Ernst Heitsch

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Ernst Heitsch (born June 17, 1928 in Celle ; † September 18, 2019 in Regensburg ) was a German classical philologist . He translated and interpreted ancient Greek, especially philosophical texts. He is considered a connoisseur of the Platonic philosophy.


From 1948 Heitsch studied classical philology, philosophy and theology at the University of Göttingen . Here he received his doctorate in 1955 under Wolf-Hartmut Friedrich and Kurt Latte and then worked as an assistant at the Institute for Classical Studies. In 1960 his habilitation on Greek poet fragments from the Roman Empire followed . Subsequently he was an adjunct professor at the University of Göttingen. In 1967 he accepted a professorship for Classical Philology at the University of Regensburg . He turned down offers to the universities of Bern and Würzburg . In 1996 he retired.

Heitsch was a corresponding member of the German Archaeological Institute and co-editor of the series Contributions to Antiquity . He was also a member of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen and the Academy of Sciences and Literature Mainz . He was co-editor of the Plato works . These are published as part of an interdisciplinary project . His main research interests were early Greek epics and Greek philosophy .

Interpretation of Plato

In his publications on Plato , Heitsch does not give a fundamentally new representation of the Platonic system. His translations, which have been expertly modified in detail, are intended to enable today's readers to learn philosophical reasoning from Plato by critically following the arguments in Plato's dialogues . Plato's philosophical dialectic was a reliable proof technique - according to Heitsch - that provided his student Aristotle with the foundation of logic. In connection with his translations, he also addresses the questionable nature of text interpretations and the question of whether and to what extent philological representations can guarantee the authenticity of ancient texts.


  • The Greek poet fragments of the Roman Empire. Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen. Two volumes, 2nd edition Göttingen 1964.
  • Hesiod (ed.), Ways of Research Vol. 44, Darmstadt 1966.
  • Parmenides. The beginnings of ontology, logic and science. Munich 1974.
  • Paths to Plato. Contributions to understanding his reasoning. Goettingen 1992.
  • Phaedrus. Plato: works. Translation and commentary. Vol. III, 4. Göttingen 1993.
  • To the Greek epic. Collected Writings I, Munich 2001.
  • To Greek philosophy. Collected Writings II, Munich 2001.
  • Various essays. Gesammelte Schriften III (complete list of publications up to 2003), Munich 2003.
  • Apology of Socrates. Plato: works. Translation and commentary. Vol. I, 2. Göttingen 2nd complete Edition 2004.
  • Plato and the beginnings of his dialectical philosophizing. Göttingen, 2004.
  • Narration and theology in the Iliad. Mainz, 2008.
  • Greater hippias. Plato: works. Translation and commentary. Vol. VII, 1. With a contribution by Franz von Kutschera. Göttingen 1st edition 2011.


  • Kürschner's German Scholars Calendar , Edition 2003, Volume 1, p. 1228.
  • Norbert Blößner, Peter Roth: Ernst Heitsch † . In: Gnomon , Vol. 92 (2020), Issue 6, pp. 570-576.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. In memory of Prof. Dr. Ernst Heitsch. University of Regensburg, September 30, 2019, accessed on October 1, 2019 .
  2. ^ Norbert Blößner, Peter Roth: Ernst Heitsch † . In: Gnomon . tape 92 , no. 6 , 2020, p. 570-576 .
  3. Member entry of Ernst Heitsch at the Academy of Sciences and Literature Mainz , accessed on October 11, 2017
  4. See the review on Heitsch: Phaedros. Göttingen 1993. In: U-Mail, Regensburger Universitätszeitung , 1/06, p. 21. Furthermore, the review by Bettina Jäckel: Heitsch, Ernst: Paths to Platon. Contributions to understanding his reasoning. Göttingen 1992. In: Bulletin of the German Association of Classical Philologists , 1/95, Berlin, p. 3.