1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Simrock, Karl Joseph

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SIMROCK, KARL JOSEPH (1802-1876), German poet and man of letters, was born on the 28th of August 1802 at Bonn, where his father was a music publisher. He studied law at the universities of Bonn and Berlin, and in 1823 entered the Prussian civil service, from which he was expelled in 1830 for writing a poem in praise of the French July revolution. Afterwards he was admitted as lecturer at the university of Bonn, where in 1850 he was made a professor of Old German literature; and in which city he died on the 18th of July 1876. Simrock established his reputation by his excellent modern rendering of the Nibelungenlied (1827), and of the poems of Walther von der Vogelweide (1833).

Among other works translated by him into modern German were the Arme Heinrich of Hartmann von Aue (1830), the Parzival and Titurel of Wolfram von Eschenbach (1842), the Tristan of Gottfried of Strassburg (1855), and the Heldenbuch (1843-1849), which he supplemented with independent poems. Before the publication of this work he had shown an original poetical faculty in Wieland der Schmied (1835); and in 1844 he issued a volume of Gedichte in which there are many good lyrics, romances and ballads. In 1850 appeared Lauda Sion, and in 1857 the Deutsche Sionsharfe, collections of Old German sacred poetry. Of his republications the most popular and the most valuable were the Deutschen Volksbücher, of which fifty-five were printed between 1839 and 1867. His best contribution to scholarship was his Handbuch der deutschen Mythologie (1853-1855). At an early stage of his career Simrock took a high place among students of Shakespeare by his Quellen des Shakespeare in Novellen, Märchen und Sagen (1831); and afterwards he translated Shakespeare's poems and a considerable number of his dramas. The large number of editions through which Simrock's translations from the Middle High German have passed (the Nibelungenlied more than forty) bear witness to their popularity. An edition of his Ausgewählte Werke in 12 vols. has been published by G. Klee (1907).

See N. Hocker, Karl Simrock, sein Leben und seine Werke (1877); H. Düntzer, “Erinnerungen an Karl Simrock,” in Monatsschrift für Westdeutschland (1877), and E. Schröder's article in Allg. deutsche Biographie.