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Johann Albert Fabricius


FABRICIUS, JOHANN ALBERT German classical scholar and bibliographer, was born at Leipzig. His father, Werner Fabricius, director of music in the church of St. Paul at Leipzig, was the author of several works, the most impor tant being Deliciae Harmonicae (1656). Johann Albert studied under J. G. Herrichen and afterwards at Quedlinburg under Samuel Schmid. At Leipzig he published anonymously (1688 ) his first work, Scriptorum recentiorum decas, an attack on ten writers of the day. His Decas Decadum, sive plagiariorunt et pseudonymorum centuria (1689) is the only one of his works to which he signs the name Faber. In 1693 he settled at Hamburg as librarian to J. F. Mayer. In 1696 he accompanied his patron to Sweden; and in 1699 succeeded Vincent Placcius in the chair of rhetoric and ethics, a post which he held till his death.

Fabricius is credited with 128 books, but very many of them were only books which he had edited. One of the most famed and laborious of these is the Bibliotheca Latina (1697, republished in an improved and amended form by J. A. Ernesti, 1773). The divisions of the compilation are—the writers to the age of Tibe rius ; thence to that of the Antonines ; and thirdly, to the decay of the language ; a fourth gives fragments from old authors, and chapters on early Christian literature. A supplementary work was Bibliotheca Latina mediae et infimae Aetatis supplementary volume by C. Schottgen, 1746; edit. Mansi, 17 54)• His chef-d'oeuvre, however, is the Bibliotheca Graeca (170 5 28, revised and continued by G. C. Hades, 1790-1812), a work which has justly been denominated maximus antiquae eruditionis thesaurus. Its divisions are marked off by Homer, Plato, Christ, Constantine, and the capture of Constantinople in 1453, while a sixth section is devoted to canon law, jurisprudence and medicine. Of his remaining works we may mention : Bibliotheca Antiquaria, an account of the writers whose works illustrated Hebrew, Greek, Roman and Christian antiquities (I 713) ; Centi f olium Luther anum, a Lutheran bibliography (1728) ; Bibliotheca Ecclesiastica (1718) . His Codex Apocryphus (17o3) is still considered indis pensable as an authority on apocryphal Christian literature.

The details of the life of Fabricius are to be found in De Vita et Scriptis J. A. Fabricii Commentarius (Hamburg, 1737) , by his son in-law, H. S. Reimarus, the well known editor of Dio Cassius; see also C. F. Bahr in Ersch and Gruber's Allgemeine Encyklopddie, and J. E. Sandys, Hist. Class. Schol., iii. (1908) .

bibliotheca, writers, christian and leipzig