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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/175

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THE PRUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCE.

including comments on his writings and such annotations by present-day scholars as have seemed necessary. It was through Wolff, one of the members of the academy, who died in 1824, that German scholars were made acquainted with the treasures of Grecian archeology. In the second decade of the century, great as was the ambition of many of its leaders, the academy was by no means what it now is. At its regular sessions rarely more than one half its members were present. Only 8 out of 29 or 30 who might have had the privilege heard Schleiermacher's remarkable essay on 'Various Methods of Translation.' The philosophical class, of which Schleiermacher was the head, contained only two members in addition to himself, Savigny and the younger Ancillon. It was the historical class which led the academy. To it belonged William von Humboldt, Ideler, Niebuhr, Buttmann, Boeckh and Bekker. In the decade following the fall of Napoleon the works of Savigny, the Grimm brothers, Lachmann, Bopp, Diez, Carl Bitter, Kiebuhr, the Humboldts, Eichorn, Creutzer, Gottfried and Hermann appeared. Many of them were epoch-making. Schleiermacher represented philosophy, philology and theology, as well as ethics, in his writings and in his instructions as a professor in the university. Boeckh represented philology, history and economics, while Niebuhr made it plain in his Roman History how history should be studied and written. Savigny indicated in his writings on law how closely united it is with history and philosophy.

It was in 1815 that Boeckh proposed and secured the adoption of a plan for the publication of all accessible Greek and Latin inscriptions. He thought the work might occupy four years and cost about $450. It is not yet entirely complete and has cost more than $45,000. Boeckh gave his personal attention to Grecian antiquities and with the aid of a commission appointed by the academy, by correspondence with societies in Corfu, Thessaly and Athens, and by searching the libraries of Europe, gathered material for a work which he soon discovered would be far more extensive, valuable and costly than he had originally anticipated. Bekker came to his aid and was made his permanent assistant in 1817. He had spent the years 1810-12 in Paris, copying manuscripts, and in 1815-16 had been employed with Professor Goeschen in Verona in copying the 'Gaius,' discovered by Mebuhr while serving as ambassador in Rome, a work which has proved to be of importance for the science of law. In 1817 Bekker was entrusted with the preparation of the writings of Aristotle, which was subsequently made to include the comments and everything else which could throw light upon their meaning or their importance. Professor Brandis was chosen as his assistant. This edition, now under the care of Professor Diels, is approaching completion and is of inestimable value to all who prize learning and painstaking accuracy. Mr. Diels entered the academy in 1882 and is still one of its most important members. Bekker devoted