Jakob Bernays

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Jacob Bernays (September 11, 1824 – May 26, 1881) was a German philologist and philosophical writer.


Bernays was born in Hamburg to Jewish parents. His father, Isaac Bernays (1792-1849) was a man of wide culture and the first orthodox German rabbi to preach in the vernacular; his brother, Michael Bernays, was also a distinguished scholar.[1]

Jacob studied from 1844 to 1848 at the University of Bonn, whose philological school, under Friedrich Gottlieb Welcker and Friedrich Wilhelm Ritschl (of whom Bernays became the favourite pupil), was the best in Germany.[1]

In 1853 he accepted the chair of classical philology at the newly founded Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau, where he formed a close friendship with Theodor Mommsen. In 1866, when Ritschl left Bonn for Leipzig, Bernays returned to his old university as extraordinary professor and chief librarian. He remained in Bonn until his death on 26 May 1881. [1] Upon his death, he bequeathed his Hebrew library to the Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau.[2]


His chief works, which deal mainly with the Greek philosophers, are:

  • Die Lebensbeschreibung des J.J. Scaliger (1855)
  • Über das Phokylidische Gesicht (1856)
  • Grundzüge der verlorenen Abhandlung des Aristoteles über Wirkung der Tragödie (1857)
  • Die Chronik des Sulpicius Severus (1861)
  • Die Dialoge des Aristoteles im Verhältniss zu seinen übrigen Werken (1863)
  • Theophrastos' Schrift über Frömmigkeit (1866)
  • Die Heraklitischen Briefe (1869)
  • Lucian und die Cyniker (1879)
  • Zwei Abhandlungen über die Aristotelische Theorie des Dramas (1880).

The last of these was a republication of his Grundzüge der verlorenen Abhandlungen des Aristoteles über die Wirkung der Tragodie (1857), which aroused considerable controversy.[1]


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bernays, Jakob". Encyclopædia Britannica 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 800. 

  • Notices in Biographisches Jahrbuch für Alterthumskunde (1881), and Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, xlvi. (1902)
  • article in the Jewish Encyclopedia
  • John Edwin Sandys, History of Class. Schol. iii. I 76 (1908).
  • Bollack, Jean. Ein Mensch zwischen zwei Welten: der Philologe Jacob Bernays. Goettingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2009.
  • Du, von dem ich lebe! Letters to Paul Heyse. Ed. W. M.Calder III & Timo, Günther. Wallstein, Göttingen 2010.
  • Ugolini, Gherardo. Jacob Bernays e l’interpretazione medico-omeopatica della catarsi tragica. Con traduzione del saggio di Bernays, Grundzüge der verlorenen Abhandlung des Aristoteles über Wirkung der Tragödie (1857), Cierre Grafica, Verona 2012. ISBN 9788895351766

External links[edit]