1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Haupt, Moritz

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HAUPT, MORITZ (1808-1874), German philologist, was born at Zittau, in Lusatia, on the 27th of July 1808. His early education was mainly conducted by his father, Ernst Friedrich Haupt, burgomaster of Zittau, a man of good scholarly attainment, who used to take pleasure in turning German hymns or Goethe's poems into Latin, and whose memoranda were employed by G. Freytag in the 4th volume of his Bilder aus der deutschen Vergangenheit. From the Zittau gymnasium, where he spent the five years 1821-1826, Haupt removed to the university of Leipzig with the intention of studying theology; but the natural bent of his mind and the influence of Professor G. Hermann soon turned all his energies in the direction of philosophy. On the close of his university course (1830) he returned to his father's house, and the next seven years were devoted to quiet work, not only at Greek, Latin and German, but at Old French, Provençal and Bohemian. He formed with Lachmann at Berlin a friendship which had great effect on his intellectual development. In September 1837 he “habilitated” at Leipzig as Privatdozent, and his first lectures, dealing with such diverse subjects as Catullus and the Nibelungenlied, indicated the twofold direction of his labours. A new chair of German language and literature being founded for his benefit, he became professor extraordinarius (1841) and then professor ordinarius (1843); and in 1842 he married Louise Hermann, the daughter of his master and colleague. But the peaceful and prosperous course opening out before him at the university of Leipzig was brought to a sudden close. Having taken part in 1849 with Otto Jahn and Theodor Mommsen in a political agitation for the maintenance of the imperial constitution, Haupt was deprived of his professorship by a decree of the 22nd of April 1851. Two years later, however, he was called to succeed Lachmann at the university of Berlin; and at the same time the Berlin academy, which had made him a corresponding member in 1841, elected him an ordinary member. For twenty-one years he continued to hold a prominent place among the scholars of the Prussian capital, making his presence felt, not only by the prestige of his erudition and the clearness of his intellect, but by the tirelessness of his energy and the ardent fearlessness of his temperament. He died, of heart disease, on the 5th of February 1874.

Haupt's critical work is distinguished by a happy union of the most painstaking investigation with intrepidity of conjecture, and while in his lectures and addresses he was frequently carried away by the excitement of the moment, and made sharp and questionable attacks on his opponents, in his writings he exhibits great self-control. The results of many of his researches are altogether lost, Decause he could not be prevailed upon to publish what fell much short of his own high ideal of excellence. To the progress of classical scholarship he contributed by Quaestiones Catullianae (1837), Observationes criticae (1841), and editions of Ovid's Holieutica and the Cynegetica of Gratius and Nemesianus (1838), of Catullus, Tibullus and Propertius (3rd ed., 1868), of Horace (3rd ed., 1871) and of Virgil (2nd ed., 1873). As early as 1836, with Hoffmann von Fallersleben, he started the Altdeutsche Blätter, which in 1841 gave place to the Zeitschrift für deutsches Altertum, of which he continued editor till his death. Hartmann von Aue's Erec (1839) and his Lieder, Büchlein and Der arme Heinrich (1842), Rudolf von Ems's Guter Gerhard (1840) and Conrad von Würzburg's Engelhard (1844) are the principal German works which he edited. To form a collection of the French songs of the 16th century was one of his favourite schemes, but a little volume published after his death, Französische Volkslieder (1877), is the only monument of his labours in that direction. Three volumes of his Opuscula were published at Leipzig (1875-1877).

See Kirchhoff, “Gedachtnisrede,” in Abhandl. der Königl. Akad. der Wissenschaften zu Berlin (1875); Otto Belger, Moritz Haupt als Lehrer (1879); Sandys, Hist. Class. Schol. iii. (1908).