He was born and educated in Bonn. He received a traveling fellowship in archaeology from the University of Bonn, and spent 1861–66 mostly in Italy, part of the time fulfilling a request by the Vienna Academy to do archival research for the Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum. He was professor at Breslau (1868–85), and beginning in 1885, a professor at the University of Strassburg (Kaiser-Wilhelm-Universität).
His works include:
- Suetoni præter Cæsarum Libros Reliquiæ (1860); the standard edition of these fragments.
- Bibliotheca Patrum Latinorum Italica (2 volumes, 1865–72).
- Arnobii Adversvs nationes libri VII (1875); main author, Arnobius.
- An edition of Anna Comnena's Alexiad (1878).
- A partial edition of Tertullian, Quinti Septimi Florentis Tertulliani (edited by Georg Wissowa, 1890).
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Reifferscheid, August". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.
- Deutsche Philologie an den preußischen Universitäten im 19. Jahrhundert ... edited by Uwe Meves
- HathiTrust Digital Library published works