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The New International Encyclopædia/Barth, Heinrich

BARTH, Heinrich (1824-65). A German explorer and traveler. He was born at Hamburg, and received his education at the University of Berlin. After visiting Italy and Sicily, he embarked, in 1845, at Marseilles, and made excursions into Tunis, Tripoli, and Barea. He afterwards extended his researches into Egypt, Sinai, Palestine, Asia Minor, and Greece, and in 1849 he published, at Berlin, Wanderungen durch die Küstenländer des Mittelmeeres. Late in that year he and Dr. Overweg again sailed from Marseilles as the scientific companions of James Richardson, intrusted by the British Government with a political and commercial mission to Central Africa. Starting from Tripoli, the travelers crossed the Great Desert with much difficulty and danger. In January, 1851, they separated, and Dr. Barth pursued his researches, for the most part, by himself. In March of the same year, Richardson, and in September, 1852, Overweg, having succumbed to the climate, Barth thenceforward was entirely alone. He, however, continued his explorations, which, when he returned to Tripoli in September, 1855, had extended over 24° of latitude and 20° of longitude, from Tripoli in the north to Adamawa in the south, and from Baghirmi in the east to Timbuktu in the west — upward of 12,000 miles. The range of his investigations and the scientific manner in which he pursued them placed him in the front rank of African explorers. The result of his researches was given in his Reisen und Entdeckungen in Nord- und Zentralafrika (5 vols., 1857-58). Afterwards, he made several journeys in Greece, Turkey, Asia Minor, and other countries on the Mediterranean. He also published accounts of these travels, as well as works on the dialects of Central Africa.