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Philologus. Journal of ancient literature and its reception , up to and including 1995 under the title Philologus. Journal for ancient literature and its aftermath , is one of the oldest, most important and most respected journals in the field of classical studies . The Philologus is published twice a year by Walter de Gruyter . The office for the publication of the magazine is at the LMU Munich . The managing editors are Therese Fuhrer and Jan Stenger .


The magazine was founded in 1848 as Philologus. A magazine for classical antiquity and its afterlife . A first series was published until 1887/88 (number 46), a second series from 1889 began again with number 1. In the 1940s the magazine appeared only irregularly, since 1954 again regularly.

Philologus has been published twice a year by Walter de Gruyter since the Akademie-Verlag was taken over . The editors are Therese Fuhrer , Jan Stenger , Sabine Föllinger , Tobias Reinhardt and Martin Vöhler . The office for the publication of the magazine is located at the LMU Munich . Before the fall of the Wall, the magazine was published in East Berlin by the Central Institute for Ancient History and Archeology of the Academy of Sciences of the GDR . The Philologus was published by Dieterich in Leipzig from 1897 to 1944 .

The contributions, which can be written in German , English , French and Italian , and earlier also in Latin , deal with problems in Greek and Latin literature, historiography , philosophy , the history of religion and linguistics as well as their reception and the history of science . The aim of the magazine is to make a contribution to illuminating the intellectual culture of antiquity and its history of impact. It appears twice a year, in June and November, and has a circulation of 600 copies.


The Schneidewin era: Justification of the Philologus

Although Friedrich Wilhelm Schneidewin was the first publisher of the Philologus, the fame of having founded the Philologus belongs to the Stolberg publisher O. Kleinecke. This turned to Schneidewin, who took over the publication of the magazine. Kleinecke could not enjoy his new magazine for long. He had already taken over at the beginning and with the second volume the magazine moved to the prestigious Göttingen Dieterich'schen publishing bookstore . If the beginning was a bit problematic at this point, some of the 99 authors of the first volume were particularly well-known. For example, Heinrich Ludolf Ahrens , August Nauck , Friedrich Ritschl , Theodor Mommsen , Moriz Haupt , Gottfried Hermann , Otto Jahn , Karl Lachmann , Johannes Nicolaus Madvig , Friedrich Gottlieb Welcker and August Meineke were among the first authors . Here it was already evident what should always distinguish the Philologus: with the Dane Madvig there was a foreign author in the first volume.

This first volume was dedicated to “The Memory of Karl Otfried Müller ”. This dedication was never repeated, but never revoked and can therefore still be considered valid today. In addition to Schneidewin's honor of his own former teacher, the dedication was possibly also an attempt to win his teacher August Boeckh as authors. But despite this honor for his favorite student, who died early, Boeckh never published an article in the Philologus. Actually, the magazine, which was subtitled "Zeitschrift für das Klassisches Antiquity" (magazine for classical antiquity), was an ideal place of publication, as it should also give ancient history and classical archeology their place. Thus, the editor stood on the side of Boeckh, who was an advocate of a "subject philology", and stood against the "word philologists", whose most important representative was Gottfried Hermann.

The publication of the Philologus was a risk, the risks of which are no longer so easily comprehensible for today's observer, since today only the Rheinisches Museum für Philologie still exists of the earlier competitors . Nevertheless, Schneidewin's concept seemed to work. A quarter of the space in the magazine, which was published in four issues a year at that time, was reserved for annual reports on ancient authors and the emerging specialist fields of ancient studies (philology, history, archeology). The fourth issue of a year was always intended for this. So not only scientific articles, but also comprehensive information should be offered. However, these approaches could only be implemented to a limited extent; articles from the historical and archaeological area were noticeably fewer submitted.

