Konrat Ziegler

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Konrat Ziegler's grave in the Göttingen city cemetery

Konrat Julius Fürchtegott Ziegler (born January 12, 1884 in Breslau , Province of Silesia , † January 8, 1974 in Göttingen ) was a German classical philologist . In addition to a wide range of his own research on Greek and Latin literature of antiquity, the publication of the last volumes of the Detailed Lexicon of Greek and Roman Mythology (1923–1937) and a significant part of the Realencyclopedia of Classical Classical Studies (1946–1974) was particularly beneficial to him Awareness.


Education and career until 1933

Konrat Ziegler was born in 1884 as the third of seven children of Ludwig Ziegler and Bertha Ziegler (nee Diener) and came from a family of Breslau merchants. He finished school in his hometown at the "Private School for Boys" founded by Carl Mittelhaus and at the Elisabet Gymnasium in 1902 with a school leaving certificate and began studying history, archeology and classical philology at the University of Breslau . In autumn 1904 he undertook a two-month study trip to Rome on behalf of his professor Franz Skutsch , where he examined the only surviving manuscript of the writing De errore profanarum religionum by Iulius Firmicus Maternus and made some improvements to the text reconstruction. In October 1905 Konrat Ziegler at Skutsch due to the July 20, was defended dissertation "De precationum apud Graecos formis quaestiones selectae" to Dr. phil. PhD .

In 1906 he passed the state examination for the subjects of history, Latin and ancient Greek as a teacher at secondary schools, but then turned to a university career. His introduction to De errore profanarum religionum was submitted to the University of Breslau as a habilitation thesis in 1907 , the habilitation itself took place in October of this year with Franz Skutsch. Thereupon Ziegler received from the Prussian state a grant of 500 marks for a trip to Italy, where he compared manuscripts from Plutarch's biographies. In December 1909 Ziegler was made a regular associate professor. After serving in the First World War (initially as an interpreter, later as a press attaché to the German embassy in Bulgaria ), he became a personal professor in Wroclaw in 1920. In 1923 Ziegler moved to the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University of Greifswald as the successor to Johannes Mewaldt , where he was dean of the philosophy faculty in 1926/1927 and rector of the university in 1928/1929.

Konrat Ziegler was a founding member of the German Democratic Party and active on its main board, belonged to the Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold and the German Peace Society and was a member of the board of the Association for Defense against Anti-Semitism . During his time in Greifswald, the staunch democrat therefore increasingly came into conflict with nationalist and monarchist circles, and as early as 1924 he stood up against the prorector of the university in the "Greifswald flag dispute". Due to its consistent commitment to the Weimar Republic , he was on May 2, 1933 after the seizure of power of the Nazis leave and released in September by the new rulers.

time of the nationalsocialism

After his release, the scientist moved to Berlin with his family (his wife Hanna and five children) and continued to do research. In 1938, when he helped a Jewish banker friend of his to flee abroad and to secretly transport his assets afterwards, Ziegler was arrested on January 5, 1939 and was taken into custody in Moabit . In May 1940 he was sentenced to a fine and imprisonment in view of his alleged "unworldliness and an [em] unusual degree of helpfulness", which the court interpreted as extenuating circumstances. The sentence was eventually reduced to four months on probation. An official criminal case was set in the following year, but the Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels imposed a total publication ban on him. Nevertheless, he continued to work on his Plutarch biography, which was published in 1949.

Also after his release from prison, Ziegler hid the daughter of Jewish acquaintances in his apartment, which was bombed on November 22, 1943. His private library was also completely lost in this air raid. Ziegler moved with his family to Osterode am Harz , where his two sisters were already living. The classical philologists at the local municipal high school helped him out with their private collections of specialist literature, so that to a certain extent he could continue his work. He convinced his former Greifswald colleague Kurt Latte , who was persecuted as a Jew, to also move to the comparatively safe Osterode, and hid him in the meantime.

Continuation of the career after 1945 and honors

On April 17, 1945, Konrat Ziegler was appointed District Administrator of the Osterode am Harz district by the British occupying forces through Major Crouch and held this position until November 1946. While Kurt Latte was able to return to his chair at the Georg-August University in Göttingen after the war , the university rejected Ziegler's appointment as honorary professor against the will of its philosophy faculty. Kurt Latte in particular did not stand up for his former helper in this situation, on the contrary. Konrat Ziegler therefore received only one teaching post in 1946 - after which he moved to Göttingen in 1947 - and was only made an honorary professor in 1950 . In December 1949, the verdict against Ziegler in 1940 was overturned and Ziegler was officially rehabilitated; In 1953 he was granted the salary of an exempt university lecturer retroactively to the 1951 summer semester. He held seminars and lectures until the winter semester 1957/1958, but even after that he occasionally stepped in when there was a lack of staff. From 1965 he was officially listed as a full emeritus at Göttingen University.

