Conrad Bursian

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Conrad Bursian (November 14, 1830September 21, 1883), was a German philologist and archaeologist.

He was born at Mutzschen in Saxony. When his parents moved to Leipzig, he received his early education at the Thomas school, and entered the university in 1847. Here he studied under Moritz Haupt and Otto Jahn until 1851, spent six months in Berlin (chiefly to attend Böckh's lectures), and completed his university studies at Leipzig (1852). He spent the next three years travelling in Belgium, France, Italy and Greece. In 1856 he became a Privatdozent, and in 1858 extraordinary professor at Leipzig; in 1861 professor of philology and archaeology at Tübingen; in 1864 professor of classical antiquities at Zürich; in 1869 at Jena, where he was also director of the archaeological museum; in 1874 at Munich, where he remained until his death.

His most important works are:

  • Geographie von Griechenland (1862?1872)
  • Beiträge zur Geschichte der klassischen Studien im Mittelalter (1873)
  • Geschichte der klassischen Philologie in Deutschland (1883)
  • edition of Julius Firmicus Maternus' De Errore Profanarum Religionum (1856)
  • edition of Seneca the Elder's Suasoriae (1857).

The article on Greek Art in Ersch and Gruber's Encyclopaedia is by him. Probably the work in connection with which he is best known is the Jahresbericht über die Fortschritte der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft (1873, etc.), of which he was the founder and editor; from 1879 a Biographisches Jahrbuch für Altertumskunde was published by way of supplement, an obituary notice of Bursian, with a complete list of his writings, being in the volume for 1884.


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