Stagnation and decline under Ernst von Leutsch

With the tenth volume (1855) Ernst von Leutsch , a Göttingen professor colleague Schneidewins, became co-editor of the Philologus. Since Schneidewin died in the same year, von Leutsch became the sole editor, which he was to remain until 1888. The first “official act” was a detailed appraisal of his predecessor in the form of an obituary in the Philologus. The more than 30 years of publishing is associated with the idea of ​​stagnation, even the decline of the magazine.

In retrospect, it is critically noted about Leutsch that the Philologus was not led by him expertly and that he published too many scientifically inferior papers in the journal. However, these allegations are only partially justified. Many of the most respected German scholars of antiquity, such as Adolf Kirchhoff , Theodor Bergk , Friedrich Blass , Wilhelm von Christ , Wilhelm Corssen , Hermann Sauppe , Leonhard Spengel , Franz Susemihl , Karl Julius Beloch and Alexander Conze continued to publish while Leutsch was the editor . The magazine provided a forum not only for university scholars, but also for high school teachers. And last but not least, the Philologus was a platform for international research. During the time of Leutsch's editing, researchers from Austria, Switzerland, Russia, Denmark, England, the USA, Italy, Estonia and France published here. Volume 64 (1866) was the first to publish a contribution in French, up to now only contributions in German or Latin were permitted.

Leutsch's most important achievement was the expansion of the magazine from a normal scientific publication to a large journalistic company. The centerpiece remained the journal, in which essays and miscommunication appeared, but also the “annual reports” introduced by Schneidewin as well as “excerpts from writings and reports from learned societies as well as from magazines”, “bibliographical overviews” and “indices”. Since 1860 there have been supplement volumes and from 1869 the “Philologische Anzeiger”. In the supplement volumes, essays were published that exceeded the normal length of the essays. In the first volume, for example, there were nine essays from 50 to 120 pages. Over time, the supplement volumes, which, like the magazine, appeared in several issues, developed into a collection of monographs . This makes Leutsch one of the inventors of this form of publication. The "Philologische Anzeiger" was a review organ. During this time, the magazine itself often appeared in two volumes per year with a total of up to 1500 printed pages. All in all, the Philologus covered the entire spectrum of ancient science information.

Nevertheless, one cannot deny that the Philologus at that time placed more emphasis on quantity than on quality. While many developments were innovative, the articles that formed the backbone of the company were often - but not entirely - of lower quality than comparable publications such as the “Rheinisches Museum” or the “ Hermes ” founded in 1866 . It would have been desirable to have a leaner philologus alongside the innovations. The reputation of the Philologus in the professional world was sometimes so bad that Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, in a letter to the Ministerial Director Friedrich Althoff, hoped after Leutsch's death that the Philologus would die with him. In his memoirs of 1848–1918 , Wilamowitz also expressed himself looking back after 40 years:

“The hope that the Philologus would die with him was unfortunately not fulfilled. A magazine is preserved when its content comes down through the librarians who do not allow a series to be torn down. However, this has the advantage that it is easier to pick up again than to found a new one. "

- Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff : Memoirs 1848–1918 , Berlin 1928, p. 204.

After Leutsch's death, the editor was in the hands of the just 31-year-old Tübingen professor of classical philology, Otto Crusius .

Crusius era

Crusius was at the start of a career that would later make him rector of the University of Munich and president of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. Crusius reshaped the Philologus by, among other things, a. limited the mode of publication to one volume per year, adjusted the orthography and brought the indices into a new form.

Rehm era

Albert Rehm had become co-editor shortly before Crusius' death in 1917 and was the editor for several years. After difficulties due to the aftermath of the war, he won Johannes Stroux as co-editor in 1929 , who moved to Berlin in 1935 as the successor to Eduard Norden . During the years of National Socialism, works by Friedrich Münzer and Walther Kranz can still be printed until 1944.

