Diederich Volkmann

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Diederich Volkmann (born September 13, 1838 in Bremen , † March 13, 1903 in Tabarz ) was a German classical philologist and rector of the Princely School Pforta for twenty years .


Volkmann was the eldest son of the theologian and teacher at the Bremen Illustre Gymnasium, Johann Heinrich Volkmann (1804–1865) and his wife Amalie (1813–1842), the daughter of Bremen's mayor Diederich Meier (1787–1857).

Volkmann's brothers were the businessman and American consul in Odessa Johann Hermann Volkmann (1840-1896), the partner and chairman of the supervisory board of the North German wool combing & worsted spinning mill ( north wool ) Johann Heinrich Volkmann (businessman) (1842-1916) and the Bremen pastor Gustav Volkmann (1842 -1917).

Volkmann married Clementine Breslau (1845-1923), the daughter of the senior building inspector Adolph Breslau and Liddy Wellner. Both had five children including the colonial officer Major Richard D. Volkmann (1870-1954).

After attending the old grammar school in Bremen, Volkmann studied philology at the University of Bonn from 1857 , where he became active in the Alemannia fraternity . In 1858 he moved to the University of Breslau and returned to Bonn in 1859 and received his doctorate in 1861. phil. with the dissertation De Suidae biographicis quaestiones selectae .

In 1861 he became a teacher at the Fürstenschule Schulpforta . Friedrich Nietzsche was one of his students there from 1861 to 1864 , with whom he remained in contact for decades and whom he advised to go to Bonn to study. At Easter 1863 Volkmann moved up to the position of 4th adjunct, was appointed senior teacher in 1866 and professor in 1870. In 1873 he was appointed director of the grammar school in Görlitz , and in 1874 as such at the grammar school in Elberfeld . In 1878 he returned to Schulpforta as rector.

Shortly after taking office, Kaiser Wilhelm II asked Volkmann to get the Rector's advice for the large school conference planned for 1890. He turned down an offer to take over the Prussian Higher Education Department as Ministerialrat .

He carried out numerous educational trips to Italy and Greece. As a teacher, he taught Greek, Latin, French and German, although in the rector years he limited himself to teaching Greek to the senior class due to time constraints. Due to his unstable health, Volkmann was solemnly retired from the office of rector in 1898. In the meantime appointed to the secret government council, he took up residence in Jena. He died while on vacation in Tabarz and is buried there.



  • De Suidae biographicis quaestiones selectae - Bonnae. Georgi, 1861.
  • De Suidae biographicis quaestiones alterae, symbol. philologorum Bonnensium Fasc. II, 1867, pp. 715-731.
  • Itinerarium Alexandri - Naumburg. Sieling, 1871.
  • De Suidae biographicis quaestiones novae. Gymn.-Progr. von Schulpforta, Naumburg 1873.
  • Alexandri Magni rerum gestarum epitoma: Et cod. Mettensi - Namburgi. Sieling, 1886.


  • Fritz Heyer: From the history of the state school to the gate. Darmstadt, Leipzig 1943.
  • Felix Beheim-Schwarzbach: Diederich Volkmann. Around 1943.
  • Hans Heumann: Schulpforta - tradition and change in an elite school. Erfurt 1994.