Erich Wilisch

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Erich Gustav Wilisch (born June 11, 1843 in Großcotta ; died August 5, 1912 in Lauenburg ) was a German high school teacher and classical philologist .


Erich Wilisch was the offspring of a pastor family who, with his father, held the pastor's office in Großcotta in the third generation. After village school and private lessons, he attended the Princely School in Meißen , where he passed the secondary school leaving certificate in 1862 . In the same year he began studying theology at the University of Leipzig , but switched to philology after one semester. There he heard history with Wilhelm Wachsmuth and Heinrich von Treitschke , classical archeology with Johannes Overbeck and classical philology with Anton Westermann and Reinhold Klotz , but above all with the linguist Georg Curtius , who moved to Leipzig in 1862, and the Sanskrit researcher Hermann Brockhaus . In 1866 he passed his teaching degree and received his doctorate in Leipzig in the same year . He completed his probationary year as a teacher at the Kreuzschule in Dresden , before he was transferred as an assistant teacher to the combined grammar school and secondary school in Plauen in 1866 . The following year he became a teacher at the grammar school in Zittau , where he taught until 1908.


In addition to his work as a teacher and the associated publication of ancient philological works for the classroom - such as a Greek vocabulary or an essay on the indirect reflexive pronoun in Xenophon - Wilisch spent his life researching various fields of ancient studies, but also the history of Zittau. One focus of his work was the mythology and history of Corinth , which he addressed for the first time in 1875 with his essay “On the fragments of the epic poet Eumelos . Again and again he devoted himself to this area, the gods, the trade and the vase production of the city. In 1908 he published a report on the American excavations in Corinth, which had been ongoing for ten years at the time, which made the American results widely known both to German-speaking experts and to a wider public. His partly controversial interpretations of the Greek myth were included in his contributions to Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher's Detailed Lexicon of Greek and Roman Mythology .

The prehistory of Upper Lusatia , the Romans on the Elbe and the question of the battlefield in the Teutoburg Forest were further work. More extensive and weighty than this work was his research on individual aspects of Zittau's history, in particular on the end of the Zittau school comedy, a tradition dating back to 1586, which was banned by an electoral decision under the rectorate of Karl Heinrich Sintenis in 1790. Wilisch devoted a further investigation to the subsequently dismissed Sintenis and the process that went with it. Furthermore, he dealt with the Zittau poet Johann Benjamin Michaelis , a former student of the Zittau high school, whose autobiography and a collection of 20 fables and fairy tales he published.

In addition, Wilisch was also active as a writer, published "Three Stories from Classical Antiquity" as early as 1874 , wrote occasional poems , festivals and comedies . The ability to write Latin poetry, which he had already developed at the Princely School in Meißen, was also used as a teacher and represented the Zittau grammar school in several competitions as poeta laureatus .

A total of four trips took Wilisch between 1868 and 1903 to Italy and Greece , where he visited Rome and Pompeii , Palermo and Sicily , but also Athens and Corinth as well as Delphi and Mycenae .

Publications (selection)

Julius Adolf Bernhard: Erich Gustav Wilisch offers a comprehensive list of publications . In: Biographical Yearbook for Classical Studies . Volume 36, 1914, pp. 113–115

  • About the fragments of the epic poet Eumelos. Zittau 1875 ( digitized ).
  • The last knight of the Oybin. A story in verse. Schaeffer, Zittau 1879.
  • History of Corinth from the Persian Wars to the Thirty Years Peace. Zittau 1886 ( digitized ).
  • Contributions to the inner history of ancient Corinth. 1st chapter. Zittau 1887.
  • Contributions to the inner history of ancient Corinth. Part 2. Zittau 1901.


Web links

Wikisource: Erich Wilisch  - sources and full texts