HOLBERG, Ludwig, horberg, BARON, Danish author: b. Bergen, Norway, 3 Dec. 1684; d. Copenhagen, 28 Jan. 1754. He studied at Copenhagen, Oxford and Paris, and afterpaying a six months' visit to Rome re turned to Copenhagen in the end of 1716. In 1718 he was appointed to an ordinary professor ship in the university of that city, where after this date he chiefly resided till his death. In 1735 he was unanimously elected rector, and in 1737 treasurer of the university, and in 1747 was raised to the rank of baron. Holberg's numerous productions in various departments of literature as well as the important and salu tary influence which he exercised upon his countrymen place him in the front rank of the literary men of his age. He is considered the greatest of Danish authors, and the founder of its literature. He was extremely versatile — now devoted to history, now to poetry and now to the drama; but during his whole life he was a sworn enemy to pedantry, theological disputa tiousness and scholastic metaphysics. His works may be divided into four classes — poems, stage pieces, philosophical treatises and histori cal works. His poems are chiefly of a satirical nature. The most celebrated among them is 'Peder Paars,) a comic heroic poem in 14 cantos, still regarded throughout the Scandina vian countries as a masterpiece, and the hero of which has become the national comic im personation in Denmark. It has been translated
into several languages. Almost equally famous is his 'Nicholas Klimm's Subterraneous Travels,) a satirical romance in prose, originally written in Latin, but translated into seven modern European languages shortly after it appeared, into Danish first by Bag.gesen (1789). His numerous stage pieces are either comedies or farces, and nearly all characterized by true comic power. In 'Erasmus Montanus' (q.v.), Holberg attacks the pedantry and scholas ticism so characteristic of the university life of his day. Among his philosophical writ ings the most important is his 'Moral Re (1744). His historical works include 'The Political, Ecclesiastical and Geographical Condition of the Danish Monarchy,' a work of great value as a source of reference; 'A Gen eral History of the Jews,' and 'A History of Famous Men and Famous Women' (1739-45). Consult 'Lives' by Smith (Copenhagen 1858); and Brandes (1884).