Online Encyclopedia

ERNST CURTIUS (1814-1896)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V07, Page 653 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: it!
ERNST CURTIUS (1814-1896), German archaeologist and historian, was born at Lubeck on the 2nd of September 1814. On completing his university studies he was chosen by C. A. Brandis to accompany him on a journey to Greece for the prosecution of archaeological researches. Curtius then became Otfried Miller's companion in his exploration of the Peloponnese, and on Miiller's death in 184o returned to Germany. In 1844 he became an extraordinary professor at the university of Berlin, and in the same year was appointed tutor to Prince Frederick William (afterwards the Emperor Frederick III.)—a post which he held till 185o. After holding a professorship at Gottingen and undertaking a further journey to Greece in 1862, Curtius was appointed (in 1863) ordinary professor at Berlin. In 1874 he was sent to Athens by the German government, and concluded an agreement by which the excavations at Olympia (q.v.) were entrusted exclusively to Germany. Curtius died at Berlin on the Iith of July 1896. His best-known work is his History of Greece (18J7-1867, 6th ed. 1887-1888; Eng. trans. by A. W. Ward, 1868-1873). It presented in an attractive style what were then the latest results of scholarly research, but was criticized as wanting in erudition. It is now superseded (see GREECE: History, Ancient, § Bibliography). His other writings are chiefly archaeological. The most important are: Die Akropolis von Athen (1844) ; Naxos (1846) ; Peloponnesos, eine historisch-geographische Beschreibung der Halbinsel (1851); Olympia (1852); Die Ionier vor der ionischen bVanderung (1855); Attische Studien (1862-'865); Ephesos (1874); Die Ausgrabungen zu Olympia (1877, &c.); Olympia and Umgegend (edited by Curtius and F. Adler, 1882); Olympia. Die Ergebnisse der von dem deutschen Reich veranstalteten Ausgrabung (with F. Adler, 1890-1898); Die Stadtgeschichte von Athen (1891); Gesammelte Abhandlungen (1894). His collected speeches and lectures were published under the title of Altertum and Gegenwart (5th ed., 1903 foil.), to which a third volume was added under the title of Unter drei Kaisern (2nd ed., 1895). A full list of his writings will be found in L. Gurlitt, Erinnerungen an Ernst Curtius (Berlin, 1902); see also article by O. Kern in Allgemeine deutsche Biographie, xlvii. (1903), to which may be added Ernst Curtius. Ein Lebensbild in Briefen, by F. Curtius (1903); T. Hodgkin, Ernest Curtius (1905). His brother, GEORG CURTIUS (1820-1885), philologist, was born at Lubeck on the 16th of April 1820. After an education at Bonn and Berlin he was for three years a schoolmaster in Dresden, until (in 1845) he returned to Berlin University as privat-docent. In 1849 he was placed in charge of the Philological Seminary at Prague, and two years later was appointed professor of classical philology in Prague University. In 1854 he removed from Prague to a similar appointment at Kiel, and again in 1862 from Kiel to Leipzig. He died at Hermsdorf on the 12th of August 1885. His philological theories exercised a widespread influence. The more important of his publications are: Die Sprachvergleichung in ihrem Verhaltniss zur dassischen Philologie (1845; Eng. trans. by F. H. Trithen, 1851); Sprachvergleichende Beitrage zur griechischen and lateinischen Grammatik (1846); Grundzuge der griechischen Etymologie (1858-1862, 5th ed. 1879); Das Verbum der griechischen Sprache (1873). The last two works have been translated into English by A. S. Wilkins and E. B. England. From 1878 till his death Curtius was general editor of the Leipziger Studien zur classischen Philologie. His Griechische Schulgrammatik, first published in 1852, has passed through more than twenty editions, and has been edited in English. In his last work, Zur Kritik der neuesten Sprachforschung (1885), he attacks the views of the "new" school of philology. Opuscula of Georg Curtius were edited after his death by E. Windisch (Kleine Schriften von E. C., 1886-1887). For further information consult articles by R. Meister in Allgemeine deutsche Biographie, xlvii. (19o3), and by E. Windisch in C. Bursian's Biographisches Jahrbuch fur Alterthumskunde (1886).
End of Article: ERNST CURTIUS (1814-1896)

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.