Otto Gildemeister

* 13.03.1823 in Bremen; ✝ 26.08.1902 in Bremen

City Senator, Mayor, Journalist, Translator



Otto Gildemeister (pseudonym: Giotto) was already translating classical English, French, Italian and Persian poetry when he was a school boy. From 1842 onwards he studied history, classical philology and modern European languages in Berlin, where Jakob Grimm was one of his teachers.  Upon returning to Bremen in 1845 he was made arts editor of the Bremen Weser-Zeitung. He began his political career in 1852 as state archivist for Bremen, later becoming member for Bremen in the North German Federation, then city senator, and eventually mayor on more than one occasion.

Alongside his political career he was always active as a journalist, translator and publisher. Among others he translated the complete works of Byron, Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso and Dante’s Divine Comedy into German. In addition he contributed twelve translations for Friedrich Bodenstedt’s edition of Shakespeare (1867-1871) and published a translation of Shakespeare’s sonnets (1871).  Testimony to his literary fecundity are, among other works, the Essays, published in 1896-7, and Briefe von Otto Gildemeister (1922), which appeared long after his death.

Shakespeare Translations

Other Translations


Primary Literature

Secondary Literature

Album pages with this person

Citation and Licence

Gildemeister, Otto, in: The Digital Shakespeare Memorial Album. Edited by Christa Jansohn. URI: (Accessed on 24.06.2022)

This text is published under the following licence: CC BY-ND 3.0 DE. Digitzed media reproduced with the permission of the library of Birmingham.

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