Leonhard Spengel

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Leonhard Spengel

Leonhard Spengel ( von Spengel since 1875 , born September 24, 1803 in Munich ; † November 8, 1880 ibid) was a German classical philologist .


Leonhard Spengel came from a wealthy family and attended the (today's) Wilhelmsgymnasium in Munich until his Abitur in 1821 , where his teachers Johann von Gott Fröhlich and Joseph Kopp encouraged him to study classical philology. As a high school student, Spengel attended the exercises in the philological seminar, which was then headed by Friedrich Thiersch . The later University of Munich was then still in Landshut. Spengel also began his regular studies at Thiersch in 1821, which he completed in 1823 when he was not yet twenty years old. On the recommendation of his academic teacher and with the support of a state scholarship, Spengel deepened his studies at the University of Leipzig (with Gottfried Hermann ) and from 1825 at the Berlin University with August Boeckh and Immanuel Bekker . In the following year he solved the award task of the Philosophical Faculty, which was the rhetorical training in ancient Greece. The price publication was expanded in 1828 under the title Συναγωγὴ τεχνῶν ("Collection of the Arts").

Because of his work, Spengel was offered an extraordinary professorship for Classical Philology at the University of Kiel , but he turned it down. He returned to Munich in autumn 1826 and worked as a lecturer at the Munich high school. At the same time, the University of Landshut was moved to Munich. Spengel received his doctorate there on March 28, 1827 and qualified as a professor shortly afterwards . He then worked at both high school and university. In 1830 he was appointed high school professor and at the same time the second seminar director at the university. The Bavarian Academy of Sciences elected him in 1835 as an extraordinary and in 1841 as a full member of its philosophical-historical class. Since 1842 he was a corresponding member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences .

In October 1841 Spengel accepted a call from Heidelberg University as full professor of classical philology. In 1847 he returned to Munich after receiving a similar position at the university there. In the 1850s and 1860s he was repeatedly appointed "Commissary for holding the final exams" at the Munich high schools. After the death of his former teacher and current colleague Thiersch (1860), Spengel became head of the Philological Seminary. In the same year he was elected a corresponding member of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences . In 1875 he was awarded the Bavarian staff nobility, and in 1877 he celebrated his golden anniversary as a doctor. He died on November 8, 1880.

Spengel was one of the best experts on Greco-Roman rhetoric in his day. He wrote numerous individual studies on the theory and practice of ancient eloquence, as well as on Greek philosophy ( Plato , Aristotle ) and the textual criticism of the Roman polymath Marcus Terentius Varro . In 1840 his translation of Aristotle's Rhetoric to Alexander appeared in the series Greek Prosaiker in new translations (vol. 201) .

In 1841, in a lecture at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, Spengel justified the view that the Magna Moralia did not come from Aristotle, but from one of his students. This thesis was initially accepted (including by Eduard Zeller , the most important historian of philosophy of the 19th century), but was rejected by Hans von Arnim at the beginning of the 20th century . This was followed by a dispute between Arnim and the Berlin professor Werner Jaeger , who (like many of his students) opposed the authorship of Aristotle. Franz Dirlmeier (1958) and John M. Cooper (1999) later stood up for Aristotle's authorship.

Son Otto Spengel (* 1837) studied law after graduating from high school in 1855, son Andreas Spengel worked as a high school teacher in Landshut, as a high school professor in Munich and most recently as a high school rector in Passau.


Grave of Leonhard Spengel on the old southern cemetery in Munich location

The tomb of Leonhard Spengel is on the old southern cemetery in Munich (burial ground 17 - Series 2 - 3rd place) Location .


Web links

Wikisource: Leonhard Spengel  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Max Leitschuh: The matriculations of the upper classes of the Wilhelmsgymnasium in Munich. Volume 3: 1740/41 - 1829/30. Beck, Munich 1973, ISBN 3-406-10899-7 , p. 255.
  2. Συναγωγὴ τεχνῶν, sive artium scriptores. From initiis usque ad editos Aristotelis de rhetorica libros. Cotta, Stuttgart 1828, digitized .
  3. Annual reports of the k.Maximilians-Gymnasium in Munich 1852/53, 1853/54, 1862/63
  4. Holger Krahnke: The members of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen 1751-2001 (= Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Philological-Historical Class. Volume 3, Vol. 246 = Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Mathematical-Physical Class. Episode 3, vol. 50). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2001, ISBN 3-525-82516-1 , p. 230.
  5. On the Ethical Writings preserved under the name of Aristotle. Presented at the meeting of the philosophical-philological class on April 24, 1841. Section 1. In: Treatises of the philosophical-philological class of the Royal Bavarian Academy of Sciences. Vol. 3, 1841, ZDB -ID 209997-4 , pp. 437-496.
  6. Meeting reports of the philosophical-philological and historical classes of the KB Academy of Sciences in Munich. Born in 1906. Publishing house of the KB Academy of Sciences, Munich 1907. Nekrologe, p. 364 f.