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Simson, Bernhard von


SIMSON, BERNHARD VON (1840–1915), German historian. Born in Koenigsberg, the son of Martin Eduard von *Simson, Bernhard von Simson was appointed lecturer at the University of Jena in 1863. He published two volumes of documents connected with the reign of the elector Frederick William of Brandenburg. He then entered the Prussian civil service as a recorder at the archives of Duesseldorf, but returned to teaching in 1874 as professor at the University of Freiburg im Breisgau. In 1887 he was elected to the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. Retiring in 1905 he returned to Berlin and was named a member of the general directorate of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica in 1907.

Among his most important works were: Jahrbuecher des fraenkischen Reichs unter Ludwig dem Frommen (2 vols., 1874–76); and Jahrbuecher des Fraenkischen Reiches unter Karl dem Grossen 789 bis 814 (1883), which completed the work on Charlemagne begun by George Abel. Perhaps von Simson's most significant work was the revelation of the pseudo-Isidorian Le Mans forgeries which he described in Die Entstehung der Pseudoisidorischen Faelschungen in Le Mans (1886). He also wrote the sixth volume of Giesebrecht's Geschichte der deutschen Kaiserzeit (1895) and edited his father's memoirs, Erinnerungen aus seinem Leben (1900).


A. Dove, Ausgewaehlte Aufsaetze und Briefe, 1 (1925), 310–2.

[Howard L. Adelson]

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