Philipp Jaffé

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Philipp Jaffé

Philipp Jaffé (born February 17, 1819 in Schwersenz , Province of Posen , † April 3, 1870 in Wittenberge ) was a German historian and philologist . He is one of the outstanding German medievalists of the 19th century. Nevertheless, because of his Judaism , he had to endure numerous forms of discrimination.


After graduating from the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Gymnasium (Posen) , Jaffé went to Berlin in 1838 . After two years of work in a bank, he decided to study at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität , which he completed in 1844 with a doctorate. Seven years later his comprehensive work Regesta Pontificum Romanorum appeared ab condita Ecclesia ad annum p. AD 1198 , which contained over 11,000 papal documents. This work made him known among historians . However, he could not find a job as a historian and had to earn his living in other ways. He began studying again, this time in medicine, in Berlin and later at the University of Vienna . He graduated in Berlin in 1853 and practiced as a doctor there for a year until he found a position as co-editor of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica . In 1863 he resigned from this post after having worked on numerous volumes of the "Scriptores" (narrative sources). On May 9, 1862, Jaffé became the first Jew in Prussia to be ao professor at the University of Berlin, where he taught Latin palaeography as well as Roman and medieval chronology ; a lecture transcript made by the later historian and diplomat Harry Bresslau has survived. In 1868 he converted to Christianity. In 1869 he completed the Tabulae Ordinis Theutonici by Ernst Strehlke .

In the last year of his life, he suffered from paranoid delusions. In 1870 he committed suicide in Wittenberge.


  • History of the German Empire under Lothar the Saxony . Berlin 1843.
  • History of the German Empire under Konrad III. Hanover 1845.
  • Bibliotheca Rerum Germanicarum. Hanover 1864–1871.
  • Roman and medieval chronology and palaeography based on lectures by Prof. Ph. Jaffé . In: Harry Bresslau : Berliner Kolleghefte 1866-1869. Postscripts to lectures by Mommsen, Jaffé, Köpke, Ranke, Droysen (elementa diplomatica 12), ed. by Peter Rück with the assistance of Erika Eisenlohr and Peter Worm. Marburg 2007, pp. 83-116.
  • Ecclesiae Metropolitanae Coloniensis Codices (in collaboration with Wilhelm Wattenbach ). Berlin 1879.
  • Monumenta Germaniae Historica (= MGH) . Scriptores, Tomus XVII, Hanover 1861; therein: Annales Colmarienses minores et maiores, Annales Basileenses, Chronicon Colmariense , ed. Philipp Jaffé, pp. 183–270.
  • Monumenta Germaniae Historica (= MGH) . Scriptores, Tomus XVII, Hanover 1861; therein: Annales et notae Babenbergenses , ed. Philipp Jaffé, pp. 634–642.


Web links

Wikisource: Philipp Jaffé  - Sources and full texts
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