Wilhelm Adolf B. Hertzberg

* 06.06.1813 in Halberstadt; ✝ 07.07.1879 in Bremen

Pedagogue, Translator, Writer



Hertzberg studied classical philology at the universities of Halle and Bonn.  After being awarded the doctor’s title in 1835 for his thesis on Sextus Propertius, he taught at grammar schools in Stettin and Halberstadt.  In 1842 he was appointed to the senior Bürgerschule in Elbing, and as director managed its educational affairs from 1845 onwards.  Despite his liberal sentiments, of which he made no secret, particularly in the crucial year 1848, Hertzberg was from 1849 onwards a member of the Prussian directorial congress.  In 1858 he moved as director to the commercial college in Bremen, and from 1866 onwards was director at the ‘Alte Gymnasium’ in the same town.

Alongside his successful career in schools and involvement in Bremen’s public life, Hertzberg made a name for himself as an expert on and translator of Latin and English literature. His masterpiece is considered to be his Sex. Aurelii Propertii Elegiarum libri quattuor, published between 1843 and 1845. This is a Latin commentary on the poetry of Sextus Propertius, and unites the two major fields of his early research: the poetry of the Augustan age and the elegiac genre.

In his later years Hertzberg dedicated himself more single-mindedly to English literature and published inter alia translations of Tennyson (1855), Scott (1863) and Chaucer (1866).  Particularly worthy of note is his contribution to the 1867-1871 edition of Shakespeare’s dramatische Werke, based on the Schlegel-Tieck translations, for which he retranslated eight plays.


Other Translations



Primary Literature

Secondary Literature

Album pages with this person

Citation and Licence

Hertzberg, Wilhelm Adolf B., in: The Digital Shakespeare Memorial Album. Edited by Christa Jansohn. URI: http://www.shakespearealbum.de/uri/gnd/116755075. (Accessed on 26.09.2023)

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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