Uvo Hölscher (philologist)

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Uvo Harald Antonio Hölscher (born March 8, 1914 in Halle (Saale) , † December 31, 1996 in Munich ) was a German classical philologist .

Live and act

The son of the theologian Gustav Hölscher attended high schools in Marburg and Bonn. He first studied natural sciences and cultural studies in Tübingen and Munich from 1932, then classical philology in Frankfurt / Main, where he was particularly interested in the lectures of Karl Reinhardt . During his regular Saturday invitations, he met Max Kommerell and the student Dorothea Hölscher-Lohmeyer , whom he married in 1940. In 1937 he received his doctorate from Reinhardt on the subject of The Philosophy of Empedocles and was drafted into the Wehrmacht the next day. The habilitation took place in 1944 during a short vacation with Bruno Snell in Hamburg, with the subject of Ekkyklema scenes in Greek drama . This work remained unpublished, and he had to make a declaration to the party never to apply for a professorship. He spent his prisoner of war under difficult conditions due to a failed escape attempt. After his release in 1946, he continued his scientific career in Munich, where he had completed his habilitation. There he was temporarily the only representative of his subject at the University of Munich until Friedrich Klingner and Rudolf Pfeiffer came there. After a stay in England, Hölscher was appointed professor at the Free University of Berlin in 1954 and to Heidelberg in 1962 . From 1970 he was again a professor in Munich.

Hölscher remained the only pupil of Reinhardt, from whom he also took his main subjects: his work was on early Greek poetry (especially Homer ) and the philosophy of the pre-Socratics. His best-known book is a legitimation of classical philology: The Chance of Uneasiness - On the Situation of Classical Studies (1965). The phrase The closest foreigner is also frequently quoted to characterize the relationship between modernity and antiquity. The most important work is The Odyssey - Epic Between Fairy Tales and Novels (1988).

Hölscher was a full member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences from 1969 to 1971 and a corresponding member since 1971.

From 1978 to 1990, Hölscher was President of the Hölderlin Society . In 1989 he was awarded the Reuchlin Prize by the city of Pforzheim .

He was married to the Germanist Dorothea Hölscher-Lohmeyer , his sons are the classical archaeologist Tonio Hölscher and the historian Lucian Hölscher .


  • The Odyssey. Epic between fairy tale and novel. 3. Edition. Beck, Munich 1990, ISBN 3-406-33390-7 .
  • The chance of discomfort. 3 essays on the situation of classical studies. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1965.
  • The closest stranger. On texts from the early Greek period and their reflex in modern times. Beck, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-406-38505-2 (collected articles, contains Hölscher's bibliography).
  • Trends in German Greek Studies in the Twenties. In: Hellmut Flashar (Ed.): Ancient Studies in the 20s. Steiner, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-515-06569-5 .


  • Uvo Hölscher: Inaugural address at the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences. In: Yearbook of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences for 1969. Heidelberg Academy of Sciences, Heidelberg 1970, pp. 76–80.
  • Walter Burkert : Obituary for Uvo Hölscher. In: Gnomon . Volume 70, 1998, pp. 474-477. Reprinted in: Yearbook of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences for 1998. Heidelberg Academy of Sciences, Heidelberg 1999.
  • Sotera Fornaro, Thomas Poiss: Hölscher, Uvo. In: Peter Kuhlmann , Helmuth Schneider (Hrsg.): History of the ancient sciences. Biographical Lexicon (= The New Pauly . Supplements. Volume 6). Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2012, ISBN 978-3-476-02033-8 , Sp. 586 f.

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