1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Barth, Kaspar von

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BARTH, KASPAR VON (1587-1658), German philologist, was born at Küstrin in the province of Brandenburg on the 21st of June 1587. He was an extremely precocious child, and was looked upon as a marvel of learning. After studying at Gotha, Eisenach, Wittenberg and Jena, he travelled extensively, visiting most of the countries of Europe. Too independent to accept any regular post, he lived alternately at Halle and on his property at Sellerhausen near Leipzig. In 1636, his library and MSS. at Sellerhausen having been destroyed by fire, he removed to the Paulinum at Leipzig, where he died on the 17th of September 1658. Barth was a very voluminous writer; his works, which were the fruits of extensive reading and a retentive memory, are unmethodical and uncritical and marred by want of taste and of clearness. He appears to have been excessively vain and of an unamiable disposition. Of his writings the most important are; Adversaria (1624), a storehouse of miscellaneous learning, dealing not only with classical but also with medieval and modern writers; and commentaries on Claudian (1612, 1650) and Statius (1664).