Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Pieter Burmann

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BURMANN, Pieter (1668–1741), a Dutch classical scholar, was born at Utrecht on the 26th June 1668. He was educated at the public school in his native place, and at the age of thirteen entered the university. He devoted himself particularly to the study of the classical languages, and became unusually proficient in Latin composition. As he was intended for the legal profession he spent some years in attendance on the law classes. For about a year he studied at Leyden, paying special attention to philosophy and Greek. On his return to Utrecht he took the degree of doctor of laws (March 1688), and after travelling through Switzerland and part of Germany, settled down to the practice of law. In December 1691 he was appointed receiver of the tithes which were originally paid to the bishop of Utrecht, and five years later he was nominated to the professorship of eloquence and history. To this chair was soon added that of Greek and politics. In 1714 he paid a short visit to Paris and ransacked the libraries, bringing back a “great treasure of useful observations.” In the following year he was appointed successor to the celebrated Perizonius, who had held the chair of history, Greek language, and eloquence at Leyden. His numerous editorial and critical works spread his fame as a scholar throughout Europe, and engaged him in many of the stormy disputes which were then so common among men of letters. He died on the 31st March 1741.

Of his editions of classical works the following may be noted:—Phædrus, 1698; Horace, 1699; Valerius Flaccus, 1701; Petronius Arbiter, 1709; Velleius Paterculus, 1719; Quintilian, 1720; Ovid, 1727; Lucan, 1740. He also published an edition of Buchanan's works, continued Graevius's great work, Thesaurus Antiquitatum et Historiarum Italiæ, and wrote a small manual of Roman antiquities, Antiquitatum Romanarum Brevis Descriptio, 1711. His poems and orations were published after his death.