248). In words of joy and love hope triumphs: “youthfully happy”, “Othem blessed with love”, “over a freer forehead”, “in golden clouds”. The “day” (verse 254) has not yet arrived.

Page 15 of the manuscript, verses 273-292.

0000But no longer! already I hear distant of festive
0000choral singing on green mountains' and the echo of the trees,
0000where the youths breast lifts where the soul of the people located
260 0Still United in the freer song, to the glory of God,
0000The deserves the height, but also the Thales are holy;
0000Because where cheerful power addition rushes in growing youth
0000under flowers of the country, and where on sunny plains
0000matures noble grain and fruit woods, as wreaths at the feast
265 0happy the pious is also shines, and on the hill of the city,
0000Human apartment just , the heavenly hall of joy.
0000Because all life has become full of divine meaning,
0000And perfect, as usual, you appear again to the children
0000everywhere, O nature! and, like from the mountain range,
270 0sea ​​blessings run from here and there into the germinating soul of the people.
0000Then, then, O joys of Athens! your deeds in Sparta!
0000Delicious spring time in Greece! when our
0000autumn comes, when you have matured, all of you spirits of the past!
0000Come back and see! the completion of the year is at hand!
275 0Then get the festival for you too, days gone by!
0000The people look towards Hellas, and weeping and thanking,
0000sedate themselves in memories of the proud day of triumph!

“But no longer!” The “I” released to the “pure, lofty vision of the future feast day” hears “far away from the feast day choral singing <...> to the glory of God” (verses 257-258), to the glory of the Archipelagus . To him high and low, the green mountains (v. 258), the valleys (v. 261) and the "sunny plains" (v. 263) are holy. As a “river” (verse 262) it fertilizes the land, creates a new culture with “flowers”, “corn”, “fruit forest”, a “hall of joy” (verse 263–266) and leaves “as from the mountain range” ...> Blessings from here and there into the germinating soul of the people ”(verses 269–270). With the emphatic “Then, then” (verse 271) the climax of the enthusiasm is reached. “The essence of the two Greek cities is masterfully met,” Athens, city of the “joys” of flourishing culture, and Spartas , city of combative “deeds”. “In a new time” (verse 250) should (or will) “our autumn” and the “delicious springtime in Greece” correspond to one another. This “completion” (verse 274) is not intended to be a copy of Greece. Autumn cannot be a copy of spring. The "pre-world" will not return; will return - according to the idea of ​​autumn "more mature" (verse 273) - "the spirits of the past". The tertium comparationis between remembered Greek past and the hoped-for independent future is the “spirit of nature” (verse 251), the loving harmony of nature and the human world. If it is won, “then keep the festival for you too, past days!” The “then” (verse 275) picks up the “then, then” (verse 271) increasing again. “Only with the fulfilled future, which has to be a completely unique, authentic one, will the past also be completely conquered at the same time.” Do not triumph in high spirits, but - not without melancholy - “weep and thank you” should be soothed on this day (verse 254 , 257, 277) memory.

Page 16 of the manuscript, verses 293-296.

0000But in the meantime bloom until our fruits begin,
0000bloom, you gardens of Ionia! only, and those of Athens' rubble
280 0Greens, you Holden! hides the sadness of the looking day!
0000Wreaths with everlasting leaves, you laurel forests!
0000around the hills of your dead, at marathon where the boys
0000died conquering, ah! there on Chäroneas climes,
0000where enteilten into the blood, the lezten Athens with the weapons
285 0Fleeing before the Day of shame, there, there from the mountains
0000down Sues to Schlachttal daily, there sing of Oetas
0000tops the Schick Hall song, her changing water down!
0000But you, immortal, even if the Greek
0000song does not celebrate you, as usual, from your woogen, oh god of the sea!
290 0tones in my soul that over the waters
0000fearless rain the spirit, like the swimmer,
0000exercises itself in the strong fresh happiness and
0000understands the language of the gods, the changing and becoming, and when the raging time is
0000too powerful for me Head seizes and distress and the mad hall
295 0Among mortals my mortal life is shaken, then
0000let the silence remember me in your depths.

