Michael Erler (classical philologist)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Michael Erler

Michael Erler (born August 14, 1953 in Cologne ) is a German classical philologist who taught at the Julius Maximilians University of Würzburg from 1991 to 2019 .


From 1972 Erler studied mathematics , physics and philosophy , from 1973 ancient Greek and Latin at the University of Cologne . Interrupted by a stay at University College London , Erler completed his master’s degree in 1977 with a scholarship from the German National Academic Foundation . In 1977/78 Erler received his doctorate in Cologne, followed by the state examination in 1980/81 . At first he worked as a research assistant at the Institute for Classical Studies, Department of Papyrology in Cologne, and later as an employee of the University of Konstanz , Department of Literature. In 1984/85 Erler completed his habilitation at the University of Konstanz, supported by grants from the German Research Foundation , in whose Heisenberg program he was then accepted until 1989. In 1990 Erler was a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Edinburgh .

After substituting professorships in Munich (1986/87) and Erlangen (1987/88) for Greek and Latin, respectively, Erler conducted research from 1987 to 1988 as a Junior Fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, DC and taught in the following years as a private lecturer at the University of Konstanz . From 1989 to 1991 he held a professorship for Latin at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg , and in autumn 1990 did research as a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Edinburgh . Since 1991 Erler has been full professor of classical philology at the University of Würzburg with a focus on Greek studies ; In 2001 he turned down a call to the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. In 2013 he received an honorary doctorate from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki . In 2019 he retired.

Erler is married and has two children.

Functions and memberships

Erler is a member of several scientific societies and boards of trustees; he was and is an expert reviewer for national and international foundations and societies. He has also been a liaison professor at the German National Academic Foundation and a member of various committees and foundations since 2003 .

Functions and memberships (selection)

Functions at the University of Würzburg

  • Vice Dean (1994–1996, 2004–2007)
  • Dean and Senator (2002-2004)
  • Senator and Member of the University Council (2007–2011)
  • Managing director of the Würzburg Center for Ancient Studies (WAZ) in the summer semester 2007 and winter semester 2007/08
  • Member of the Graduate School of the Humanities (GSH) at the University of Würzburg (2005-)
  • Siebold-Collegium Institute for Advanced Studies (SCIAS): Directorate ( chairman ) (since 2016)


Erler is co-editor of scientific journals and series

He is also on the scientific advisory board of numerous journals.

Research and Teaching

Erler's research focuses on ancient philosophy (especially Plato and Platonism as well as Epicurus and Epicureanism), ancient drama, the literature of Hellenism and the Roman Empire. Research also focuses on the relationship between literature and philosophy in antiquity.

Guest lectures

  • 8-11 November 2010: Platone nella cultura greca del IV secolo aC (Corso di eccellenza, Università degli Studi di Macerata ).
  • April 12, 2011: “The fox knoweth many things, the hedgehog one great thing”. The relation of philosophical concepts and historical contexts in Plato's Dialogues (The Stephen MacKenna Lecture, Trinity College Dublin ).
  • 24.-28. November 2014: Socrates in the cave. Aspects of practical ethics in Platonism of the imperial era ( Tria corda . Jena lectures on Judaism, antiquity and Christianity, Friedrich Schiller University Jena ).
  • November 18, 2016: Aristotle in Gymnasium and University in Germany; Aristotle at the Lyceum - Past, Present and Future (UNESCO - Ελληνική Δημοκρατία: 2016. Anniversary Year on Aristotle).
  • May 2017: Epicurus. How to life a happy life together with others (RUC Master Class in Ancient Philosophy, six lectures, Renmin University, Beijing ).
  • May 2017. Elenctic aporia and performative euporia . Literary form and philosophical message of some Platonic dialogues ( Peking University and Sichuan University Chengdou ).

