1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Lobeck, Christian August

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LOBECK, CHRISTIAN AUGUST (1781-1860), German classical scholar, was born at Naumburg on the 5th of June 1781. After having studied at Iena and Leipzig, he settled at Wittenberg in 1802 as privat-docent, and in 1810 was appointed to a professorship in the university. Four years later, he accepted the 'chair of rhetoric and ancient literature at Konigsberg, which he occupied till within two years of his death (25th of August 1860). His literary activities were devoted to the history of Greek religion and to the Greek language and literature. His greatest work, A glaaphamus (1829), is still valuable to students. In this he maintains, against the views put forward by G. F. Creuzer in his Symbolik (1810-1823), that the religion of the Greek mysteries (especially those of Eleusis) did not essentially differ from the national religion; that it was not esoteric; that the priests as such neither taught nor possessed any higher knowledge of God; that the Oriental elements were a later importation. His edition of the Ajax of Sophocles (1809) had gained him the reputation of a sound scholar and critic; his Phrynichus (1820) and Paralipomena grammatical graecae (1837) exhibit the widest acquaintance with Greek literature. He had little sympathy with comparative philology, holding that it needed a lifetime to acquire a thorough knowledge of a single language.

See the article by L. Friedliinder in Allgemeine deutsche Biographie; C. Bursian's Geschichte der klassischen Philologie in Deutschland (1883); Lehrs, Populdre Aufsatze aus dem Altertum (2nd ed., Leipzig, 1875); Ludwich, Ausgewdhlte Briefe von und an Chr. Aug. Lobeck und K. Lehrs (1894); also J. E. Sandys, History of Classical Scholarship, i. (1908), 103.