The “I” in the “Abgesang”, the last stanza of the poem, receives serenity when looking at the past from the certainty of the future holiday that has been gained and tinged with melancholy. The nature of the "Gardens of Ionia" embraces the art of Athens thrown into "rubble". "Laurel forests" overgrown the graves of the fallen of "Marathon" (verse 282), the battle of "Chäronea" (verse 283), in which Philip II of Macedonia in 338 BC. BC defeated the Greek cities and ended their freedom, and the battle of Thermopylae, the bottleneck between the sea and the Oeta Mountains (verse 286). The "walking waters" (verse 287) of Oeta lead over to the last invocation of the "immortal" (verse 288) Archipelagus . It corresponds to the invocation of the first verses and rounds off the poem. The address "you" in the first verse corresponds to the address "your" in the last. From its rule over setting as well as rising, the "I" receives hope for the future festival on the one hand and hope for itself on the other, if it understands the "changing and becoming" (verses 292-293) of the divine all-nature and embraces it surrender.


Readers of the first half of the 19th century express themselves consistently in praise, sometimes panegyric, and devalue the works of the mentally ill late Holderlin, which are difficult to access, compared to the Archipelagus . The comparison can already be found in the earliest surviving statement, which comes from Hölderlin's former teacher in the Tübingen monastery Karl Philipp Conz . In 1805 he found “that only recently in the III. Booklet of Huber's Conversations printed by Holderlin, albeit too much tension, a poem of the Archipelagus that reveals a sickly touching longing “much better than later, dark, often completely incomprehensible poems.

Ludwig Uhland wrote in 1822 during the preparation of the 1826 edition of poems, which he and Gustav Schwab were in charge of: “I read the Archipelagus again. A wonderful poem! ”Also in connection with the edition of the poem, Hölderlin's younger half-brother Karl Gok said that in the Archipelagus , Hölderlin's love for Greece is expressed“ with a true gift of divination ”.

For the first time, the 1826 edition produced more detailed appreciations of Hölderlin's poetry. In 1827 Gustav Schwab wrote, praising his co-editor: "Of all the transfigured images of nature in the gallery of this collection of poems, none is more magnificent than the long and yet in no verse, in no word tiring hymn, which is dedicated to the 'Archipelagus'" ... >. Greece's nature and history have been revealed to the singer's eyes as they are now; This poem shows like no other that the highest poetry is also the highest truth. Whoever takes it up in a mind that does not lack the appropriate background of his own imagination will have to say to himself after reading it: Yes, the author really and truly was in the land of the Hellenes! Also, the essence of classical antiquity has never been apprehended with a more romantic longing. ”Also in 1827 Wolfgang Menzel wrote :“ In the slightest gentlest melancholy is <...> the long elegy, the Archipelagus, breathed into it with a sigh. A wonderful inclination directs the poet's longing for Greece. His mind rests on the sunlit islands of Ionia, and here his lament softens when he reaches into the sounds of Homer and Alcaeus . But the wild storm inside him won't let him rest. Last, because these are the latest poems, this flame-drenched soul breaks out into wild, bold dithyrambs , which adorn themselves with all the grace of the sublime, terribly beautiful. These poems are entitled Memories , the Hike, the Rhine, Hyperion's Song of Destiny . "

In an obituary for the poet, Moriz Carrière wrote in 1843 that in some poems “the longing of the gods of Greece resounds”, but that it soon expresses itself in a new form, “like in the wonderful hymn to the Archipelagos.” The theologian Gottlob Kemmler ( 1823–1907) wrote an elegy on Hölderlin's funeral day “Auf Hölderlin's grave” with clear echoes of the Archipelagus , for example “I can hear far away from the festival / choir singing” (verse 257–258) in Kemmler's “And already we hear the far away clogged fountain of history / again rustling the people. "

In 1844, Theodor Opitz finished a tribute to Hölderlin with the last seven verses of the Archipelagus "Then, then, O you joys of Athens ...".

In a review of the “Complete Works” from 1846, Wilhelm Siegmund Teuffel wrote in 1847 that the first volume contained poems “which bear the traces of the night of spirituality on their foreheads most unequivocally and which consequently should have been assigned to the second volume; we especially mean the poems 'souvenirs', 'the hike' and 'the Rhine'. <...> It makes an extremely unpleasant impression when one suddenly reads the utterly morbid and confused 'souvenir' after the artful and carefully worked out 'Archipelagus' <...> ".

