Elias von Steinmeyer

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Emil Elias Steinmeyer , since 1909 Knight of Steinmeyer (* 8. February 1848 in Nowawes ; † 5. March 1922 in Erlangen ) was a German germanistischer medievalist (Altgermanist) and classical scholar . He was professor for German language and literature at the University of Erlangen .



Elias Steinmeyer came from a middle-class Prussian pastor's household. His father was the pastor and professor of Protestant theology Franz Ludwig Steinmeyer (1811–1900), his mother Agnes Emilie, née Wachs (1820–1866). He was married to Anna Johanna, nee Rust (1844-1894) since 1877.


Steinmeyer received private lessons and passed his Abitur at Wilhelms-Gymnasium in Berlin in 1865 . There he studied Classical Philology and German Philology from 1865 to 1869 with August Boeckh , Johann Gustav Droysen , Moriz Haupt , Philipp Jaffé , Theodor Mommsen , Karl Müllenhoff , Friedrich Ranke and Adolf Tobler . With Karl Müllenhoff he received his doctorate in 1869 with an ancient philological thesis on "De glossis quibusdam Vergilianis". From 1870 to 1871 he held an auxiliary position at the Secret State Archives in Berlin, and from 1871 to 1873 preparations for his habilitation in Berlin followed.

From 1873 to 1877 he held an extraordinary professorship for ancient German studies at the University of Strasbourg , and then accepted a call to Erlangen for a professorial position in German language and literature in the footsteps of Rudolf von Raumer. He retired in Erlangen in 1913.

Steinmeyer was from 1874 to 1895 editor of the old Germanistic magazine for German antiquity and German literature and of the co-appearing review organ "Anzeiger für deutsches Alterthum und deutsche Literatur". In 1870, the old Germanist Julius Zacher suggested to Steinmeyer that a new Old High German dictionary should be created to replace the work by Eberhard Gottlieb Graff , which was valid until then , due to its cumbersome usability. Steinmeyer prompted this for his preparatory work on the edition of the "Old High German Glosses". In 1873, supported by a grant from the Prussian Ministry of Education, he undertook trips to the German-speaking countries, the Benelux countries and France ( Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris) in order to set up a document archive by breaking up the glosses and the Old High German language monuments.


In 1909 he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Bavarian Crown by Prince Regent Luitpold . The award was connected with the elevation to the personal nobility and he was allowed to call himself Ritter von Steinmeyer after his entry in the nobility register . He had also received the following other honors:


  • 1886 corresponding member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences
  • 1895 corresponding member and 1918 external member of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen
  • 1900 honorary member of the "Bavarian Association of German Philologists"
  • 1905 founding member and 1907–1922 board member of the “Society for Franconian History” in Bamberg
  • 1907 corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences
  • 1920 member of the “Strasbourg Scientific Society” in Heidelberg

Fonts (selection)

  • Old German studies. With Oskar Jänicke and Wilhelm Wilmann . Berlin 1871.
  • About some epithets of Middle High German poetry. Speech at the beginning of the prorectorate of the Kgl. Bayer. Friedrich-Alexanders-Univ. Erlangen on November 4, 1889. Erlangen 1889.
  • The more recent manuscripts of the Erlangen University Library. Erlangen 1913.


  • The Old High German glosses. 5 volumes. With Eduard Sievers . Volume 1 and 4
    • Vol. 1: Glosses on Biblical Scriptures. Berlin 1879.
    • Vol. 2: Glosses on non-biblical scriptures. Berlin 1882.
    • Vol. 3: Subject-specific glossaries. Berlin 1895.
    • Vol. 4: Alphabetical glossaries, Adespota. Supplements to Vol. 1–3. List of manuscripts. Berlin 1898.
    • Vol. 5: Supplements and investigations. Berlin 1922.
    • Reprint Dublin / Zurich 1968–1969.
  • Monuments of German poetry and prose from the VIII. – XII. Century. Edited by Karl Müllenhoff and Wilhelm Scherer. 2 volumes, 3rd edition, Berlin 1892.
  • The register of the University of Altdorf. 2 volumes, Würzburg 1912.
  • The smaller Old High German language monuments. Berlin 1916.


  • Christoph König (Ed.), With the collaboration of Birgit Wägenbaur u. a .: Internationales Germanistenlexikon 1800–1950 . Volume 3: R-Z. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2003, ISBN 3-11-015485-4 , pp. 1805 ff. ( Limited preview in the Google book search).
  • Margot Thye: Elias von Steinmeyer (1848–1922). Germanist and chairman of the library commission in Erlangen (= publications of the Erlangen-Nürnberg University Library. 32). University Library Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen 1997, ISBN 3-930357-19-4 (Also: Erlangen, Nürnberg, University, Dissertation, 1997).

Web links

Wikisource: Elias von Steinmeyer  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Court and State Handbook of the Kingdom of Bavaria 1910. Verlag des Statistisches Landesamt, Munich 1910, p. 26.