PFEIFFER, FRANZ (1815-1868), an eminent writer on medival German literature and on old forms of the German language, was born at Solothurn on the 27th of February 1815. Having studied at the university of -Munich, lie went to Stuttgart, where in 1846 he became librarian at the royal public library. In 1857, having established his fame as one of the foremost authorities on his special subject, he was appointed professor of German literature and language at the university of Vienna ; and in 1860 he was made a member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences. He died on the 29th of May 1868.
As an editor of medifeval literature Pfeiffer was unsurpassed among the scholars of his day, and by his work in this department he did much to foster the critical study of writers who before his time were known only to specialists. Among the many writings edited by him may be mentioned the works of the German mystics of the 14th century', the Buck der Natio- of Conrad of Me,genberg, the Predigten of Berthold of Ratisbon, the Edelstein of Ulrich Boner, the Bar/aam und Josaphat of Rudolf of Ems, and the poems of Walther von der Vogelweide. Of his independent writ-ings the most important are Zur deutsehen Literaturgesehiehte, Ueber T-Vesen, und Bitching der hiifisehen Spraehe in mittelhoch-deutseher Zeit, Der Diehter des .Kibelungenliedes, Forsckung und Kritik auf dem Gebiete des dentseh.en Alterthums, and Altdeutsehes Uebungsbiteh. Pfeiffer's style is clear and vigorous, and on every subject which he discussed he was able to throw fresh light. A biographical sketch of him by Bartsch occurs in Maud's Brief-wechsel mit Freih-errn von Lassberg, which Pfeiffer edited.