50%

Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Grævius

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

GRÆVIUS (1632-1703). Johann Georg Gräfe, Greffe, or Grævius, one of the great classical scholars of the 17th century, was born at Naumburg, Saxony, 29th January 1632, and after receiving the usual school educa tion at the gymnasium of Pforta became a student of law in the university of Leipsic. During a casual visit to Deventer in his eighteenth year, he became acquainted with Gronovius ; and this circumstance greatly stimulated a taste for pure scholarship which he had already begun to display somewhat to the detriment of his professional prospects. Finally abandoning jurisprudence shortly afterwards, he studied philology for two years under Gronovius, and subsequently sat under Heinsius at Leyden, and under Morns and Blo:idel at Amsterdam. During his residence in the last-named city he abandoned Lutheranism and joined the Reformed Church; and in 1656 he was called by the elector of Brandenburg to the chair of belles lettres in the university of Duisburg. Two years after wards he was, on the recommendation of Gronovius, chosen to succeed that scholar at Deventer; and in 1662 he was translated to the university of Utrecht, where he occupied first the chair of rhetoric, and afterwards from 1667 until his death (January 11, 1703) that of history and politics. During the later years of his life he enjoyed a great and European reputation, and repeated attempts, which, however, he steadfastly resisted, were made to induce him to transfer his services to other universities and Governments. His lecture-room was crowded by pupils, many of them of distinguished rank, from all parts of the civilized world; and by Louis XIV, as well as by other sovereigns, he was now and again honoured with special recognition.

Of his works the two most important are the Thesaurus Anti

quitatum Romanarum, published in 12 volumes at Utrecht (1694- 1699), and the Thesaurus Antiquitatum et Historiarum Italia, published after his death, and continued by Burmann (1704-1/25). His editions of the classics, although at the time of their appear ance they marked a distinct advance in scholarship, are now for the most part superseded. They include Hesiodi Ascrcci quce extant Opera (1667), Luciani Pscudosophista (1668), Justini Historice Philippicre (1669), Suetonius (1672), Catullus, Tibullus, et Pro- pertius (1680), and several of the works of Cicero. The Oratio Funebris by P. Burmann (Utrecht, 1703) contains an exhaustive

list of the works of this scholar.