Fonts (selection)


  • Proclus Diadochus. About the existence of evil (= contributions to classical philology. Vol. 102). Hain, Meisenheim am Glan 1978, ISBN 3-445-01882-0 .
  • Isaac Sebastokrator. About Providence and Fate (= Contributions to Classical Philology. Vol. 111). Hain, Meisenheim am Glan 1979, ISBN 3-445-01997-5 .
  • Proclus Diadochus. About providence, fate and free will to Theodoros, the engineer (mechanic) (= contributions to classical philology. Vol. 121). Hain, Meisenheim am Glan 1980, ISBN 3-445-02100-7 .
  • The meaning of the aporias in the dialogues of Plato: Exercise pieces for guidance in philosophical thinking. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1987, ISBN 3-11-010704-X .
  • I dialoghi aporetici di Platone alla luce del nuovo paradigma ermeneutico. Naples 1991.
  • Epicurus , The School of Epicurus , Lucretius. In: Hellmut Flashar (Ed.): The Hellenistic Philosophy (= The Philosophy of Antiquity. Vol. 4). Part 1, Schwabe, Basel 1994, ISBN 3-7965-0930-4 .
  • Roman philosophy. In: Fritz Graf (ed.): Introduction to Latin Philology. Teubner, Stuttgart / Leipzig 1997, ISBN 3-519-07434-6 .
  • Plato. Beck, Munich 2006, ISBN 978-3-406-54110-0 .
  • Plato (= The Philosophy of Antiquity. Vol. 2/2). Schwabe, Basel 2007, ISBN 978-3-7965-2237-6 .
  • Small lexicon of Plato's works (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 502). Kröner, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-520-50201-8 .
  • with Theo Kobusch : Platon, Gorgias. Text, translation and commentary. Reclam, Stuttgart 2011, ISBN 978-3-15-018896-5 .

Edited edited volumes

  • Michael Erler, Therese Fuhrer (ed.): On the reception of Hellenistic philosophy in antiquity. Files from the 1st meeting of the Karl-und-Gertrud-Abel-Foundation from 22.-25. September 1997 in Trier (= philosophy of antiquity. Vol. 9). Steiner, Stuttgart 1999, ISBN 978-3-515-07442-1 .
  • Michael Erler (ed.): Epicureanism in the late republic and the imperial era. Steiner, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-5150-7494-5 .
  • Michael Erler, Theo Kobusch (Ed.): Metaphysics and Religion. On the signature of late antique thought, files of the international congress from 13th to 17th March in Würzburg 2001. De Gruyter, Munich / Leipzig 2002, ISBN 978-3-11-097552-9 .
  • Michael Erler, Stefan Schorn , Klaus Döring (eds.): Pseudoplatonica: files of the congress on the pseudoplatonica from 6.-9. July 2003 in Bamberg (= philosophy of antiquity. Vol. 22). Steiner, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-5150-8643-9 .
  • Michael Erler, Luc Brisson (eds.): Gorgias - Menon. Selected papers from the seventh Symposium Platonicum. Academia, St. Augustin 2007, ISBN 978-3-89665-357-4 .
  • Michael Erler, Stefan Schorn (eds.): The Greek biography in the Hellenistic period: files of the international congress from 26.-29. July 2006 in Würzburg. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2007, ISBN 978-3-11-019504-0 .
  • Michael Erler, Wolfgang Rother (Hrsg.): Philosophy of pleasure. Studies on hedonism. Schwabe, Basel 2012, ISBN 3-7965-2765-5 .
  • Michael Erler, Ada Neschke-Hentschke (ed.): The interpretation of Plato and its hermeneutics from the 19th to the 21st century. Files from the International Colloquium from February 7th to 9th, 2008 in the Istituto svizzero di Roma (= Argumenta in dialogos Platonis. Part 2). Schwabe, Basel 2012, ISBN 3-7965-2809-0 .
  • Michael Erler, Jan Erik Hessler (Eds.): Argument and literary form in ancient philosophy: files of the 3rd congress of the Society for Ancient Philosophy 2010. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2013, ISBN 978-3-11-033889-8 .
  • P. Derron, Th. Fuhrer, M. Erler (eds.): Cosmologies et cosmogonies dans la littérature antique. Hardt Foundation, Geneva 2015, ISBN 978-2-600-00761-0 .

In addition, numerous articles in national and international magazines on Greek and Latin literature.


  • Kürschner's German Scholars Calendar 2009 . 22nd edition. tape 1 . KG Saur, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-598-23629-7 , p. 882 .

Web links


  1. a b Website of Michael Erler at the University of Würzburg - Memberships and functions ( Memento from May 18, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  2. In Italian: Il senso delle aporie nei dialoghi di Platone. Esercizi di avviamento al pensiero filosofico. Traduzione di C. Mazzarelli. Introduzione di G. Reale, Milan 1991
  3. ^ Website of Michael Erler at the University of Würzburg - Publications ( Memento from May 18, 2015 in the Internet Archive )