Gustav Schwab's appreciation speaks again from a letter to his son Christoph, who was in Greece, in 1847: “Yesterday evening, as soon as it was in our hands, I read to Hölderlin's Archipelagus , and we cheered with joy at the spot: Rings of rays in bloom, raise your enthusiastic head at the hour of rising / Delos! "


Friedrich Gundolf

In 1911 Friedrich Gundolf gave his inaugural lecture on Hölderlin's The Archipelagus , printed as a 26-page ribbon. Without devaluing Hölderlin's later poetry, which bordered on the impenetrable, he found that The Archipelagus was factually more tangible and clearer. The three parts of the poem are three concentric circles of nature - Greek - German. Hölderlin experiences nature as animated, divine and always becoming. Holderlin does not describe the dormant existence of islands and rivers, but their action or function. Gundolf quoted (his blocking pressure): "Delos raises her enthusiastic head of drunken hills swells the Cypriertrank and Calauria fall . Silver Streams" The middle circle is a "tremendous evocation of Athenian culture - pure historian Werdung the divine powers whose purest nature will “Hölderlin sang about in the entrance of his poem. Religious delight vibrates in the verse “But on Salami's shore, oh day! on the banks of Salamis ”. The innermost circle is the lawsuit and the judgment of Holderlin about his time. As a sensual, seeing, feeling person, he was unable to console himself with flat ideas like “progress” over the apparent drought of his environment. But because he was certain of the reign of the gods, of the spirit of nature, he was not afraid of the world, of “a bright future”.

Juerg Peter Walser

For Jürg Peter Walser, in his 239-page dissertation from 1962, Hölderlin's Der Archipelagus is "the poet's most mature poem in hexameters, one of the most wonderful structures in the German language". It can be structured "as a triptych ". First, Walser explores the specific sound of the Archipelagus poetry by comparing it with Goethe's hexameter poems Reineke Fuchs and Hermann and Dorothea . Then the three parts of the poem are interpreted. Furthermore, the structure is compared with Holderlin's theoretical statements on poetics . Finally, Walser traces the development of Hölderlin's art from An der Natur 1795 via The Archipelagus 1800 to 1801 to the hymn Patmos 1803.

Hölderlin's language is extremely exclusive in terms of sound. An extraordinary sonority with extended vowels and sliding diphthongs contribute to this:

0000K eh ren the Kr a niche w ie to be d i r, and s u chen to d ei nen U away w ie the ships the L au f?

For Hölderlin's Verstakte , a "curvature", that is, heightening or intensification of the tone in the second half of the bar is characteristic, for example in the verse

005 0Flowers Ì- | ó-nìen? | is it the time?
017 0Quills the | Cý-prìer | drank, and fall from Calauria
030 0If from | Á-sìens | Mountains in

If the intensity of syllables or words in the second half of the bar is similar to or even surpasses the intensity of the beginning or the beginning of the bar, one could use a term from the Swiss medievalist Andreas Heusler to speak of “ pitch diffraction ”, a “disruption of the 'unison' of the metric Ictus and linguistic star tone ”. Examples are

0000Everyone hears only and | much ar | the savages work
245 0With a mighty | Arm, rest | go, yes | always and always
0000Un fruit | barely, like the Furies, the toil of the poor remains.
0000Until the soul awakens from frightening dream that people
0000on going , | youthful happy

also the verse already emphasized above

124 0The ground breaks among the warriors and boatmen and | Ship is sinking .

The rhythmic origin of Hölderlin's tone thus lies in an intensification of the bending branch of his bars. In The Archipelagus , this intensification can be felt as a constant excitement over entire areas. The verses should be spoken slowly. The weight of the individual words is increased.

As the middle of the poem, Walser sees the “concise moment” in which in the ninth stanza the Athenians' memories pass into the future, the “no longer 'like <...> otherwise' (verse 148)” to “again” how else '(v. 168, 170, 178) ”becomes, the sea god“ sends happy dreams to the loved ones ”(v. 174). Here “becoming as dissolution” becomes “becoming as blossoming”. First of all, what is becoming is still hidden, the moment is “concise” in the sense of its origin from Latin “praegnans”, pregnant. But immediately what was still in the bud appeared: "The flowers were already sprouting and blooming, the golden ones" (verse 175). Walser finds a similar moment in verses 182–183 of the hymn Der Rhein captured "And balanced / Is the ballroom for a while".

