He studied classical philology at the University of Jena, receiving his doctorate in 1880. Afterwards, he worked as a schoolteacher in Jena and served as an educator in Stuttgart. He took a study trip to Italy and England, and for several years worked as a collaborator on the multi-volume Corpus glossarium latinorum. He obtained his habilitation at Jena, and in 1891 became an associate professor. Later on, he held professorships at the universities of Giessen (from 1893) and Tübingen (from 1902).