Konrad Levezow

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Jakob Andreas Konrad Levezow , often just JA Konrad Levezow (born September 3, 1770 in Stettin , † October 13, 1835 in Berlin ) was a German classical archaeologist , prehistorian , poet and author.

Jakob Andreas Konrad Levezow


Jakob Andreas Konrad Levezow was born as the son of the vice principal at the Szczecin grammar school, Immanuel Friedrich Levezow (1731-1801). His mother, Dorothea Sophia, née Ebel († 1785), was the daughter of a Prussian artillery officer. Even the father published writings on ancient philological and local history topics. After high school, Levezow began studying theology at the University of Halle , but switched to classical studies under the influence of Friedrich August Wolf . After completing his studies, he initially worked for several years as a tutor for a forest ranger family in Ziegenort . Probably with Christian Gottlob Heyne took place in 1795 at the University of Göttingenthe doctorate in classical philology . He then moved to Berlin and taught first as an assistant then as an extraordinary teacher at the Berlin high school at the Gray Monastery , which was headed by Friedrich Gedike (1754–1803) . After two years he switched to the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Gymnasium . He worked here until 1824.

In 1802, in addition to his teaching profession, he applied for the professorship for Classical Studies and Mythology at the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts and Mechanical Sciences to succeed Friedrich Eberhard Rombach . He got the job and assumed it in 1804. In the same year he married Marie Ulrike Wilhelmine Gilly, b. Hainchelin, the widow of his childhood friend Friedrich Gilly , who had opened many doors for him since his arrival in Berlin in 1795. In addition, Levezow was appointed librarian of the academy library in 1807. He was friends with Aloys Hirt and was in contact with some of the most important intellectual greats in Germany of the time, including Friedrich Nicolai , Heinrich Gentz and Johann Gottfried Schadow . He quickly began to deal with the material legacies of antiquity in Berlin. He published on many works, including on the praying boy . A treatise on the robbery of the palladium, and especially a treatise on the Lycomedes family, established Levezov's reputation as an archaeologist. Not least, they had a great impact in France and Italy. This made the French archaeologist Aubin Louis Millin aware of Levezow, who then supported him during the occupation of Berlin by the Napoleonic troops. In the course of his learned treatises, he became a corresponding or honorary member of several academies, including the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen , the Society of Antiquities in Kassel , Livorno, the Royal Bavarian Academy of Sciences , the Royal German Society in Königsberg , the Society of Nordic Antiquities Researchers in Copenhagen , the Historical-Antiquarian Society Leipzig , the Archaeological Institute Rome and the Historical-Antiquarian Society Stettin . The history of the Berlin Academy published by Levezow also had a great impact.

In addition to his scientific work, Levezow was also the author of plays. In 1804 the Royal National Theater played its tragedy Iphigenia in Aulis . He also published essays on Martin Luther , the Friedrichsdenkmal and a biography of the singer Margarete Luise Schick . In 1811 he gave a lecture to the Society of Friends of Humanity in Berlin with the legendary city of Vineta . In 1815 he wrote a poem for Princess Charlotte's birthday and the foreword to Goethe's Des Epimenides Awakening, which was premiered in the Berlin Opera House . At the time Levezov was a frequent speaker on official occasions. For these more musical activities, he became an honorary member of the Berlin Artists' Association. He also took part in the social life of the time, for example, listening to Alexander von Humboldt's groundbreaking Kosmos lecture in 1827, for which the auditorium thanked him with a medal of honor that went back to Levezov's initiative. In addition, he published a textbook on the geography and history of Pomerania and Rügen, the prehistory and early history of this area as well as Brandenburg-Prussia became his second academic field of activity alongside classical archeology. He dealt with the question of the authenticity of some allegedly Obodritic rune monuments in Neustrelitz and the importance of the finds of Germanic and Slavic provenance between the Elbe and the Vistula .

In 1820 Levezow, in addition to his teaching activities at the grammar school and his work at the academy, took on a third, unpaid position as assistant (adjunct) to Jean Henry at the Chamber of Art, Antiquities and Coins. Included was an option to be able to hold the post of director later. He quickly became the most important employee of this institution. State Minister Altenstein asked Friedrich Wilhelm III. In 1821 it was unsuccessful to relieve Levezow from his work as a teacher in favor of the work at the Kunstkammer, but the work was honored in 1823 with a gift of 400 thalers. In the same year he was released from his teaching duties. The annual salary was also increased by 450 thalers to 1200 thalers. Levezow was instrumental in transforming the royal art chamber into the Royal Museum , which opened in 1828. From 1826 he was the first director of the Antiquarium (head of the art cabinet). So far Levezow had mainly dealt with ancient sculpture and cabaret, ancient architecture did not seem to interest him primarily. From 1829 he received a substantial rent subsidy, which Minister Altenstein again obtained for him from the king. The grant was justified with the need to accommodate the archaeologist's extensive library. In 1831 he was named alongside Karl Friedrich Schinkel , Christian Friedrich Tieck , Gustav Friedrich Waagen , Christian Daniel Rauch , Karl Wilhelm Wach and Johann Jakob Schlesinger as a member of a royal commission headed by Carl von Brühl, which was responsible for the new acquisitions, the installation and restoration of the works of art as well as regulating the museum's copying activities. In addition to him as head of the antiquarian shop, Tieck (sculpture collection) and Waagen (painting collection) were directors of the museum departments.

During his work at the Kunstkammer and the museum, he was a reviewer for several collections, including the Minutoli collection and the Passalacqua collection (both Egyptian antiquities) and the Koller vase collection. All collections were taken over by the museum, the latter expressly at the instigation of Levezov, who argued that taking over this important collection would move the Royal Museum into the top tier of museums in the world. The greatest achievement of the archaeologist, however, was the compilation and publication of catalogs of the museum collections. The culmination of his scientific career was his unanimous admission as a full member of the philosophical-historical class of the Royal Academy of Sciences in Berlin in January 1832 . As part of an academy lecture, he was one of the first archaeologists to deal with the importance of indications of origin and the circumstances of archaeological finds. He realized that a lack of more precise information diminishes the value of a find.

Fonts (selection)

  • Life and art of Mrs. Margarete Luise Schick, born Hamel, royal. Preuss. Chamber singer u. Member of the National Theater in Berlin. Digitized with a portrait of the artist , Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1809
  • Iphigenia in Aulis. Tragedy in five acts , Wehrhahn, Hanover 2008, ISBN 978-3-86525-080-3 (Theatertexte 18)


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