Jochen Schmidt

In 1987, Jochen Schmidt included a 23-page essay on "Nature and Culture" in the poem in his bibliophile facsimile edition of the Homburg manuscript. He places Hölderlin's worldview in the history of pantheism. In the beginning there was the teaching building of the Greek Stoa , especially the Middle Stoa . Holderlin was familiar with the tradition through Cicero 's De natura deorum , on which he even gave a lecture. In addition, Mark Aurel's self-talk , which he owned himself, had become important to him. This pantheism assumes an all-encompassing and all-pervasive nature. Their characteristics are the all-sympathy and all-harmony of the cosmos. Individual becoming and decaying are suspended in this. The individual can gain the proverbial “stoic calm” from this knowledge.

According to Schmidt, this worldview held two hopes for Hölderlin. First, it gave hope for himself in his unstable, shaken life situation. “The need and the madhouse” had “shaken his mortal life” (verses 294-295). The “stillness” (verses 8, 296) and “depths” (verses 24, 296) of the Archipelagus , the all-nature should give rest. Second, the pantheistic worldview offered hope for his political environment, his fatherland, the Germans. “The stoic-pantheistic interpretation of nature as a universal harmony also gives rise to the idea of ​​man's natural destiny for a harmonious community.” The ideal, the Greek polis, had passed. From the timelessly creative nature, however, the - viewed negatively - civilization of its time might regenerate itself into a fulfilled future, internally related to the polis.

Fridolin Ganter

In his 172-page dissertation, Fridolin Ganter continues Walser's phonological analysis of the poem - analysis on the sound level. Instead of pitch diffraction like Walser, Ganter speaks of floating accentuation . His examples include the verses

023 more 0divine! | you, you | endure,
043 0And embraces the | Ether you | not and sweep the clouds,
120 0In the ruler Ge | bot, fear | barge collects the Wild,
238 0Rest and reigns and | lives all | presently the ether,
288 0But | you un | mortal, even though the Greeks song already

In verse 43, for example, the clash of the linguistic tone on "you" with the metric accent on "not" results in a floating accent. It appears mysterious, solemn, sublime and retarded, increasing the weight of the individual words. The frequent compositions of a verb and an independent word about in also had a retarding effect

035 0If the allverklärende then, the sun of the day,
050 0you receive rejoices , and the first-born, the old man,
136 0but loving zurük for lonely expectant stream
140 0If after years of the child who lost respected , again
255 0Lonely down, however, one always living spring

Many of these writings were already felt to be offensive when they were first printed in 1804 and had been abandoned . Also the inversion of noun and adjectival attribute into “the forces of height, the silent ones” (verse 25) or “the flowers mälig, the golden ones” (verse 175) as well as the accumulation of like-order clauses in “That he purple and wine and Grain and Vließe win ”(verse 78) slowed the reader's reception.

Ganter confirms the importance of sonority for Hölderlin's linguistic sound. "Since the sound volume (sonority) of the sounds is proportional to the euphony in speech and text <...>, the Archipelagus realizes a high degree of euphony." Another element are the alliterations in Hölderlin's hexameters, not just consonant - but also “ Vowel iterations that seem 'puzzling' for today's sense of language, for example in

0000K honor the K raniche again d ir, and try to d a U away again the ships to L on? to a thmen desired L üfte you the calm tide, u nd the dolphin, sonnet Au s depth ge l ockt, the new L eights the Rüken?

In a comparison of the Stuttgart and Frankfurt editions of Hölderlin's works, Ganter questions the “modernization” of punctuation by Friedrich Beissner. The verses of the Stuttgart edition

062 0Tell me where is Athens? is over the urns of masters
063 0your city, the most beloved to you, on the holy shores,
064 0mourning God! you slumped in ashes,

are in the Frankfurt edition

062 0Tell me where is Athens? is over the urns of masters
063 0Your city, the most beloved to you, on the holy shores
064 0Mourning God! you slumped in ashes,

In this case, however, both versions, with and without a comma at the end of verse 63, can be based on Hölderlin. The comma is in Hölderlin's “Berlin Handwriting”, but is missing, as the original shown above shows, in the “Homburg Handwriting”. The difference has a semantic consequence. In the Stuttgart edition , “on the holy banks” determines the location of the “city”; it is the "city on the holy shores". In the Frankfurt edition , “on the holy banks” determines the place of God's mourning; he is the “God mourning on the holy shores”. In addition, a typical Hölderlin enjambement is omitted from the Stuttgart edition . In general, Ganter ironizes adaptations to the currently valid spelling, for example when in the poetry edition of the German classic publisher Wooge , Gaaben , Schoos and seegnen have become Woge , Gaben , Schoß and bless : "After the upcoming spelling reform, verse 3 would possibly be as: 'and to give the dolphin '. "

