Karl Vretska

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Karl Vretska (born October 18, 1900 in Zistersdorf ; † November 13, 1983 ) was an Austrian classical philologist .


Born in Zistersdorf in Lower Austria, Vretska began studying Classical Philology , French Philology and German Philology at the University of Vienna after graduating from high school in 1919 . There he was in 1923, the year of his Latin exam, a study of Roswitha of Gandersheim Dr. phil. PhD.

From 1923 Vretska initially worked as a teacher for Latin at the Stiftsgymnasium Melk . In 1925 he also passed the teaching examination for Greek philology and from then on also taught Greek as a school subject. With the support of the classical philologist Richard Meister , Vretska was appointed high school professor in St. Pölten that same year , where he worked until 1939. Then he took over as director of the high school for girls there. In 1945 he retired from school.

In 1956 Vretska completed his habilitation with Albin Lesky in Vienna with a study on Sallust's Bellum Iugurthinum . At the same time he took on a position as a university lecturer in Vienna. In 1961 he was appointed associate professor in Graz. In 1964 he was given a full professorship there . In addition, Vretska acted as director of the Graz Institute for Classical Philology. His academic students who later completed their habilitation with him included a. Helmut Gugel and Ernst Doblhofer .

He is buried in the St. Leonhard Cemetery in Graz .


As early as 1924 Vretska began to publish numerous essays on classical philology, paying particular attention as a teacher to pedagogical, methodological and didactic issues.

Individual research Vretskas were Virgil , Catullus , Tibullus , Livy , Cicero Archiana well as the time of Humanism . Between 1953 and 1958 he also devoted himself increasingly to Greek philology, v. a. the works of Plato .

The work of Sallust played a central role in Vretska's research . Vretskas examined the Sallustian writings with regard to their chronology and structure as well as with regard to the representation of the exercise of power in the state. He also wrote a two-volume commentary on Sallust's coniuratio Catilinae , which was widely recognized by other Sallust researchers such as Karl Büchner . Like Büchner, Vretska also spoke z. B. for the authenticity of Sallust's letters to Caesar.

In addition to his monographs and magazine articles, Vretska also wrote numerous articles for the little Pauly and participated in the creation of Wilhelm Gemoll's Greek-German school and manual dictionary .

He also translated numerous works by ancient authors, e. B. Plato's Politeia , the works of Sallust, Lucretius and parts of Thucydides as well as the pilgrimage of Aetheria . Together with Wilhelm Plankl, Vretska also arranged a German adaptation of Virgil's Aeneid .

He was also supported by his son, the classical philologist Helmuth Vretska , in some of his translations and commentaries .

Works (selection)

  • 1955 Studies on Sallust's Bellum Jugurthinum , Vienna: Rohrer.
  • 1967 Why still Greek today? , Graz: Austrian Humanistic Society for Styria.

Literature (selection)

  • Doris Ableitinger, Helmut Gugel (editor): Festschrift Karl Vretska . Heidelberg 1970.
  • Ernst Doblhofer : Karl Vretska † . In: Gnomon . Volume 55 (1983), pp. 780-783 (with picture).

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