1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Pfeiffer, Franz

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PFEIFFER, FRANZ (1815-1868), German scholar, was born at Bettlach near Soleure on the 27th of February 1815. After studying at the university of Munich he went to Stuttgart, where in 1846 he became librarian to the royal library. In 1856 Pfeiffer founded the Germania, a quarterly periodical devoted to German antiquarian research. In 1857, having established his fame as one of the foremost authorities on German medieval literature and philology, he was appointed professor of these subjects at the university of Vienna; and in 1860 was made a member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences. He died at Vienna on the 29th of May 1868.

Among the many writings edited by him may be mentioned the Barlaam und Josaphat of Rudolf von Ems (1843), the Edelstein of Ulrich Boner (1844), Die deutschen Mystiker des 14. Jahrhunderts (1845-1857; new ed., 1906), the Buch der Natur of Konrad von Megenberg, a 14th-century writer (1861), Die Predigten des Berthold von Regensburg (1862), and the poems of Walther von der Vogelweide (1864; 6th ed. by K. Bartsch, 1880). Of his independent writings the most important are Zur deutschen Literaturgeschichte, Über Wesen und Bildung der höfischen Sprache in mittelhochdeutscher Zeit, Der Dichter des Nibelungenliedes, Forschung und Kritik auf dem Gebiete des deutschen Altertums, and Altdeutsches Übungsbuch. A biographical sketch by Karl Bartsch is in Uhlands Briefwechsel mit Freiherrn von Lassberg, edited by Franz Pfeiffer (1870).