previous next

Curtius, Georg

One of the most distinguished classicists and philologists of the present century, born at Lübeck, April 16th, 1820. He pursued his studies at Bonn and Berlin, teaching for a time at the latter place and at Dresden. In 1849, he was made Professor Extraordinarius of Classical Philology at Prague, becoming in 1851 Professor Ordinarius. From Prague he was called in 1854 to a like chair at Kiel, and in 1862 to Leipzig. He died August 12th, 1885.

Curtius was the last and one of the greatest of the “old school” of classical philologists, and formulated in their final expression their etymological views. He was also profoundly learned in Greek, and in this department wrote a number of standard works: the Griechische Schulgrammatik (1852), which reached its fifteenth (German) edition in 1882, and has been translated into English in Dr. W. Smith's series in England, and forms the basis of Prof. Hadley's Greek Grammar in this country; also his Erläuterungen to the foregoing (1863, 3d ed. 1875) Eng. trans. (1870); the Grundzüge der Griechischen Etymologie (1858; 5th ed. in collaboration with Windisch, 1879), translated into English by Wilkins and England (1875-76); and Das Verbum der Griechischen Sprache (1873-76)—a very elaborate piece of work—translated by Wilkins and England (1880). Besides these important publications, he also put forth a treatise De Nominum Graecorum Formatione (1842); Die Sprachvergleichung in ihrem Verhältniss zur klassischen Philologie (1845); Sprachvergleichende Beiträge zur griechischen und lateinischen Grammatik (1846); Philologie und Sprachwissenschaft (1862); Zur Chronologie der indo-germanischen Sprachforschung (1867; 2d ed. 1873); Zur Kritik der neuesten Sprachforschung (1885); and in conjunction with Brugmann, G. Meyer, Fick, Windisch, and others, Studien zur griech. und lat. Grammatik, 10 vols. (1868-77). The ninth volume of this series contains Brugmann's famous paper on the nasal sonant, with which began the aggressive propaganda of the new school against the theories of Curtius and his predecessors. The new theories form the subject of a vigorous attack by Curtius himself in the Kritik mentioned above, in which he maintains the principle of “sporadic change” in addition to invariable phonetic law and the influence of analogy. (See Philologia.) In 1878, Prof. Curtius founded with Lange, Ribbeck, and Lipsius the Leipziger Studien zur klassischen Philologie.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: