Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

August Immanuel Bekker

August Immanuel Bekker (1785-1871), German philologist and critic, was born on May 21 1785. He completed his classical education at the university of Halle under Friedrich August Wolf, who considered him as his most promising pupil.

In 1810 he was appointed professor of philosophy in the university of Berlin. For several years, between 1810 and 1821, he travelled in France, Italy, England and parts of Germany, examining classical manuscripts and gathering materials for his great editorial labours. He died at Berlin on June 7 1871.

Some detached fruits of his researches were given in the Anecdote Graece, 1814-1821; but the full result of his unwearied industry and ability is to be found in the enormous array of classical authors edited by him. Anything like a complete list of his works would occupy too much space, but it may be said that his industry extended to nearly the whole of Greek literature with the exception of the tragedians and lyric poets. His best known editions are: Plato (1816-1823), Oratores Attici (1823-1824), Aristotle (1831-1836), Aristophanes (1829), and twenty-five volumes of the Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae. The only Latin authors edited by him were Livy (1829—1830) and Tacitus (1831).

Bekker confined himself entirely to textual recension and criticism, in which he relied solely upon the manuscripts, and contributed little to the extension of general scholarship.

See Sauppe, Zur Erinnerung an Meineke und Bekker (1872); Haupt, "Gedächtnisrede auf Meineke und Bekker," in his Opuscula, iii.; E.I. Bekker, "Zur Erinnerung an meinen Vater," in the Preussisches Jahrbuch, xxix.

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.