German literary historian; son of Abraham Geiger; born at Breslau June 5, 1848. After having been educated for the rabbinate under paternal supervision, Geiger entered Heidelberg University, where he applied himself to the study of history; later he went to the University of Göttingen (1865), and devoted some time to Oriental studies. In 1868 he graduated as doctor of philosophy from Göttingen University, where he resumed the study of history and took up that of literature, both of which he continued some years later in Paris. From 1870 to 1873 he held various positions as instructor in different Jewish schools; in 1873 he became privat-docent of German literature at the University of Berlin, and in 1880 assistant professor at the same institution. The subject of his lectures was mainly German literature from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, and French literature from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. Geiger has published the following works: "Das Studium der Hebräischen Sprache in Deutschland vom Ende des 15. bis zur Mitte des 16. Jahrhunderts" (Breslau, 1870); "Nikolaus Ellenbog, ein Humanist und Theolog des 16. Jahrhunderts" (Vienna, 1870); "Johann Reuchlin, Sein Leben und Seine Werke" (Leipsic, 1871); "Geschichte der Juden in Berlin" (2 parts, Berlin, 1871); "Petrarca" (Leipsic, 1874); "Deutsche Satiriker des 16. Jahrhunderts" (Berlin, 1878); "Abraham Geiger" (1878); "Renaissance und Humanismus in Italien und Deutschland" (in Oncken's "Allgemeine Geschichte in Einzeldarstellungen," ib. 1882, 2d ed. 1901); "Firlifimini und Andre Kuriosa" (ib. 1885); "Vorträge und Versuche" (Dresden, 1890); "Geschichte des Geistigen Lebens der Preussischen Hauptstadt" (Berlin, 1892-94); "Augustin, Petrarca, Rousseau" (ib. 1893); "Berlin's Geistiges Leben" (2 vols., Berlin, 1894-96). He also published the correspondence of Johann Reuchlin (Stuttgart, 1876). From 1880 to 1903 Geiger was editor of the "Goethe-Jahrbuch"; from 1885 to 1886 he edited the "Vierteljahrschrift für Kultur und Litteratur der Renaissance"; from 1887 to 1891 he edited together with M. Koch the "Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Litteraturgeschichte und Renaissance-Litteratur"; from 1886 to 1891, the "Zeitschrift für die Geschichte der Juden in Deutschland" (5 vols., Brunswick). Lately Geiger has published biographies and the correspondence of numerous eminent German scholars and statesmen of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
- Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 1897.