SCHWEIZER-SIDLER, Heinrich (originally H. Schweizer). Elgg, canton Zürich 12.9. 1815 — Zürich 30.3.1894. Swiss IE Scholar. Professor in Zürich. Son of the minister of Elgg, family from Zürich, intended himself to become a priest, but at school became fascinated with classical languages. In 1835-38 studied classical philology at Zürich, also Sanskrit under B. Hirzel. In 1838-39 further studies at Berlin: Germanistics under Lachmann, classics under Böckh and Bekker, IE and Sanskrit under Bopp and Hoefer. PD 1841 Zürich, in 1844-45 teacher at gymnasium in Aarau. From 1849 ao. Professor and from 1864 ord. Professor and Mitleiter des philologischen Seminars at Zürich. Taught Sanskrit and IE all the time from 1841 on. In 1845-71 also taught Latin at gymnasium. He was married with Elisabetha Sidler (d. 1871), an eager advocate of women’s rights and education, and their daughters got a good education. His wife was the first female student at Zürich University, they met as students. Schweizer-Sidler himself was in 1875 among the founders of a new school for girls and taught Latin there until 1889. In 1889 old age and eye problems forced him to retire, but he went on lecturing at home nearly until his death. His grandnephew is —> Ed. Schwyzer.
Schweizer-Sidler was mainly interested in Latin, Sanskrit and Germanic, not so much in Greek (in 1876 he left the teaching of Greek and Veda to Kaegi). He gave regularly elementary Sanskrit and explained easier Sanskrit texts such as Bhagavadgītā, Meghadūta, and dramas, also Rigveda. He was characterised as an inspiring teacher. In his teaching and studies he mainly concentrated on grammatical and etymological questions. He had very good memory and followed keenly publications until his death, and rarely was trapped in his old ideas. He wanted to use comparative linguistics even in the teaching of classical languages at school. He published a great number of small articles and reviews, but was more a teacher than a scholar. In 1862 he launched the collection of Swiss German dialects. Among his students were Kaegi and F. Haag.
Publications: Hab.diss. Die zwei Hauptclassen der unregelmässigen Verba im Deutschen. 51 p. 1841.
– “Beiträge zur vergleichenden Syntax. 1. Über den Ablativ und Instrumentalis im Rigveda”, Hoefer’s Zeitschrift 2-3, 1850-51; “… 2. Über den Komparativ”, Pädag. Revue 24, 1854; Die Bedeutung der indischen Studien. 21 p. Zürich (1861).
– Review of several works on Prātiśākhyas, Beitr. z. vgl. Sprachforschung 1, 1858, 484-495 & 2, 1861, 247-250.
– Elementar- und Formenlehre der lateinischen Sprache für Schulen. 150 p. Helle 1869, 2nd ed. with A. Suber as Grammatik der lateinischen Sprache. 1. 17+280 p. Halle 1888 (1st ed. for schools, 2nd for universities).
– Cornelii Taciti Germania erläutert. 14+90 p. Halle 1871, 5th ed. 1890, 6th by E. Schwyzer 1902; C.T.G. denuo ed. atque iterpretatus in Orelli, Taciti Opera. II:1. 1877.
– A number of small articles and often long reviews in KZ etc., e.g. of Bopp’s Vgl. Grammatik in KZ 3, 1854, 337-397.
Sources: A. Kaegi, A.D.B. 54, 1908, 282f; *R. v. Planta, Anz. f. idg. Sprach- und Altertumsk. 5, 18??, 97-100; *A. Surber, Bursians Jahrbuch 21 (Jahresbericht 99), 1899, 97-122 (with bibliography); *Philologische Abhandlungen H.S.-S. gewidmet. 1891; Wikipedia (more in German version, with photo); photo in Leumann 1909, 12.