Alter, Francis Charles

, a German classical scholar critic, was born at Englesberg, in Silesia, in 1749, | and died at Vienna March 29, 1804. He entered the society of the Jesuits, and was Greek teacher in the school of St. Anne, and the academy of Vienna, until his death. He has published two hundred and fifty volumes and dissertations, the titles of which are given in J. G. Meusel’s Allemagne Savante. One of his principal publications was “Novum Testamentum, ad codicem Vindobonensem Græce expressum: varietatem lectionis addidit Franc. C. Alter.” vol. I. 1786, vol. II. 1787, 8vo. The groundwork of this edition is the codex Lambecii in the imperial library at Vienna, with which the author has collated other manuscripts in that library, and the Coptic, Sclavonic, and Latin versions; the latter from the valuable fragments of the Vulgate, anterior to that of Jerome. It is thought that he would have succeeded better, if he had adopted as a basis the text of Wetstein or Griesbach, and if he had been more fortunate in arranging his materials. The merits of this edition are examined, with his usual acuteness, by Dr. Herbert Marsh in his supplement to Michaelis’s introduction to the New Testament. Of Alter’s other works, those in most esteem abroad are: 1. A German translation of Harwood’s View of the various editions of the Classics, with notes, Vienna, 1778, 8vo. 2. Various readings from the manuscripts in the imperial library, which he used in the editions printed at Vienna, of Lysias, 1785; Ciceroni’s Qusest. Acad. Tusc. 1780, 8vo; Lucretius, 1787, 8vo; Homeri Ilias, 1789—1790, 2 vols.; also with various readings from the Palatine library; Homeri Odyssea and min. poem. 1794. 3. Some of Plato’s Dialogues, 1784, 8vo. 4. Thucydides, 1785, 8vo. 5. The Greek Chronicle of George Phranza or Phranzes, not before printed, Vienna, 1796, fol. 6. Notices on the Literary history of Georgia, in German, 1798, 8vo. His numerous essays and dissertations, which are upon curious and recondite subjects, illustrations of Oriental and Greek manuscripts, &c. have appeared in the German literary journals at various periods, particularly in the Memorabilien of M. Paulus, and the Allg. Litt. Anzeiger da Leipzig. 1

1 Biog. Universelle,