Ganter bases the structure of the poem on its “dialogicity”. It is expressed in the proportion of personal and possessive pronouns of the first and second person in the total text. There is a tripartite division. Verses 1–71 had a unique me in addition to many you and other second person singular pronouns. Verses 72–185 did not contain a first or second person pronoun. The pronouns of verses 186-296 are varied, with personal and possessive pronouns of the first and second person in the singular and plural. Verses 1-71 described the islands of the archipelago in living across from me and you . What is told impersonally in verses 72-183, the history of Athens, is initially outside of an I - thou relationship. The variety of pronouns in verses 184–296 reflects the poetic self's attempt to tie in with antiquity in the present. The pronouns oscillated here, particularly clearly in verses 241–243: “But woe! it walks in night, it dwells, as in orcus, / without divinity our race. To their own doings / they are forged alone. " You and I , according to Ganter, are losing their clear outline, an" allegorical picture of Holderlin's world. "


  • Friedrich Gundolf: Hoelderlins Archipelagus. Public trial lecture to obtain the Venia legendi at the Philosophical Faculty of Heidelberg University. Held on April 26, 1911. 2nd edition. Weiss'sche Universitätsbuchhandlung, Heidelberg 1916. Reprinted in Friedrich Gundolf: Dichter und Helden, pp. 5–21. Weiss'sche Universitätsbuchhandlung, Heidelberg 1921.
  • Friedrich Hölderlin: Complete Works. Big Stuttgart edition . Edited by Friedrich Beissner and Adolf Beck. Kohlhammer Verlag , Stuttgart 1946 to 1985.
  • Friedrich Hölderlin: Complete Works . Historical-critical edition in 20 volumes and 3 supplements. Edited by Dietrich Sattler. Frankfurt edition. Stroemfeld / Roter Stern publishing house , Frankfurt am Main and Basel 1975–2008.
  • Jochen Schmidt: Nature and culture in Hölderlin's "Archipelagus". In: Jochen Schmidt (Ed.): The Archipelagus. Facsimile of the Homburg manuscript with an essay on nature and culture in Hölderlin's “Archipelagus”. Verlag der Buchhandlung Zimmermann, Nürtingen 1987.
  • Jochen Schmidt (Ed.): Friedrich Hölderlin: Poems. Deutscher Klassiker Verlag , Frankfurt am Main 1992. ISBN 3-618-60810-1 .
  • Fridolin Ganter: Versus heroicus. A speech, language and text analytical aesthetic construction of Hölderlin's Archipelagus. Peter Lang Verlag , Frankfurt am Main 1999. ISBN 3-631-34211-X .
  • Jürg Peter Walser: Hölderlins Archipelagus. Atlantis Verlag , Zurich 1962.

