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GEORG FRIEDRICH SCHOMANN (1793—1879)

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Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 357 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GEORG FRIEDRICH SCHOMANN (1793—1879), German classical scholar, was born at Stralsund in Pomerania on the 28th of June 1793. In 1827 he was appointed professor of ancient literature and eloquence in the university of Greifswald, where he died on the 25th of March 1879. Schomann's attention was chiefly devoted to the constitutional and religious antiquities of Greece. His first works on the subject were De comitiis Atheniensium (1819), the first independent account of the forms of Athenian political life, and a treatise De sortitione judicum apud Athenienses (1820). In conjunction with M. H. E. Meier, Schomann wrote Der attische Process (1824, revised ed. by J. H. Lipsius, 1883—1887), which, although in some respects out of date, still has considerable value. Among his other works are:—editions of Isaeus (1831) and Plutarch's Agis and Cleomenes (1839, important for the Attic law of inheritance and the history of the Spartan constitution) ; Antiquitates juris publici Graecorum (1838); a critical examination of Grote's account of the Athenian constitution (1854, Eng. trans. by B. Bosanquet, 1878) from a conservative point of view; and lastly, Griechische Alterthumer (1855–1859; 4th ed. by J. H. Lipsius, 1897–1902; Eng. trans. of vol. i. by E. G. Hardy and J. S. Mann, 188o), treating of the general historical development of the Greek states, followed by a detailed account of the constitutions of Sparta, Crete and Athens, the cults and international relations of the Greek tribes. The question of the religious institutions of the Greeks, which he considered an essential part of their public life, had early engaged his attention, and he held the opinion that everything really religious was akin to Christianity, and that the greatest intellects of Greece produced intuitively Christian, dogmatic ideas. From this point of view he edited the Theogony of Hesiod (1868), with a commentary, chiefly mythological, and Cicero's De natura deorum (185o, 4th ed. 1876) ; translated with introduction and notes Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound, and wrote a Prometheus Unbound (1844), in which Prometheus is brought to see the greatness of his offence and is pardoned by Zeus. Of his contributions on grammatical subjects special mention may be made of Die Lehre von den Redetheilen nach den Alten dargestellt (1862), an introduction to the elements of the science of grammar. His many-sidedness is shown in his Opuscula academica (4 vols., 1856–1871). See F. S(usemihl) in C. Bursian's Biog. Jahrbuch fur Altertumskunde 0879); A. Baumeister in Allgemeine deutsche Biographie, xxxii. ; C. Bursian, Gesch. der class. Philologie in Deutschland (1883), and J. E. Sandys, His'. of Classical Scholarship, iii. (1908), p. 165.
End of Article: GEORG FRIEDRICH SCHOMANN (1793—1879)
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