Ludwig Radermacher

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Martin Ludwig Radermacher (born October 31, 1867 in Siegburg ; † June 28, 1952 in Vienna ) was a German-Austrian classical philologist who worked as a professor at the Universities of Greifswald (1903–1906), Münster (1906–1909) and Vienna ( 1909–1938) worked.


Ludwig Radermacher was the son of Peter Radermacher, teacher at the teachers' college, and Katharina (née Mohr) and a Catholic denomination. After attending the Progymnasium in Siegburg (1877-1884) Radermacher went to the Apostle High School in Cologne. After graduating from school in 1886, he first studied medicine, then classical philology and German studies at the University of Bonn . Among his most influential teachers were the Germanist Wilhelm Wilmanns and the representatives of the Bonn School of Classical Philology, Franz Bücheler and Hermann Usener . In addition, Radermacher was influenced by the writings of the Heidelberg classical philologist Erwin Rohde . 1891 Radermacher was with the dissertation Observationes in Euripidem miscellae doctorate . A year later he passed the state examination for higher teaching post.

After completing his studies, Radermacher initially taught as a high school teacher in Prüm . Even as a student, Hermann Usener had consulted him for his project to edit the small writings of Dionysius of Halicarnassus . In 1895 Radermacher returned as an assistant to the University of Bonn and completed his habilitation there in 1897. After he had turned down a call to the University of Czernowitz , he went to the University of Greifswald as an associate professor in the summer semester of 1903 . Here he came into contact with the ancient historian Otto Seeck , whose daughter Louise Ottilie he married in 1904. In the fall of 1906 Radermacher moved with his family to Münster, where he became an extraordinary professor at the Westphalian Wilhelms University . He received his position in life in 1909 at the University of Vienna , where he succeeded Theodor Gomperz as a full professor of classical philology.

Radermacher worked in Vienna until the end of his life. He was admitted to the Academy of Sciences as a corresponding member in 1914 and a full member in 1915 , where he served as secretary from 1918 to 1929 and as general secretary from 1929 to 1933. His colleagues at the Philological Seminary included Hans von Arnim , Edmund Hauler , Heinrich Schenkl , Karl Mras and Johannes Mewaldt . At the end of September 1936, Radermacher retired at the age of 69, although he had not yet reached retirement age. His position was cut for financial reasons. Radermacher continued teaching as an honorary professor for two semesters and then retired into private life. In the last years of his life he devoted himself entirely to his research.

As befits the orientation of the Bonn school, Radermacher worked on the basis of textual criticism . He created basic editions of the rhetoricians Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Demetrios of Phaleron and Quintilian . With profound knowledge of Greek and Latin, he made explanatory contributions to ancient poetry and wrote writings on the Greek vernacular and the Koine , which are still used today. His parallel considerations of ancient myths and Christian legends (in connection with folklore ) pointed the way for myth research in the 20th century.

Radermacher's services were awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Glasgow (Dr. of Laws 1932) and the University of Athens (Dr. phil. 1937). Since 1938 he was a corresponding member of the British Academy .


Individual evidence

  1. The date of birth follows a self-disclosure in the vita of his dissertation, which Albin Lesky and Walther Kraus also list in their obituaries. In the NDB, however, the date of birth is October 7th, 1867 without explanation. Radermacher himself mentions some years of the almanac of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (up to 1923) as December 31st, 1867 as the date of birth, which may be a mistake. [See. Discussion]
  2. ^ Deceased Fellows. British Academy, accessed July 21, 2020 .

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