See also:born on the 15th of
See also:February 1759 at Hainrode, a little
See also:village not far from
See also:Nordhausen, in the province of Hanover . His
See also:father was the village schoolmaster and organist . In
See also:time the
See also:family removed to Nordhausen, and there
See also:Wolf went to the grammar school, where he soon acquired all the Latin and Greek that the masters could teach him, besides learning French,
See also:Spanish and
See also:music . The precocity of his attainments was only equalled by the force of will and confidence in his own
See also:powers which characterized him throughout
See also:life . After two years of solitary study; at the age of eighteen, Wolf went (1777) to the university of
See also:Gottingen . His first
See also:act there was a prophecy—one of those prophecies which
See also:spring from the conscious power to bring about their fulfilment . He had to choose his "
See also:faculty," and
See also:chose one which then existed only in his own mind, the faculty of "
See also:philology." What is even more remarkable, the
See also:omen was accepted . He carried his point, and was enrolled as he desired . C . G .
See also:Heyne was then the chief
See also:ornament of Gottingen, and Wolf and he were not on
See also:good terms . Heyne excluded him from his lectures, and brusquely condemned Wolf's views on
See also:Homer .
Wolf, however, pursued his studies in the university library, from which he borrowed with his old avidity . During 1779–1783 Wolf was a schoolmaster, first at
See also:Ilfeld, then at
See also:Osterode . His success as a teacher was striking, and he found time to publish an edition of the
See also:Symposium of
See also:Plato, which excited
See also:notice, and led to his promotion (1783) to a
See also:chair in the Prussian university of
See also:Halle . The moment was a critical one in the
See also:history of
See also:education . The
See also:literary impulse of the
See also:Renaissance was almost spent; scholarship had become dry and trivial . A new school, that of
See also:Locke and
See also:Rousseau, sought to make teaching more
See also:modern and more human, but at the sacrifice of
See also:mental discipline and scientific aim . Wolf was eager to throw himself into the contest on the side of antiquity . In Halle (1783-1807), by the force of his will and the enlightened aid of the ministers of
See also:Frederick the
See also:Great, he was able to carryout his long-cherished ideas and found the science of philology . Wolf defined philology broadly as `l know-ledge of human nature as exhibited in antiquity." The
See also:matter of such a science, he held, must be sought in the history and education of some highly cultivated nation, to be studied in written remains,
See also:works of
See also:art, and whatever else bears the
See also:stamp of
See also:national thought or skill . It has therefore to do with both history and language, but primarily as a science of
See also:interpretation, in which
See also:historical facts and linguistic facts take their place i11 an organic whole . Such was the ideal which Wolf had in his mind when he established the philological seminarium at Halle . Wolf's writings make little show in a library, and were always subordinate to his teaching .
During his time at Halle he published his commentary on the
See also:Leptines of
See also:Demosthenes (1789)—which suggested to his
See also:pupil, Aug . Boeckh, the Public
See also:Economy of Athens—and a little later the celebrated Prolegomena to Homer (1795) . This
See also:book, the
See also:work with which his name is chiefly associated, was thrown off in
See also:comparative haste to meet an immediate need . It has all the merits of a great piece of oral teaching—command of method, suggestiveness, breadth of view . The reader does not feel that he has to do with a theory, but with great ideas, which are
See also:left to bear fruit in his mind (see HOMER) . The publication led to an unpleasant polemic with Heyne, who absurdly accused him of reproducing what he had heard from him at Gottingen . The Halle professorship ended tragically, and with it the happy and productive
See also:period of Wolf's life . He was swept away, and his university with him, by the deluge of the French invasion . A painful gloom oppressed his remaining years (1807–1824), which he spent at Berlin . He became so fractious and intolerant as to alienate some of his warmest friends . He gained a place in the department of education, through the exertions of W. von Humboldt . When this became unendurable, he once more took a professorship .
But he no longer taught with his old success; and he wrote very little . His most finished work, the Darstellung der Alterthumswissenschaft, though published at Berlin (1807), belongs essentially to the Halle time . At length his
See also:health gave way . He was advised to try the south of France . He got as far as
See also:Marseilles, and, dying there on the 8th of
See also:August 1824, was laid in the classic
See also:soil of that
See also:ancient Hellenic city . Mark
See also:Pattison wrote an admirable
See also:sketch of Wolf's life and work in the
See also:British Review of
See also:June 1865, reproduced in his Essays (1889); see also J . E . Sandys, Hist. of Class . Schol. iii . (1908), pp . 51-60 . Wolf's Kleine Schriften were edited by G .
See also:Bernhardy (Halle, 1869) . Works not included are the Prolegomena, the Letters to Heyne (Berlin, 1797), the commentary on the Leptines (Halle, 1789) and a
See also:translation of the Clouds of Aristophanes (Berlin, 1811) . To these must be added the Vorlesungen on Iliad i.-iv., taken from the notes of a pupil and edited by Usteri (
See also:Bern, 1830) . (D . B .
WOLF (Canis lupus)
HUGO WOLF (1860-1903)
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