SAMTER, ERNST (1868–1926), German historian of ancient religions. Samter, who was born in Posen, taught in Danzig and Berlin before being appointed professor at the Berlin Gymnasium zum Grauen Kloster in 1925. In 1913 he founded the Institute for the Study of Religions, bringing together theologians, philologists, philosophers, ethnologists, and folklorists for the comparative study of religion.
His works include Familienfeste der Griechen und Roemer (1901); Geburt, Hochzeit und Tod, Beitraege zur vergleichenden Volkskunde (1911); Die Religion der Griechen (1914); Griechische Sagen (1925); and Die Goetter der Griechen (1926). His interest in education is indicated by several books, including his work on folklore in the teaching of classical languages, Volkskunde im altsprachlichen Unterricht, 1 (1923). He also contributed to Jewish history, including studies on antisemitism in ancient Greece and Rome.
[Irwin L. Merker]