Crusius, Christian

, professor of eloquence at Wittemberg, and an eminent philologer, was born at Wolbech, where his father was a clergyman, in 1715. He was first educated at Hall, whence he removed to Leipsic, and studied polite literature under Mascovius. His principal attachment was to the classics, which he read with the eye of a critic and antiquary. While at Leipsic, he contributed some of his first remarks on classical history and antiquities to the “Acta Eruditorum.” In 1738 he left Leipsic for Dresden, where he became acquainted with Juncker, and by his persuasion went to St. Petersburg, and became a member of the academy of history founded by Peter the Great, and afterwards succeeded Beyer in the same academy. His situation here was for some time agreeable, and his fame spread; but the stipend affixed to his place in the academy being irregularly paid, and Crusius being little attentive to pecuniary matters, his studies became interrupted, and his mind harassed, and his object now was to procure some place in Saxony where he could pursue his studies in comfort. For this purpose he consulted Gesner, who promised him every assistance; and in 1751, on the death of Berger, he was elected professor of eloquence at Wittemberg. Here for some time he fulfilled the utmost hopes of the friends by whose interest he had been elected; but having while at St. Petersburgh contracted habits too social for a man of learning, he now indulged them to such a degree as to obstruct his usefulness, expose himself to ridicule, and lessen his authority. He died Feb. 1767, according to Klotz his biographer, regretting his past imprudence, and with pious resignation. The failings of this accurate critic are much to be lamented, as but for them be would have probably attained the highest class in philology. His writings are: 1. “Commentarius de originibus pecunise a pecore ante nummum signatum: accedit ejusdem oratio habita in conventu Academico, cum auspicaret munus Professoris,” Petrop. 1748, 8vo. 2. “Probabilia critica, in quibus veteres Graeci et Latini scriptores emendantur & declarantur,” Leipsic, 1753, 8vo. This collection of criticisms and emendations on the classics, chiefly contributed to our | author’s fame. 3. “Opuscula ad historiam et humanitatis literas spectantia,” Altenburgh, 1767, with a biographical preface by Klotz, to which we are indebted for this sketch of the life of Crusius. Besides these, Crusius contributed various dissertations to the German journals, a list of which may be seen in Harles. 1


Harles de Vitis Philolagorum, vol. IV,—Saxii Onomasticon.