Wolfgang Speyer

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Wolfgang Speyer (born June 1, 1933 in Cologne ) is a German classical philologist and religious historian .

Live and act

After graduating from the Benedictine high school in Ettal , Upper Bavaria, and the Dreikönigsgymnasium in Cologne, Speyer studied classical philology, ancient history and philosophy at the University of Cologne from 1954 to 1958. In 1958, he received his doctorate under Hellfried Dahlmann, as well as the first state examination in 1959 and the second state examination (assessor of the library service, 1965). From 1959 to 1962 he was a research assistant at the Institute for Classical Studies at the University of Cologne, 1963 and 1965-76 years of research at the Franz Joseph Dölger Institute for the study of late antiquity at the University of Bonn and study of Catholic theology in Bonn. Speyer completed his habilitation in Classical Philology at the University of Salzburg in 1976 . In 1977 he received an extraordinary and in 1987 a full professorship. From 1972 to 2013, Speyer was co-editor of the Real Lexicon for Antiquity and Christianity . He is a member of the Catholic Academy Vienna and the Bavarian Benedictine Academy as well as the PEN Club.

The main area of ​​his research is the relationship between Greek and Roman antiquity and Judeo-Christian revelation and tradition, with an emphasis on questions of the history of religion. These researches are set out in numerous articles for the Reallexikon für Antiquity and Christianity . In time they cover the epoch from Homer to the time around 600 AD, whereby the marginal cultures of the Imperium Romanum are also taken into account. Further areas of work are the reception history of antiquity in the Italian Renaissance and in German literature, as well as books and libraries. In addition, theological and philosophical questions that are directly related to the present arise in the later works.

Fonts (selection)


  • Naucellius and his circle. Studies on the Epigrammata Bobiensia (= Zetemata . 21). Beck, Munich 1959, (at the same time: Cologne, University, dissertation, 1958).
  • with Hellfried Dahlmann : Varronic Studies. Part 2. Mainz / Wiesbaden 1960 (= treatises of the humanities and social science class of the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz. Born in 1959, No. 11).
  • Book finds in the religious promotion of antiquity. With an outlook on the Middle Ages and modern times (= Hypomnemata. Investigations into antiquity and its afterlife . 24). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1970.
  • The literary forgery in pagan and Christian antiquity. An attempt at their interpretation (= Handbook of Classical Studies . Dept. 1, Part 2). Beck, Munich 1971, ISBN 3-406-03388-1 .
  • Destruction of books and censorship of the spirit among pagans, Jews and Christians (= library of books. 7). Hiersemann, Stuttgart 1981, ISBN 3-7772-8146-8 .
  • Early Christianity in the ancient radiation field. Selected essays (= Scientific Studies on the New Testament . 50). Volume 1. Mohr, Tübingen 1989, ISBN 3-16-145238-0 .
  • Italian humanists as critics of the authenticity of ancient and Christian literature (= Academy of Sciences and Literature, Mainz. Treatises of the humanities and social sciences class. 1993, No. 3). Steiner, Stuttgart 1993, ISBN 3-515-06345-5 .
  • Studies in the history of religion (= Collectanea. 15). Olms, Hildesheim et al. 1995, ISBN 3-487-09993-4 .
  • Early Christianity in the ancient radiation field. Small writings (= scientific studies on the New Testament. 116). Volume 2. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1999, ISBN 3-16-147051-6 .
  • Early Christianity in the ancient radiation field. Small writings (= scientific studies on the New Testament. 213). Volume 3. Edited by Veronika Coroleu Oberparleiter. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2007, ISBN 978-3-16-149264-8 .
  • Cosmos - creation - nothing. The human being in the decision (= Salzburg theological studies. 37). Tyrolia, Innsbruck et al. 2010, ISBN 978-3-7022-3034-0 .
  • Between dream and reality, time and eternity. The human being as the essence of the “between” (= Salzburg theological studies. 51). Tyrolia, Innsbruck et al. 2014, ISBN 978-3-7022-3349-5 .
  • Law and freedom, conditional and unconditional. In contrast to man and reality (= Salzburg theological studies. 55). Tyrolia, Innsbruck et al. 2016, ISBN 978-3-7022-3543-7 .
  • From the legacy of antiquity and Christianity (= yearbook for antiquity and Christianity . Supplementary volume. 40). Aschendorff, Münster 2019, ISBN 978-3-402-10811-6 .


  • Epigrammata Bobiensia. Teubner, Leipzig 1963.
  • Giovanni Pico della Mirandola : Carmina Latina. Brill, Leiden 1964, (reprinted in Torino 1972).
  • Karl Groß : Human hand and God's hand in antiquity and Christianity. Issued from the estate. Hiersemann, Stuttgart 1985, ISBN 3-7772-8531-5 .
  • with Adelheid Speyer: Erich J. Heindl: Christianity - misunderstood and misused. The religion of love is only just beginning (= theological texts and studies. 17). Olms, Hildesheim et al. 2010, ISBN 978-3-487-14507-5 (2nd edition. Ibid 2012, ISBN 978-3-487-14802-1 ).


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