|Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th Edition||Public Domain via Project Gutenberg|
(1729-1803), French classical scholar, was born at Strassburg on the 30th of December 1729. He was educated at the Jesuits' College at Paris, and took part in the Seven Years' War as military commissary. At the age of thirty he returned to his native town and resumed his studies, paying special attention to Greek. He spent considerable sums of money in publishing editions of the Greek classics. The first work which he edited was the Anthologia Graeca or Analecta veterum Poetarum Graecorum (1772-1776), in which his innovations on the established mode of criticism startled European scholars; for wherever it seemed to him that an obscure or difficult passage might be made intelligible and easy by a change of text, he did not scruple to make the necessary alterations, whether the new reading were supported by manuscript authority or not. Other works by him are:—Editions of Anacreon (1778), several plays of the Greek tragedians, Apollonius Rhodius (1780), Aristophanes, with an excellent Latin translation (1781-1783), Gnomici poetae Graeci (1784), Sophocles (1786), with Latin translation, his best work, for which he received a pension of 2000 francs from the king. He also published editions of Virgil (1785), Plautus (1788) and Terence (1797). At the outbreak of the French Revolution, in which he took an active part, he was imprisoned at Besançon, and lost his pension, being reduced to such extremities that he was obliged to sell a portion of his library. In 1802 his pension was restored to him, but too late to prevent the sale of the remainder of his books. He died on the 12th of June 1803.