CALDER, W.M. III, A. KÖHNKEN, a.o., (eds.),
Friedrich Gottlieb Welcker. Werk und Wirkung.
Franz Steiner Verlag, Wiesbaden / Stuttgart, 1986. X,293p. Sewn. Series: Hermes, Einzelschriften, Heft 49. 'Friedrich Gottlieb Welcker (1784-1868) was regarded by Wilamowitz as the scholar who had the greatest influence upon his work. This collection of lectures on various aspects of Welcker, most of them delivered at a bicentenary colloquium at Bad Homburg in November, 1984, helps to explain the nature of that influence and throws much light on an important figure in the history of scholarship. (...) The four chief areas in which Welcker worked are handled in separate chapters, Homer and the epic cycle by Wolfgang Kullmann, lost tragedies by Stefan Radt, the 'Götterlehre' by Albert Henrichs and the archaeology by Wilfred Geominy. Instead of a general account of his treatment of Greek lyric poetry, W.M. Calder III offers an essay on his treatment of Sappho, a topic which lends itself to Calder's way of writing what he calls 'Wissenschaftsgeschichte. (...) The most interesting contribution is that of Henrichs. Welcker, as he shows, believed in a religion of nature, later replaced by the religion of the Olympians (...). Despite the failure of the 'Götterlehere' with the public, the work influenced Bachofen, Nietzsche and Rohde. Wilamowitz followed Welcker in concentrating on the Greeks, describing the individual gods, and taking over a Goethian notion of belief; but Welcker was important to Wilamowitz mainly because he drew a general picture of antiquity, unsing the evidence of religion, poetry and art together. His real heir was Usener, who reproduced many of his faults, including the extravagant use of often dubious etymologies and the indiscriminate employment of material from different periods; but Usener was interested not so much in the Greek gods as in the foundations of religion in general. (...) Henrichs rightly insists that Welcker's 'Götterlehre' is important in our own time, as an impressive attempt to attain what he calls a 'subjective Innenperspektive'; the only scholars of the twentieth century who he thinks have attempted this are Walter F. Otto, Karl Kerenyi and, despite the presence of a strong socio-historical element in his work, Jean-Pierre Vernant.' (HUGH LLOYD- JONES in The Classical Review (New Series), 1987, pp.294-96). From the library of the late Professor Doktor Nikolaus Himmelmann.