The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Brunck, Richard François Philippe
BRUNCK, Richard François Philippe, a French philologist, born in Strasburg, Dec. 30, 1729, died June 12, 1803. He was educated in the college of the Jesuits at Paris, served in Hanover as commissary of war, and returned at the age of 30 to Strasburg, where he studied in the university till he had mastered the Greek language. As an editor he made no commentaries, but occupied himself only with the text. Persuaded that all faults in the language of the Greek poets came from the carelessness of copyists, he corrected the texts with the utmost fearlessness, regardless of manuscript readings. Holding a lucrative official position, he was enabled to issue his editions without depending on a publisher. He edited the Greek anthology, all of the tragedies of Sophocles, and several of those of Æschylus and Euripides, the Greek gnomic poets, and the works of Anacreon, Aristophanes, and Apollonius of Rhodes. His labors were interrupted by the French revolution, whose principles he espoused. He was imprisoned during the reign of terror, was twice ruined in property, and obliged to part with his books. He then turned his attention to Latin authors, and edited Virgil, Plautus, and Terence.