Karl Lachmann (1793-1851) is considered along with the brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm the founder of German philology. In his young days, he was already concerned with problems of Classical philology and older German philology and developed a method of editing, which is now named after him and which had a huge impact on numerous philologies all over Europe.

Lachmanns scholarly significance is above all based on his numerous editions of Middle High German texts (‘Nibelungenlied', of Hartmann von Aue ‘Iwein' and ‘Gregorius', Walther von der Vogelweide, Wolfram von Eschenbach, Ulrich von Lichtenstein; work on 'Des Minnesangs Frühling'), often in collaboration with other researchers. Besides, the editions of the Greek and Latin New Testament, Aesop's Fabulae, as well as the collected works G.E. Lessings, are to be named.

Lachmann neither recorded his concepts clearly nor in the form of a monograph. One has to reconstruct them from scattered comments and prefaces and by abstraction of his practical work in his editions. For a discussion of his method, see Lachmann's method.


Works by Lachmann (mostly editions)

– Lachmann, Karl. 1816. Aurelii Propertii carmina, emendavit ad codicum meliorum fidem et annotavit Carolus Lachmannus. Leipzig: Gerhard Fleischer.
– ———. 1826. Der Nibelunge Noth und die Klage. Berlin.
– ———. 1827. Walther von der Vogelweide. Berlin. 
– ———. 1827. Hartmann von Aue, Iwein. Berlin. 
– ———. 1829. Q. Valerii Catulli Veronensis liber. Berolinum: Reimer.
– ———. 1835. Albii Tibulli libri quattuor, ex recensione Carl Lachmanni passim mutata explicuit Ludolphus Dissenius. Gottingae: Librariae Dieterichianae [1st ed. without commentary 1829].
– ———. 1831. Novum Testamentum graece, ex recensione Caroli Lachmanni [editio minor of the Greek New Testament]. Berlin; ed. maior together with Philipp Buttmann. Berolini 1842–1850, 2 vols.
– ———. 1833. Wolfram von Eschenbach. Berlin.
– ———. 1850. Lucreti De rerum natura libri VI. Berlin: impensis G. Reimeri. 
– ———. 1876. Kleinere Schriften. Vol. 1, Kleinere Schriften zur deutschen Philologie, edited by Karl Müllenhoff. Vol. 2, Kleinere Schriften zur classischen Philologie, edited by Johannes Vahlen. Berlin: Reimer.

Works on Lachmann

– Carey, Stephen Mark. 2010. “Lachmann, Karl Konrad Friedrich Wilhelm.” In Handbook of Medieval Studies: Terms – Methods – Trends, edited by Albrecht Classen, 2434–2440. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
– Fiesoli, Giovanni. 2000. La genesi del lachmannismo. Firenze: SISMEL Edizioni del Galluzzo.
– Ganz, Peter F. 1968. “Lachmann as an Editor of Middle High German Texts.” In Probleme mittelalterlicher Überlieferung und Textkritik: Oxforder Colloquium 1966, edited by Peter F. Ganz and Werner Schröder, 12–30. Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag.




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