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Johann Wilhelm Adolf Kirchhoff
(6 January 1826 - 26 February 1908), German
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....
classical scholar and epigraphist.
He was born in Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...
. In 1865 he was appointed professor of classical philology
Philology is the study of language in written historical sources; it is a combination of literary studies, history and linguistics.Classical philology is the philology of Greek and Classical Latin...
in the university of his native city. Kirchhoff's scientific studies covered a wide range in linguistics, antiquities, and Greek epigraphy.
He is the author of:
- Die Homerische Odyssee (1859), putting forward an entirely new theory as to the composition of the Odyssey
The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the modern Western canon, and is the second—the Iliad being the first—extant work of Western literature...
- edition of Plotinus
Plotinus was a major philosopher of the ancient world. In his system of theory there are the three principles: the One, the Intellect, and the Soul. His teacher was Ammonius Saccas and he is of the Platonic tradition...
- edition of Euripides
Euripides was one of the three great tragedians of classical Athens, the other two being Aeschylus and Sophocles. Some ancient scholars attributed ninety-five plays to him but according to the Suda it was ninety-two at most...
(1855 and 1877–1878), the first critical edition based on a careful collation of all the manuscripts
- edition of Aeschylus
Aeschylus was the first of the three ancient Greek tragedians whose work has survived, the others being Sophocles and Euripides, and is often described as the father of tragedy. His name derives from the Greek word aiskhos , meaning "shame"...
Hesiod was a Greek oral poet generally thought by scholars to have been active between 750 and 650 BC, around the same time as Homer. His is the first European poetry in which the poet regards himself as a topic, an individual with a distinctive role to play. Ancient authors credited him and...
(Works and Days, 1881)
Xenophon , son of Gryllus, of the deme Erchia of Athens, also known as Xenophon of Athens, was a Greek historian, soldier, mercenary, philosopher and a contemporary and admirer of Socrates...
, Respublica Atheniensium (On the Athenian Constitution; 3rd ed., 1889)
- Über die Entstehungszeit des Herodotischen Geschichtswerkes (2nd ed., 1878)
- Thukydides und sein Urkundenmaterial (1895).
The following works are the result of his epigraphical and palaeographical
Palaeography, also spelt paleography is the study of ancient writing. Included in the discipline is the practice of deciphering, reading, and dating historical manuscripts, and the cultural context of writing, including the methods with which writing and books were produced, and the history of...
- Die Umbrischen Sprachdenkmäler (1851)
- Das Stadtrecht von Bantia (1853), on the tablet discovered in 1790 at Oppido near Banzi
Banzi is a town and comune in the province of Potenza, in the Southern Italian region of Basilicata.Called Bantia in antiquity, it was the site of the find of the bronze tablet known as the Tabula Bantina, which contains an important fragment of the ancient Oscan language....
, containing a plebiscite relating to the municipal affairs of the ancient Bantia (the Stadtrecht)
- Das Gotische Runenalphabet (1852)
- Die Fränkischen Runen (1855)
- Studien zur Geschichte des Griechischen Alphabets (4th ed., 1887).
The second part of vol. iv. of the Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum
(1859, containing the Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...
inscriptions) and vol. i. of the Corpus Inscriptionum Atticarum
(1873, containing the inscriptions before 403) with supplements thereto (vol. iv. pts. 13, 1877–1891) are edited by him. From circa 1860 to 1902, he was in charge of the Inscriptiones Graecae
The Inscriptiones Graecae , is an academic project originally begun by the Prussian Academy of Science, and today continued by its successor organisation, the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften...
. He edited Hermes