In Göttingen , Ziegler was active in local politics for the SPD ( councilor from 1948 to 1964) and particularly campaigned for the memory of the victims of National Socialism. In 1969 he was made an honorary citizen of Göttingen and was honored with the naming of a street while he was still alive. In 2001 he was posthumously awarded the “ Righteous Among the Nations ” award at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial . Ziegler's scientific merits were also recognized at home and abroad: he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 1964 and received the Grand Order of Merit of the State of Lower Saxony after rejecting the Federal Cross of Merit on the grounds that he did not want to receive the same award as the one before it already Hans Globke , a commentator of the Nuremberg laws had been excellent. In 1969 Ziegler became an honorary member of the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies in London .


Göttingen-Weende, Konrat-Ziegler-Weg

Ziegler's scientific work was very extensive, but since his dissertation on “forms of prayer among the Greeks” (especially before the end of the Second World War) it had a certain focus on the history of ancient religions . From 1923 to 1937 he published the detailed lexicon of Greek and Roman mythology founded by Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher , but also (especially after 1945) various writings by Marcus Tullius Cicero . Above all, he occupied himself with Plutarch throughout his life , to whom he dedicated a number of articles in the Rheinisches Museum für Philologie and whose works he published in a critical edition. In addition, however, he also dealt with a large number of other topics of Classical Philology, including especially early ancient Greek literature and the poetry of the Hellenistic age . A study by Ziegler on the Classic Walpurgis Night in Goethe's Faust II became an important source text for Thomas Mann in the 7th chapter of Lotte in Weimar 20 years later .

In 1946, under the difficult conditions of the post-war period, Konrat Ziegler took over the editor-in-chief of Paulys Realencyclopadie der classical antiquity , for which he had already written articles since 1912, which was orphaned after the death of Karl Mittelhaus . Like his predecessors, he too did not live to see the completion of the huge work, but was able to bring it to near completion in almost 30 years by publishing 21 volumes, which Hans Gärtner then oversaw. His own contributions, which originally focused on the geography of ancient Sicily , encompassed a wide range of topics, especially from the history of Greek literature and religion, especially from the 1930s onwards. Together with Walther Sontheimer and Hans Gärtner, Ziegler also published the five-volume short edition Der Kleine Pauly . The publication of the two reference works meant that he repeatedly familiarized himself with new subject areas for which no suitable author was available.

Fonts (selection)


  • De precationum apud Graecos formis quaestiones selectae. Dissertation, Breslau 1905.
  • The tradition of the comparative biographies of Plutarch. BG Teubner, Leipzig 1907 ( online ).
  • Thoughts on Faust II . Metzler, Stuttgart 1919 ( online ). Reprint: Druckermüller, Munich 1972.
  • The Hellenistic Epic. A forgotten chapter of Greek poetry. Teubner, Leipzig 1934. 2nd edition there 1966.
  • Plutarchus of Chaironeia. 2nd edition, Druckermüller, Stuttgart 1964 (first published in 1949, published in 1951 as an article in the Realencyclopadie).

Editing and translations of ancient texts

  • as editor: Marcus Tullius Cicero: De re publica, librorum sex quae man serunt ( Bibliotheca Teubneriana ). Teubner, Leipzig 1915. 7th edition ibid. 1969 (since then several unchanged reprints).
  • as editor: Julius Firmicus Maternus: De errore profanarum religionum ( Bibliotheca Teubneriana ). Teubner, Leipzig 1907.
  • as editor: M. Tulli Ciceronis scripta quae manserunt omnia. Volume 39: De re publica Teubner, Leipzig 1915. 7th edition, ibid. 1969.
  • with Claes Lindskog as editor: Plutarchi Vitae parallelae. 4 volumes in 7 parts, Teubner, Leipzig 1914–1939 (several new editions).
  • as editor: Marcus Tullius Cicero: De legibus (= Heidelberg texts. Latin series. Volume 20). FH Kerle, Heidelberg 1950. 2nd edition, ibid 1963.
  • as editor and translator: Julius Firmicus Maternus: Vom Errtum der Pagnischen Religionen (= word of antiquity. Volume 3b). M. Hueber, Munich 1953.
  • as editor: Cicero. State theoretical writings. Latin and German (= writings and sources from the Old World. Volume 31). Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1974. 4th, unchanged edition, ibid. 1988, ISBN 3-05-000341-3 .
  • as editor: Plutarchi Vitae parallelae and Plutarchi Moralia. Several volumes and fascicles, Leipzig, Teubner 1957–1980.
  • with Walter Wuhrmann as translator: Plutarch. Great Greeks and Romans. 6 volumes, Artemis, Zurich 1954–1965 (other editions, also a selection).
  • as editor with Walther Sontheimer: Der Kleine Pauly. Lexicon of antiquity. 5 volumes, Stuttgart 1964–1975; Reprint Munich 1979 (= German volume 5963).


