Georg Kaibel

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Undated photograph by Georg Kaibel.
Kaibel (2nd from left, seated) with his fellow students (Bonn, summer semester 1869).

Georg Kaibel (born October 30, 1849 in Lübeck ; † October 12, 1901 in Göttingen ) was a German classical philologist who worked as a professor in Breslau (1879–1882), Rostock (1882–1883), Greifswald (1883–1886), Strasbourg (1886–1897) and Göttingen (1897–1901) worked. His work on Greek inscriptions and his critical text editions were a basis for the source work of Classical Philology of the 20th century.


Kaibel was a son of the Lübeck music dealer and publisher Friedrich Wilhelm Kaibel (1810–1885). He attended the Lübeck Katharineum until he graduated from high school in Easter 1868 and studied classical philology from 1868 to 1872, first in Göttingen and from 1869 in Bonn . There were Hermann Usener and Franz Bücheler his teachers. Even in his early studies, Kaibel came across his later specialty, Greek epigraphy . He won Usener's prize assignment, which aimed at collecting Greek poems preserved in inscriptions. He used parts of it for his dissertation De monumentorum aliquot Graecorum carminibus , with which he was awarded a Dr. phil. received his doctorate. In 1872 he passed the first state examination for teaching at secondary schools. As a scholarship holder of the German Archaeological Institute , Kaibel stayed in Rome from 1872 to 1874 , where he became friends with Theodor Mommsen . With his college friend Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff he went on a trip to Greece in 1873. After studying in Rome, he completed his probationary year as a teacher in Elberfeld in 1874 and was a teacher at the Askanisches Gymnasium in Berlin from 1875 to 1878 .

Kaibel's research enabled him to do his habilitation in Göttingen in 1878. In 1879 he went to the University of Breslau as an associate professor of classical philology . On August 26, 1880, he married in Groß-Lichterfelde Adelheid Schadow (* October 12, 1858 - May 13, 1938), a daughter of Felix Schadow and granddaughter Gottfried Schadow . The couple had a son: Josef, who died in World War I (1886–1917), and two daughters: Else Marie (1892–1966) and Agnes. In 1882 Kaibel followed a call to Rostock as a full professor and became co-editor of the magazine Hermes . As early as 1883 he moved to the University of Greifswald as the successor to his friend Wilamowitz . In 1886 he went to Strasbourg , in 1897 on the recommendation of Wilamowitz as his successor to Göttingen, where he was elected a full member of the Society of Sciences . Erwin Rohde was initially planned as his successor in Strasbourg, but he declined the offer. On Winckelmann's Day in 1899, Kaibel was appointed a full member of the German Archaeological Institute.

Kaibel died on October 12, 1901 of the consequences of a protracted gastric cancer illness. He was buried on October 15th.

The political scientist Peter von Oertzen (1924–2008), son of the journalist Friedrich Wilhelm von Oertzen and Else Marie b. Kaibel was his grandson.


In addition to some smaller works, Kaibel's research focused on the three fields of Greek epigrammatics and epigraphy, the "second sophistry " and Greek comedy.

His collection of Greek grave epigrams , which he began during his studies, produced the most important edition in this field to this day: Epigrammata Graeca ex lapidibus conlecta (1878) and Supplementum epigrammatum Graecorum ex lapidibus conlectorum (published in the Rheinisches Museum für Philologie NF 34, 1879). After various smaller individual publications, he participated in the large edition of the Inscriptiones Graecae with the Inscriptiones Italiae et Siciliae (IG XIV, 1890) suggested by Mommsen . He also added a linguistic explanation of the Greek part to Mommsen's edition of the inscribed Res Gestae Divi Augusti ex monumentis Ancyrano et Apolloniensi (1883).

In the area of ​​the so-called “second sophistry” he delivered numerous critical editions: Dionysius of Halicarnassus (1885), the still unsurpassed edition of the Deipnosophistai of Athenaios of Naukratis (in the Bibliotheca Teubneriana , 1886-90), Galen's Protreptikos (1894), Cassius Longinus (1899) and Phrynichos (1899).

Together with Wilamowitz, he published the Athenaion politeia of Aristotle , which was newly found on papyrus in 1891 (Volumes 1 and 2 1891, Volume 3 1898). A German translation of the work by Kaibel and Adolph Kießling appeared as early as 1891 . In 1893 Kaibel dealt with linguistic and stylistic phenomena of the work in an essay.

Kaibel's research on Greek comedy was enriched by his work on the Poetarum Comicorum Graecorum Fragmenta from 1890 onwards as part of Wilamowitz's project of a collection of fragments from all Greek poets. Kaibel himself only saw the completion of the first volume (1899). He also provided numerous articles from the field of comedy for the first four volumes of the Realencyclopadie der classical antiquity (1894-1901) published by Georg Wissowa . Kaibel's work also found its way into later volumes. Of the articles, the one on Aristophanes deserves special mention. Kaibel also dealt with the tragedies Elektra and Antigone by Sophocles : he published the first in an annotated edition in 1896, the second in an essay in 1897.


Web links

Wikisource: Georg Kaibel  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Hermann Genzken: The Abitur graduates of the Katharineum zu Lübeck (grammar school and secondary school) from Easter 1807 to 1907. Borchers, Lübeck 1907. (Supplement to the school program 1907) ( digitized version ), no. 642
  2. Socrates 73 (1919) supplement. Pp. 33, 39. BBF .