The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Müller, Karl Otfried

MÜLLER, Karl Otfried, German archæologist and philologist: b. Brieg, Silesia, 1797; d. Athens 1 Aug, 1840. The son of a field preacher, his education began at the gymnasium of his native town. He was then sent to Breslau, and afterward went to Berlin, where, as a pupil of Böckh, he devoted himself to the study of the life and art of the ancients. After publishing the ‘Ægineticorum Liber’ (1817) he was appointed instructor in the Magdalum at Breslau. Here he made an elaborate analysis of Greek mythology, separating allegorical inventions from true history. In 1819 he was made professor of philology and in 1823 became professor ordinarius at Göttingen. He was a great traveler, and his writings embrace file whole circle of antiquity. His intention was undoubtedly to concentrate the results of his whole life of scholarly activity in his great work, ‘Geschichte hellenischer Stämme und Städte.’ He only completed two volumes, however: Vol. I, ‘Orchomenos und die Minyer’ (1820), and Vol. II, ‘Die Dorier’ (1824). One of his best-known works, ‘A History of the Literature of Ancient Greece,’ a translation by Lewis and Donaldson from the author's manuscript, was published in London in 1840, and the continuator, Donaldson, published another edition in 1858. His ‘Kunstarchäologische Werke,’ in five volumes (1872-73), is a valuable work. Müller's ‘Æschylus's Eumenides’ (Göttingen 1833) was the object of a profound controversy in which Gottfried Hermann and his followers attacked him with great bitterness. Karl Müller was also prominent as an editor. Consult the biography by F. Ranke (1870).