Paul Brandt (philologist, 1875)

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Paul Hans Brandt (born April 10, 1875 in Koethen ; † October 28, 1929 in Zwickau ) was a German classical philologist , best known for his writings on homosexuality in ancient Greek literature, mostly under the pseudonym Hans Licht .

Live and act

Paul Brandt was a son of the high school teacher Hermann Brandt and his wife Maria (née Schilling). He attended the grammar school in Bernburg , which was run by his father, and after his death the grammar school Fridericianum in Dessau . After graduation in 1894 he studied in Bonn and Leipzig classical philology and German studies and in 1898 with a dissertation on Pindar to Dr. phil. PhD. In the same year he also passed the state examination for the higher teaching post and in 1899 was assigned to the Royal Gymnasium in Leipzig (from 1900 King Albert Gymnasium) as a "probandus". As early as Easter 1900 he was employed as a grammar school teacher and promoted to senior teacher in 1902; In 1914 he was given the title of " Professor ".

A "ridiculous coincidence" (Brandt) led to lengthy disciplinary proceedings in 1916 and finally to his transfer to the grammar school in Schneeberg in the Erzgebirge in 1919 . The "silly coincidence", as he wrote to Erich Ebermayer , was about "thoughtless words" which he " spoke to a young person at the Leipzig train station in the summer of 1916 " whom he took "in an alcoholic mood to be a rascal boy ." , and which had been brought "to the knowledge of the authorities".

Brandt saw the transfer as a banishment, just as his beloved poet Ovid had to accept two thousand years earlier . Like Ovid, Brandt did not manage to leave "exile" again. He grew increasingly bitter and sick, aged early, and died at just 54 years of age. Nonetheless, these years were particularly productive: between 1925 and 1928, his three volumes, "Sittengeschichte Greece", were published under the pseudonym "Hans Licht".

Brandt got engaged in 1898, but never married; the bride died "after a few years" of pulmonary tuberculosis. Politically, he saw himself as a monarchist who turned into a republican . During the World War he was a field artilleryman in the last contingent of the Landsturm . As a "silent scholar" he was never politically active; However, he clearly supported the homosexual emancipation movement, as represented in the " Scientific and Humanitarian Committee " initiated by Magnus Hirschfeld in 1897 and in the "Community of Own" founded by Adolf Brand in 1903. His preoccupation with ancient Greek pederasty also led to current statements on Gustav Wyneken and Hans Blüher as well as on the question of pedagogical eros and on the article “pederasty” in Max Marcuse 's “hand dictionary of sexual science ” (Berlin 1923 and 1926).

In addition to Greek and Latin , Brandt also taught his students German literature . On January 27, 1906, at the "Kaiserfeier", he gave the lecture on " Eduard Mörike's Life and Poetry". In 1921 he published a five-volume Schiller edition with which he wanted to promote the love of Schiller in "broadest circles of the German people." .

As a teacher, Paul Brandt did a lot to make life at school easier for himself, his colleagues and, above all, his students. His »homework with key«, which is tailored to the individual grade levels, is to be regarded as pure teaching and learning aids. Georg Traut's "Complete Teaching Structure for the Latin Language", for which he presented a complete revision in 1923, was not only aimed at schoolchildren but also at adults.

Brandt placed the main emphasis in his books for the school on richly commented editions of ancient authors. In the first place, four editions with texts by Ovid should be mentioned, two of which were about his love poetry. In addition to a Sophocles edition in "Meyer's Classic Editions", a school edition of " King Oedipus " was created.

In addition to the annotated text editions, there is a monograph on Sappho that appeared in 1905 . It points to the main work of Paul Brandt, the » Moral History of Greece« , published two decades later under the name of Hans Licht . Preparation also includes a series of ten essays and editions, which Brandt summarized under the heading "The pαίδων ἔρως in Greek poetry". No. VII was the first German translation of the text »Erotes« by Lukian , which the Lukian translator Christoph Martin Wieland had excluded.

The "Moral History of Greece" deals in the first volume (1925) with "The Greek Society", in the second volume (1926) with "The Love Life of the Greeks"; the supplementary volume (1928) deals with "Eroticism in Greek Art". The work has found enthusiastic readers, such as Hermann Hesse , Thomas Mann and Franz Blei . In addition to the lavishly furnished and richly illustrated three quarto volumes with all the sources, the first two volumes were published ›People's Editions‹, which were less richly illustrated and did not have an academic appendix. Unfortunately, the titles of the individual volumes do not quite match the ›large‹ edition (see 'Writings' below). In 1959, three decades after Brandt's death, an edited and greatly abridged edition by Herbert Lewandowski appeared in one volume. Lewandowski, who had still got to know Brandt personally, "energetically" eliminated Brandt's "cozy diffusiveness" and shortened or deleted many quotations.