References and comments

  1. ^ Adolf Beck and Paul Raabe: Hölderlin. A chronicle in text and pictures. Insel-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1970, p. 381.
  2. a b Richard Chandler mentions deep Gießbach beds for Kalauria, a well with very cold water and a large water container in which the water "collects from different channels," perhaps suggestion for the poem verses 17-18. Richard Chandler: Traveling in Greece: undertaken at the expense of the society of the dilettanti. Pp. 299-300, Chapter 49. Leipzig, 1777. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
  3. Stuttgart edition, Volume 2, 2, p. 658.
  4. Stuttgart edition, Volume 6.1, p. 385.
  5. Stuttgart edition, Volume 6.1, S, 395.
  6. Stuttgart edition, Volume 7, 2, p. 172.
  7. ^ Page 1 of the Berlin manuscript of Der Archipelagus . Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  8. ^ Page 1 of the Homburg manuscript from Der Archipelagus . Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  9. a b c The stanza cuts before verses 208, 231, 241 and 257 in this article differ from the Stuttgart edition (and also the Frankfurt edition ), where verses 200 to 277 form a very long stanza.
  10. Walser 1962, pp. 102-105.
  11. Stuttgart edition, Volume 3, p. 47.
  12. Stuttgart edition, Volume 3, p. 48.
  13. Schmidt 1992, p. 691.
  14. Stuttgart edition, Volume 7, 1, pp. 94–95.
  15. Gundolf 1916, p. 16.
  16. Stuttgart edition, Volume 7, 1, p. 145.
  17. Such incongruities are numerous in The Archipelagus , about verse 147 "And the victor does not receive the friendly gate again".
  18. Walser 1962, p. 116.
  19. Walser 1962, p. 108.
  20. Herodotus: Histories. Translated by A. Horneffer . Alfred Kröner Verlag, Stuttgart 1963, Book VII, Section 185.
  21. Gundolf 1916, p. 18.
  22. a b Schmidt 1992, p. 688.
  23. Schmidt 1992, pp. 688-689.
  24. Walser 1962, p. 122.
  25. Herodotus: Histories. Translated by A. Horneffer. Alfred Kröner Verlag, Stuttgart 1963, Book VIII, Section 90.
  26. Aeschylus: The Tragedies and Fragments. Transferred from Johann Gustav Droysen . Alfred Kröner Verlag, Stuttgart 1962, pp. 51-52.
  27. Herodotus: Histories. Translated by A. Horneffer. Alfred Kröner Verlag, Stuttgart 1963, Book VII, Sections 34–35.
  28. Schmidt 1992, p. 694.
  29. The word “forged” (verse 134) has the old meaning “forged from metal”.
  30. Walser 1962, pp. 129-130.
  31. Sophocles: The Tragedies. Translated by Heinrich Weinstock . 4th edition, Alfred Kröner Verlag, Stuttgart 1962, p. 410.
  32. Hölderlin was able to read about the source in his presence in Richard Chandler: “The waters of the Kastalia, from which it was believed that the Pythia and the poets, who put their answers in verse, siphoned a good measure of their enthusiasm, flows through a chasm of Parnassus. <...> The water is clear and extremely cold. When I was returning from the village in the evening, I wanted to wash my hands in it; but I was immediately overcome by a chill so violent that I could neither walk nor stand without help. <...> Perhaps the Pythia , when she bathed in the freezing water, held her shudder for the deity. ” Richard Chandler: Journeys in Greece undertaken at the expense of the society of the amateur, p. 375, chapter 67. Leipzig 1777.Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  33. Schmidt 1987, pp. 74-75.
  34. Stuttgart edition, Volume 3, p. 153.
  35. a b Walser 1962, p. 168.
  36. Walser 1962, p. 170.
  37. Schmidt 1992, p. 701.
  38. Schmidt 1992, p. 685.
  39. Stuttgart edition, Volume 7, 4, p. 23.
  40. Stuttgart edition, Volume 7, 2, p. 517.
  41. Stuttgart edition Volume 7, 2, p. 528.
  42. Stuttgart edition, Volume 7, 4, pp. 43–44.
  43. Stuttgart edition, Volume 7, 4, p. 51.
  44. Stuttgart edition, Volume 7, 3, pp. 373–374.
  45. Stuttgart edition, Volume 7, 3, p. 521.
  46. Stuttgart edition Volume 7, 4, p. 239.
  47. Stuttgart edition Volume 7, 4, p. 141.
  48. Stuttgart edition, Volume 7, 3, p. 449.
  49. Walser 1962, p. 57.
  50. Walser 1962, p. 92.
  51. Walser 1962, p. 84.
  52. Walser 1961, p. 69.
  53. Walser 1962, p. 143.
  54. Stuttgart edition, Volume 7, 1, p. 147.
  55. Walser 1962, p. 100.
  56. Schmidt 1987, p. 62.
  57. Ganter 1999, pp. 61-62.
  58. Ganter 1999, p. 9.
  59. Ganter 1999, pp. 64-65.
  60. Ganter 1999, p. 80.
  61. Ganter 1999, p. 73.
  62. ^ Page 4 of the Berlin manuscript of Der Archipelagus . Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  63. Ganter 1999, p. 96.
  64. Ganter 1999, p. 96. According to the publisher of the Frankfurt edition, Karl Dietrich Wolff, in a letter to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published on June 24, 1997 : “Why shouldn't schoolchildren read, for example, that 'Heat' from the late Hölderlin 'Hizze '- with two z - was written? "
  65. Ganter 1999, p. 112.