This paper aims to define the intellectual and scientific profile of Karl Lachmann, his evolution before inventing his « method », his relation to the preceding classical philology (Heyne) and to the contemporary philology (Hermann), his position on « the Homeric question ». It describes the role of Lachmann in the emergence of German philology and depicts how this discipline turned out to become a special German institution, shaped by the model of science of antiquity. The scholars tried to create a scientific community based on methodology. The philologist who relied on the power of the method could avoid scientific dilettantism and amateurism, which occurred often in the circles of Romanticism. Lachmann’s method had not only a scientific but also an ethical meaning and presupposed a rigorous way of life. A master of the method had to be revered because of his scientific achievement.
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