Philipp Jaffé

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Philipp Jaffé
Philipp Jaffe.png
Portrait by an unknown photographer
Born (1819-02-17)February 17, 1819
Schwersenz, Prussia
Died April 3, 1870(1870-04-03) (aged 51)
Wittenberge, Prussia
Nationality Prussia
Fields Historian and philologist
Institutions Humboldt University of Berlin
Alma mater Humboldt University of Berlin
Doctoral advisor Leopold von Ranke
Known for Regesta Pontificum Romanorum

Philipp Jaffé (February 17, 1819 – April 3, 1870) was a German historian and philologist. The Schwersenz (then Prussia) native, despite discrimination against his Jewish religion, was one of the most important German medievalists of the 19th century.

After graduating from the gymnasium at Posen in 1838 he went to Berlin, entering a banking-house. Two years later he abandoned commercial life and studied at Humboldt University of Berlin (Ph.D. 1844). Seven years later appeared his great work, "Regesta Pontificum Romanorum ab Condita Ecclesia ad Annum p. Ch. n. 1198," containing 11,000 papal documents, Berlin, 1851 (2d ed. by Löwenfeld, Kaltenbrunner, and Ewald, Leipzig, 1885–88). This work made him well known, but he had still to earn a livelihood; he therefore again entered the university, this time as a student of medicine, at Berlin and later at Vienna. Graduating as M.D. from Berlin in 1853, he engaged in practise in that city for a year, and then became one of the editors of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica. This position he resigned in 1863, his chief work having been vols. xii, xvi, xvii, xviii, xix, and xx of the "Scriptores."

In 1862 Jaffé was appointed assistant professor of history at Humboldt University of Berlin, where he lectured on Latin paleography and Roman and medieval chronology. In 1868 he became a Christian. During the last year of his life he suffered from delirium persecutionis.

Jaffé wrote, in addition to the above-mentioned works, Geschichte des Deutschen Reiches unter Lothar dem Sachsen, Berlin, 1843; Geschichte des Deutschen Reiches unter Konrad III. Hanover, 1845; and Bibliotheca Rerum Germanicarum, ib. 1864-71. Jaffé furthermore collaborated with Wilhelm Wattenbach in editing the Ecclesiæ Metropolitanæ Coloniensis Codices, which was published (Berlin, 1879) by Wattenbach after Jaffé's death. Jaffé committed suicide at Wittenberge on April 3, 1870.

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