Greek Studies vs. Intemperate Drink

J.E. Sandys, A History of Classical Scholarship Vol. III

“Fabricius counted among his correspondents the leading scholars of his age. He was assisted in the compilation of the Bibliotheca Latina by the Danish scholar, Christian Falster; and, in that of the Bibliotheca Graeca, by Kiister. He was also largely aided in the latter by Stephan Bergler (c. 1680 c. 1746), who, by his knowledge of Greek, might have attained a place among the foremost scholars of his time, but was reduced to the level of a literary hack by an insatiable craving for drink. Early in the century he was a corrector of proofs at Leipzig; in 1705 he left for Amsterdam, where he produced indices to the edition of Pollux begun by Lederlin and continued by Hemsterhuys, and himself completed Lederlin’s edition of Homer (1707). We next find him helping Fabricius at Hamburg and elsewhere. During his second stay at Leipzig, he produced an excellent edition of Alciphron (1715); his edition of Aristophanes was published after his death by the younger Burman (1760) ; his work on Herodotus is represented only by some critical notes in the edition of Jacob Gronovius (1715); while his Latin translation of Herodian was not published until 1789. His rendering of a modern Greek work on moral obligations led to, his being invited to undertake the tuition of the author’s sons at Bucharest, a position for which his intemperate habits made him peculiarly unfit. However, he was thus enabled to send Fabricius a few notes on the Greek MSS in his patron’s library. After this he disappears from view. On his patron’s death in 1730, he is said to have left for Constantinople, and to have adopted the religion of Islam. If so, he probably ended his days in perfect sobriety.”

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