Ernst Curtius

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Curtius, Ernst


Born Sept. 2, 1814, in Lübeck; died July 11, 1896, in Berlin. German historian of classical antiquity, archaeologist, and philologist. Professor at the University of Berlin (1844–56 and from 1868) and the University of Göttingen (1856–63). Member of the Berlin Academy of Sciences; secretary of the academy’s department of history and philology from 1871 to 1893.

Curtius initiated the excavations at Olympia by German archaeologists (1875–81). His most important studies are devoted to the history, topography, and archaeology of ancient Greece and to art history and philology. Curtius’ works tended to idealize the classical world and to exaggerate the role of geographic environment. A brilliant orator and teacher and a good organizer, Curtius stimulated interest in ancient history and archaeology and promoted the development of museology in Germany.


Peloponnesos, vol. 1–2. Gotha, 1851–52.
Ausgrabungen zu Olympia. Berlin, 1877.
Die Stadtgeschichte von Athen. Berlin, 1891.
Altertum und Gegenwart, vols. 1–2. Stuttgart-Berlin, 1903.
In Russian translation:
Istoriia Gretsii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1880–83.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
En este sentido, el autor parece vislumbrar una inversion en los intercambios, de manera que los antiguos prestamos culturales italianos del siglo XV darian paso en la centuria siguiente a un protagonismo mayor de las letras espanolas, que acaban por imponerse sobre las literaturas europeas, como senalo en su dia Ernst Curtius.
Only then shall we receive what we ask and find what we seek; only then will the door be opened"--Confessions, finale: As Ernst Curtius, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages, New York, 1953, p.74, says of the Latin, "No modern prose can reproduce the original solemn parallelisms and assonances.
In this respect this book is subject to the same line of critique as the famous work of Ernst Curtius on topoi in medieval and Renaissance literature (original edition Europdische Literatur und lateinisches Mittelalter, Bern, 1948).
Ernst Curtius (1814-1896),the son of Carl Georg, had directed the excavation of Olympia and he was the author of a history of Greece [Geschichte Griechenlands (1857-1867)].
In Berlin, he very quickly had access to the 'most intimate circle of the elect', to which one was only admitted by 'very powerful magical forces' ('nur machtiger Zauber offnete den Zugang'), as he said later.[25] This was made possible in particular by the Lipsius couple, who were both painters, with whom he was related through his grandfather, Ernst Curtius. It is there that he made the acquaintance of the poet Stefan George, whose memory he still evokes in 1950 ('Stefan George im Gesprach').[26] Through this contact, the poetic aristocracy joined the aristocracy of birth and the academic aristocracy.