The English translation, published in 1932, is of great importance for the history of the work's impact. Although it only includes the two main volumes and some things have been omitted, it has an invaluable advantage: the references are in the main text immediately after the statement to which they refer. In addition, instead of the three registers in the individual volumes of the original edition, there is a broad general register and a separate register for the source texts.

Fonts (selection)

1. Monographs and text editions on ancient literature

  • Paul Brandt: De particularum subiunctivarum apud Pindarum usu (Diss. Leipzig 1898)
  • P. Ovidi Nasonis De arte amatoria libri tres. Explained by Paul Brandt (Leipzig 1902)
  • Paul Brandt: Sappho. An image of life from the spring days of ancient Greek poetry (Leipzig 1905)
  • P. Ovidi Nasonis Fasti, Tristia, Epistulae ex Ponto. Selected for school use and provided with brief explanations by Dr. Paul Brandt (Leipzig 1908)
  • P. Ovidi Nasonis Amorum libri tres. Explained by Paul Brandt (Leipzig 1911)
  • P. Ovidi Nasonis Metamorphoses. Selected for school use and annotated for home preparation by Dr. Paul Brandt (Leipzig 1913)
  • Sophocles' tragedies. Translated by JJ Chr. Donner . Edited by Dr. Paul Brandt (Leipzig and Vienna n.d. [1913])
  • Erotes. A conversation about the love of Lukian. Translated from Greek into German for the first time and introduced by Hans Licht. With eight stone drawings based on originals by Werner Schmidt (Munich 1920)
  • King Oedipus of Sophocles. With an introduction and remarks by Professor Dr. Paul Brandt (Leipzig - Berlin n.d. [1921])
  • Plato : The feast . In the translation by Friedrich Schleiermacher, re-edited by Paul Brandt (Dresden 1924)
  • Plutarch : Erotica. A conversation about love. Translated by Paul Brandt (Dresden 1924)
  • Love letters from Aristainetus . Edited and transferred by Hans Licht (Dresden 1928)

2. Moral history of Greece

Hans Licht: Moral history of Greece in two volumes and a supplementary volume

  • [Volume 1] The Greek Society (Dresden - Zurich 1925)
  • [Volume 2] The love life of the Greeks (Dresden - Zurich 1926)
  • Supplementary Volume: Eroticism in Greek Art. Supplements to Volumes I and II (Zurich 1928)

[Popular edition:]

  • [Volume 1] Moral history of Greece (Zurich 1925), later editions (published in Berlin and Vienna) appeared under the title "Lifestyle in Ancient Greece"
  • [Volume 2] Love and Marriage in Greece (Zurich 1925)

[Edited new edition:]

  • Moral history of Greece. Newly edited, edited and introduced by Herbert Lewandowski (Stuttgart 1959)


  • Sexual Life in Ancient Greece. Translated by JH Freese. Edited by Lawrence H. Dawson (London 1932, New York 1934)


  • Wolfram Setz : "Sacrifice on the Altars of Eros". Paul Brandt and Hans Licht , in: Lukian: Erotes. A conversation about love . In the translation by Hans Licht (Paul Brandt) edited by Wolfram Setz (Hamburg 2017) pp. 111–178 (Bibliography Paul Brandt / Hans Licht pp. 169–172)
  • Erich Ebermayer: A fighter dies , in: The Literary World 5 (1929) No. 51/52 p. 17
  • Bernd-Ulrich Hergemöller : Paul Brandt , in: Volkmar Sigusch - Günter Grau (ed.): Person Lexicon of Sexual Research (Frankfurt am Main - New York 2009) pp. 80–82
  • Bernd-Ulrich Hergemöller et al. (Ed.): Man for man. Biographical encyclopedia on the history of love for friends and male-male sexuality in the German-speaking area (Berlin 2010) pp. 190–192

Individual proof

  1. Biographical details are taken from Paul Brandt's letters to Erich Ebermayer; the letters are in the manuscript department of the Munich City Library (Monacensia) .