He studied at Halle, Erlangen and Jena. In 1765 he was appointed professor of oriental languages and eloquence at the Gymnasium Casimirianum in Coburg, in 1770 professor of poetry and eloquence at Erlangen, and in 1776 librarian of the university. He held his professorship for forty-five years till his death on the 2nd of November 1815.
Harless was an extremely prolific writer. His numerous editions of classical authors, deficient in originality and critical judgment, although valuable at the time as giving the student the results of the labours of earlier scholars, are now entirely superseded. But he will always be remembered for his meritorious work in connexion with the great Bibliotheca Graeca of JA Fabricius, of which he published a new and revised edition (12 vols., 1790-1809, not quite completed),--a task for which he was peculiarly qualified. He also wrote much on the history and bibliography of Greek and Latin literature.
His life was written by his son, Johann Christian Friedrich Harless (1818).
This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.