The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Becker, Wilhelm Adolf
BECKER, Wilhelm Adolf, German archaeologist: b. Dresden 1796; d. Meissen, 30 Sept. 1846. His early education was planned by his parents with the object of fitting him for a commercial career, but while studying at the University of Leipzig he acquired a strong taste for a life of study. In 1828 he was appointed professor of archaeology at the University of Meissen; in 1842 he was appointed to the chair of classical archaeology at Leipzig University. In his first two books, ‘Gallus oder römische Scenen aus der Zeit Augusts’ (Leipzig 1838) and ‘Charicles oder Bilder altgriechische Sitte’ (Leipzig 1840) he portrays the daily life of the ancients in the form of romances, plentifully supplied with footnotes. Both works have been translated into English by Frederick Metcalfe, and each has passed through numerous editions. His chief work, however, is ‘Handbuch der römischen Alterthümer’ (Leipzig 1843), which he did not live to complete, this being done by Marquardt.