  • Roland Baumgarten: Ziegler, Konrat. In: Peter Kuhlmann , Helmuth Schneider (Hrsg.): History of the ancient sciences. Biographical Lexicon (= The New Pauly . Supplements. Volume 6). Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2012, ISBN 978-3-476-02033-8 , Sp. 1349-1351.
  • Hans Gärtner : Konrat Ziegler †. In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Register tape, Stuttgart 1980, pp. V – XIX.
  • Bettina Kratz-Ritter: Konrat F. Ziegler, a "Righteous Among the Nations" from Göttingen. In: Göttinger Jahrbuch. Volume 50, 2002, pp. 187-196.
  • Bettina Kratz-Ritter: Konrat F. Ziegler, Professor Dr. phil., Dr. phil. hc, a "righteous among the peoples". In: Włodzimierz Appel (ed.): Magistri et discipuli. Chapter on the history of classical studies in the 20th century. Toruń 2002, ISBN 83-231-1521-4 , pp. 19–37.
  • Eckart Mensching : On the creation of a sequel. The "RE" or the "Pauly-Wissowa". In: Latin and Greek in Berlin and Brandenburg. Volume 47, 2003, pp. 142-157. Reprint in Eckart Mensching: Nugae for the history of philology. Volume 13, Technische Universität, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-7983-1938-3 , pp. 9–33, especially pp. 21–26.
  • Udo W. Scholz : The Breslau classical philology and the real encyclopedia of classical antiquity. In: Yearbook of the Silesian Friedrich Wilhelms University in Breslau. Vol. 62-64, 2001-2003, pp. 311-326, especially pp. 323-326.
  • Cornelia Wegeler: "... we say from the international scholarly republic". Classical Studies and National Socialism. The Göttingen Institute for Classical Studies 1921–1962. Böhlau, Vienna 1996, ISBN 3-205-05212-9 , pp. 264-267.
  • Lothar Wickert : Konrat Ziegler †. In: Gnomon . Volume 46, 1974, pp. 636-640.
  • Ziegler, Konrat. In: Lexicon Greifswalder Hochschullehrer 1775 to 2006. Volume 3: Lexikon Greifswalder Hochschullehrer 1907 to 1932. Bock, Bad Honnef 2004, ISBN 3-87066-931-4 , pp. 247–248.

Web links


  1. a b Konrat Ziegler: De precationum apud Graecos formis quaestiones selectae. Grass, Barth & Comp., Breslau 1905 (also dissertation, University of Breslau 1905), curriculum vitae on the back cover.
  2. Horst Fuhrmann : "Far from educated people". A small town in Upper Silesia around 1870. CH Beck, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-406-33984-0 , p. 134 ( online ).
  3. ^ Konrat Ziegler: New Firmicus Readings. In: Rheinisches Museum für Philologie . Volume 60, 1905, pp. 273-296 ( PDF; 4.8 MB ).
  4. Cf. Maud Antonia Viehberg: Restrictions against Greifswald university lecturers under National Socialism . In: Werner Buchholz (Ed.): The University of Greifswald and the German university landscape in the 19th and 20th centuries . Steiner, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-515-08475-4 , pp. 284-292.
  5. Quoted from Hans Gärtner : Konrat Ziegler †. In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Register tape, Stuttgart 1980, pp. V – XIX, here p. VII.
  6. Cornelia Wegeler: "... let's say from the international scholarly republic." Classical studies and National Socialism. The Göttingen Institute for Classical Studies 1921–1962. Böhlau, Vienna 1996, ISBN 3-205-05212-9 , pp. 263-267. See also Hans Gärtner : “Maintain yourself in spite of all violence!” Kurt Latte's unpublished letters from 1943-1946. In: Göttingen Forum for Classical Studies . Volume 5, 2002, pp. 185-219, here p. 215 f. ( PDF ).
  7. Werner Frizen: Thomas Mann, Lotte in Weimar. Commentary (GKF 9.2). S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt 2003, especially pp. 123-126 and 647-660.
  8. ^ Hans Gärtner : Konrat Ziegler †. In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Registerband, Stuttgart 1980, pp. V – XIX, here p. XII.
predecessor Office successor
Eduard von der Goltz Rector of the University of Greifswald in
Ottomar Hoehne