The New International Encyclopædia/Welcker, Friedrich Gottlieb
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Welcker, Friedrich Gottlieb
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WELCKER, vĕl'kẽr, Friedrich Gottlieb (1784-1868). A German classical archæologist and philologist. He was born at Grünberg, in Hesse-Darmstadt; studied at Giessen; was appointed teacher at the gymnasium there in 1803; and in the year 1806 went to Rome, where he remained two years as tutor in the family of Wilhelm von Humboldt, who became his warm friend. On his return from Italy, he was appointed to a professorship of ancient literature in Giessen. In 1814 he served in the War of Liberation. For political reasons he left Giessen, went the following year to Copenhagen, to edit the posthumous works of the Danish archæologist Zoëga, and accepted a chair at Göttingen in 1816. Thence he was called in 1819 to Bonn, where he remained until his death, though he resigned his chair in 1859. Welcker's studies covered a wide range, but his chief influence was exerted in the fields of Greek literature, art, and mythology. He belonged, like Böckh and his pupil K. O. Müller, to that school of German philologists who took as their aim the complete reconstruction of the ancient life, in distinction from the school of G. Hermann, who were disposed to limit the field to the language and text of the Greek and Roman writers. Welcker was thoroughly imbued with the harmony of the whole Greek conception, whether expressed in art, literature, or religion, and it was to the presentation of this as a complete whole that he devoted his efforts. Among his editions of Greek texts are the collection of the fragments of Hipponax (1817), Theognis (1826), Philostratus (1825), and the Theogony of Hesiod (1865). Of his other works may be mentioned Der epische Cyklus (1835, 1849; reprinted 1865, 1882); Die Eschyleische Trilogie Prometheus, und Nachtrag (1824, 1826); Die griechischen Tragödien mit Rücksicht auf den epischen Cyklus geordnet (1839-41); Griechische Götterlehre (1857-62). Shorter essays were collected in Alte Denkmäler (1849-64) and Kleine Schriften (1844-67). Consult Kekulé, Das Leben Friedrich Gottlieb Welckers (Leipzig, 1880).