Rittershusius, Conradus

, a learned civilian and philologer of Germany, was the son of Balthasar Rittershusius of Brunswic, and born there Sept. 25, 1560. He was taught Greek and Latin in his own country, at the school of which his mother’s brother, Matthias Berg, was rector; and, in 1580, went to Helmstad, where he applied himself to the civil law; but without neglecting the belles lettres, which formed his most lasting pursuit. After recovering from the plague, by which he was endangered in this town, he removed to Altorf in 1584, to profit by the lectures of Gifanius, for whom he conceived a particular | esteem. He began to travel in 1587, went through part of Germany, and came to Bohemia. Being afterwards at Basil in 1592, he took the degree of doctor of law, and returned to Altorf, to fill the professor’s chair, which the curators of the university had given him some time before. He had many advantageous proposals from other universities of Germany and Holland, but his attachment to Altorf would not suffer him to accept them. He died at Altorf May 25, 1613, after having married two wives, by whom he had nine children. Two of his sons, George and Nicolas, distinguished themselves in the republic of letters; and George wrote the life of his father.

He was a man of extensive learning, and perfectly skilled in the Greek and Latin tongues. He is said to have had Homer and Hesiod so well by heart, as once, in a conversation with a learned young gentleman, to have expressed all he had occasion to say in the verses of Homer. He was also a judicious critic, and wrote notes upon many ancient Greek and Latin authors, Petronius, Phacdrus, Oppian, &c. which have been inserted in the best editions of those authors. Thus Burinan, in his edition of “Phsedrus,1698, 8vo, has carefully inserted the entire notes of Rittershusius, whom he calls in his preface “Germanise suae quondam ornamentum, & noil minoris Gallice-decus.” He published a great number of works, sixty-six of which are enumerated by Niceron, many on civil law, but most on the belles lettres and criticism. His edition. of “Oppian,Greek and Latin, appeared in 1657, 8vo. His son Nicholas, born at Altdorf in 1597, was also a man of learning and a jurist, and particularly applied to historical and genealogical inquiries. He studied at Helmstadt, and afterwards travelled into various countries of Europe. On his return he took a doctor’s degree in 1634, and was appointed professor of feudal law at Altdorff. He died in 167O. Nicholas edited several of his father’s works, and in 163S published an oration on “Hanno’s Periplws.” v ' He was the author of a large work, entitled “Genealggia? Jmperatorum, Regum, Ducum, Comitum, &c. ab anno 1400 ad annum 1664,” 7 vols. in 4, folio, a work of rare occurrence. Several of his letters are printed in the “Epistolse celebrium Virorum,1705. 1

1 Niceron, vol. XXXII. —Moreri. Mlchior Adam. Life by his son in Witten’s “Memoriae jurisconsult. Henuingi.” —Saxii Onomast.