August Immanuel Bekker

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August Immanuel Bekker (May 21, 1785 - June 7, 1871), was a German philologist and critic.

Completed his classical education at the University of Halle under Friedrich August Wolf, who considered him as his most promising pupil. In 1810 he was appointed professor of philosophy in the University of Berlin. For several years, between 1810 and 1821, he travelled in France, Italy, England and parts of Germany, examining classical manuscripts and gathering materials for his great editorial labours.

Some of the fruits of his researches were published in the Anecdote Graece, 1814-1821; but the major results are to be found in the enormous array of classical authors edited by him. Anything like a complete list of his works would occupy too much space, but it may be said that his industry extended to nearly the whole of Greek literature with the exception of the tragedians and lyric poets. His best known editions are those of Plato (1816-1823), Oratores Attici (1823-1824), Aristotle (1831-1836), Aristophanes (1829), and twenty-five volumes of the Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae. The only Latin authors edited by him were Livy (1829-1830) and Tacitus (1831).

Bekker confined himself entirely to textual recension and criticism, in which he relied solely upon the manuscripts; he contributed little to the extension of general scholarship. Bekker numbers are often used to refer to a standard edition of these works.


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