Hemsterhuis, Tiberius

, or Hemsterhusius, one of the most famous critics of his country, the son of Francis Hemsterhuis, a physician, was born at Groningen, Feb. 1, 1635. After obtaining the rudiments of literature from proper masters, and from his father, he became a member of his native university in his fourteenth year, 1698. He there studied for some years, and then removed to Leyden, for the sake of attending the lectures of the famous James Perizonius on ancient history. He was here so much noticed by the governors of the university, that it was expected he would succeed James Gronovius as professor of Greek. Havercamp, however, on the vacancy, was appointed, through the intrigues, as Ruhnkenius asserts, of some who feared they might be eclipsed by young Hemsterhuis; who in 1705, at the age of nineteen, was called to Amsterdam, and appointed professor of mathematics and philosophy. In the former of these branches he had been a favourite scholar of the famous John Bernouilli. In 1717, he removed to Franeker, on being chosen to succeed Lambert Bos as professor of Greek; to which place, in 1738, was added the professorship of history. In 1740 he removed to Leyden to accept the same two professorships in that university. It appears that he was married, because his father-in-law, J. Wild, is mentioned; he died | April 7, 1766, having enjoyed to the last the use of all his faculties. He published, 1. “The three last books of Julius Pollux’s Onomasticon,” to complete the edition of which, seven books had been finished by Lederlin. This was published at Amsterdam in 1706. On the appearance of this work, he received a letter from Bentley, highly praising him for the service he had there rendered to his author. But this very letter was nearly the cause of driving him entirely from the study of Greek criticism: for in it Bentley transmitted his own conjectures on the true readings of the passages cited by Pollux from comic writers, with particular view to the restoration of the metre. Hemsterhuis had himself attempted the same, but, when he read the criticisms of Bentley, and saw their astonishing justness and acuteness, he was so hurt at the inferiority of his own, that he resolved, for the time, never again to open a Greek book. In a month or two this timidity went off, and he returned to these studies with redoubled vigour, determined to take Bentley for his model, and to‘ qualify himself, if possible, to rival one whom he so greatly admired. 2. “Select Colloquies of Lucian, and his Timon,” Amst. 1708. 3. “The Plutus of Aristophanes, with the Scholia,” various readings and notes, Harlingen, 1744, 8vo. 4. “Part of an edition of Lucian,” as far as the 521st page of the first volume; it appeared in 1743 in four volumes quarto, the remaining parts being edited by J. M. Gesner and Reitzius. The extreme slowness of his proceeding is much complained of by Gesner and others, and was the reason why he made no further progress. 5. % “Notes and emendations on Xenophon Ephesius,” inserted in the 36 volumes of the te Miscellanea Critica“of Amsterdam, with the signature T. S. H. S. 6.” Some observations upon Chrysostom’s Homily on the Epistle to Philemon,“subjoined to Raphelius’s Annotations on the New Testament. 7.” Inaugural Speeches on various occasions.“8. There are also letters from him to J. Matth. Gesner and others; and he gave considerable aid to J. St. Bernard, in publishing the ’ Eclogae Thomae Magistri,” at Leyden, in 1757. His “Philosophical Works” were published at Paris in 1792, 2 vols. 8vo, but he was a better critic -than philosopher. Ruhnkenius holds up Hemsterhusius as a model of a perfect critic, and indeed, according to his account, the extent and variety of his knowledge, | and the acuteness of his judgment, were very extraordinary. 1


Riihnkenii elcgium Tib. Hfmsterliusii, new edit. 1600. —Saxii Onomasticon.