Otto Plasberg

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Otto Plasberg (born October 24, 1869 in Sobernheim ; † April 6, 1924 in Hamburg ) was a German classical philologist who worked as a professor in Rostock (1903-1909), Prague (1909-1911), Strasbourg (1911-1918) and Hamburg (1919–1924) worked. The specialist in the philosophical work of Cicero is best known for his new critical edition of various Cicero writings.


Otto Plasberg attended the Progymnasium in Bad Kreuznach , where his father Carl Albert Plasberg (1840–1890) was a teacher of Latin and Greek and was the principal. After graduating from high school, Plasberg moved to Heidelberg University in 1887 to study Classical Philology. His main teacher in Heidelberg was Erwin Rohde . Plasberg later moved to Bonn to Franz Bücheler and Hermann Usener and to Berlin , where he completed his studies with Johannes Vahlen , Adolf Kirchhoff and Hermann Diels on a scholarship from the Boeckh Foundation . In 1892 he received his doctorate with the dissertation De M. Tullii Ciceronis Hortensio dialogo ("The dialog Hortensius of Marcus Tullius Cicero "). His opponents were Rudolf Helm and Walter Henze .

After completing his studies, Plasberg developed into a specialist in Cicero. In 1895 he worked on the award task of the Charlottenstiftung of the Prussian Academy of Sciences , which was to provide a new text-critical treatment, prolegomena and investigations into authenticity and composition. Plasberg won the award and was entrusted with the new edition of the philosophical writings of Cicero, which the academy had planned. This task occupied Plasberg for the rest of his life. At the University of Strasbourg , where he was employed as an assistant in 1900, he completed his habilitation in 1901 with part of his Cicero work. The cooperation with the chair holder Richard Reitzenstein brought Plasberg some scientific support. He was also involved in the edition of the Strasbourg papyri.

After a few years in Strasbourg, Plasberg was appointed to the University of Rostock in 1903 . Since this was an initial appointment, he was initially only given an extraordinary professorship. Shortly after his appointment as full professor (1909), he accepted a call to the University of Prague as full professor of classical philology. In 1911 he returned to Strasbourg as a full professor, where he worked with Bruno Keil and Eduard Schwartz . Together with Schwartz and all other German university lecturers, Plasberg was expelled from Strasbourg after Germany's defeat in World War I and was unemployed for a few months. In May 1919 he received the call of the newly founded University of Hamburg to one of the two chairs for Classical Philology. Together with Karl Reinhardt and after his departure with Rudolf Pfeiffer , he set up the Philological Seminary there. But after just five years, Plasberg died after a short illness.

Plasberg's life work was the Cicero edition, which was published by Teubner in Leipzig from 1908. Up to his death he published several fascicles in which the writings Paradoxa Stoicorum, Academica, Timaeus, De natura deorum , De divinatione and De fato appeared in new critical editions . In other scientific publications, Plasberg dealt with the wording and use of language by Cicero. His scientific estate is in the Hamburg State and University Library .


  • Klaus Alpers , Eva Horváth, Hans Kurig: Philologica Hamburgensia II. Classical philologists in Hamburg from the 17th to the 20th century , Herzberg 1990. Second edition, unpublished manuscript 1996, pp. 1-3
  • Rudolf Helm: Otto Plasberg . In: Biographisches Jahrbuch für Altertumskunde , Volume 44 (1924), pp. 117-138

Web links

Wikisource: Otto Plasberg  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Albert Plasberg's personnel form in the personnel file of the BIL expert body in the archive database of the Library for Research on Educational History (BBF)