Jakob Bernays

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


Jacob 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]

Between 1844-1848, Bernays studied 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]


Bernays was the first scholar to suggest that Aristotle's Protrepticus inspired Cicero to write the Hortensius.[3] He further suggest that the Hortensius should be used as the base by which the Protrepticus could be reconstructed.[4]


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

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]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 Chisholm 1911.
  2. Jewish Encyclopedia
  3. Rabinowitz, W. G.. Aristotle's Protrepticus and the Sources of its Reconstruction. University of California Press, 1957. Print. pg. 3.
  4. Chroust, Anton-Hermann. Aristotle: New Light on His Life and On Some of His Lost Works, Volume 2 Routledge, 1973. Web.



External links

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