Saturday, May 18, 2013



The earliest citation for "Quellenforschung" in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is Bernadotte Perrin, "Lucan as Historical Source for Appian," American Journal of Philology 5.3 (1884) 325-330 (at 325):
It does not increase our confidence in the conclusions of the recent "Quellenforschung" among the Germans to find each of no less than five authors claimed as the main or even the sole source of Dio Cassius in his history of the second Punic war.
But there is a slightly earlier example—James Bryce, "John Richard Green. In Memoriam," Macmillan's Magazine 48 (May 1883) 59-74 (at 70-71):
No one could be more keen and penetrating in what the Germans call Quellenforschung—the collection, and investigation, and testing of the sources of history—nor could any one be more painstaking.
The OED, discussing the etymology of the word, says "< German Quellenforschung (1834 or earlier)..." It's possible to go further back here as well. The word appears in the Jenaische allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, no. 284 (December 12, 1811), col. 482.


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