Stroux era

When a work by Eduard Norden could no longer be published in 1937, Rehm withdrew from the management, but continued to support his friend Stroux in his work for the Philologus. Stroux selected Bruno Snell and Hans Ulrich Instinsky as co-editors in 1943 . The first post-war issue was published as early as 1948, but it wasn't until 1953 that other episodes were published regularly.

Luzhnat era

With Stroux's death in 1954, the editorship changed to Hermann Kleinknecht and Otto Luschnat , the Philologus was now published by the Akademie-Verlag in Berlin.

Schmidt era

From 1955, the already 74-year-old Friedrich Zucker from Jena and Epikur expert Wolfgang Schmid took over . As stated on the title page, the journal was now published “on behalf of the Institute for Greco-Roman Antiquity at the German Academy of Sciences in Berlin”. Zucker resigned from the editorial board in 1963, Luschnat remained the managing editor, from the construction of the Wall in 1961 by post, supported by the editorial secretary Eberhard Rechenberg, as he lived in West Berlin.

From 1971 onwards, due to an academy reform ordered by Walter Ulbricht , which was a result of his changed Germany policy, it was no longer possible to lead the Philologus with editors from all over Germany. Since the management at that time consisted of one scientist from the GDR, one from the Federal Republic and one from West Berlin, a new management had to be formed. The new editorial board, which, due to a requirement, also had to include a member of the SED, was put together under the leadership of Johannes Irmscher and Ernst Günther Schmidt .

Post-turnaround time

When the Academy of Sciences in East Berlin was dissolved in 1991, the Akademie-Verlag handed over the editorial work to an independent editorial board with Joachim Ebert , Fritz Juerß , Ernst Günther Schmidt , Peter Lebrecht Schmidt and Bernd Seidensticker .

Editor and members of the editorial board

The editors and members of the editorial board at Philologus were:

  • Vol. 1-9, 1846-1854, Fr. W. Schneidewin
  • Vol. 10, 1855, Fr. W. Schneidewin, E. von Leutsch
  • Vol. 11-46, 1856-1888, E. von Leutsch
  • Vol. 47-73, 1889-1916, O. Crusius
  • Vol. 74-75 / 1, 1917-1918, O. Crusius, A. Rehm
  • Vol. 75 / 2-83, 1918-1928, A. Rehm
  • Vol. 84-92, 1929-1937, A. Rehm, J. Stroux
  • 93-95, 1938-1943, J. Stroux
  • Vol. 96-97, 1944-1948, J. Stroux, Br. Snell, HU Instinsky
  • Vol. 98, 1954, J. Stroux, H. Kleinknecht, O. Luschnat
  • Vol. 99-107, 1955-1963, Fr. Zucker, W. Schmid, O. Luschnat
  • Vol. 108-114, 1964-1970, Fr. Zucker, W. Schmid, O. Luschnat
  • Vol. 115–121, 1971–1977, W. Hofman, J. Irmscher, Ms. Juerß, Ms. Kühnert, EG Schmidt, W. Seyfarth
  • Vol. 122-127 / 1, 1978-1983, W. Hofmann, J. Irmscher, Ms. Juerß, W. Kirsch, Ms. Kühnert, R. Müller, EG Schmidt
  • Vol. 127/2, 1983, W. Hofman, J. Irmscher, Fr. Jürß, W. Kirsch, R. Müller, EG Schmidt
  • Vol. 128-135, 1984-1991, J. Ebert, W. Hofman, J. Irmscher, Fr. Juerß, W. Kirsch, R. Müller, EG Schmidt
  • Vol. 136-140, 1992-1996, J. Ebert, Fr. Juerß, EG Schmidt, PL Schmidt, B. Seidensticker


  • Ernst Günther Schmidt : 150 years of “Philologus”. In: Philologus , Volume 140 (1996), pp. 3-38. ISSN 2196-7008

Web links

Wikisource: Philologus  - Sources and full texts


  1. ^ Ernst G. Schmidt: 150 years of "Philologus" . In: Philologus 140 (1996), pp. 3-38.