Denis, Michael

, an eminent German bibliographer, and principal librarian of the imperial library of Vienna, was born at Sclarden, in Bavaria, in 1729, and died at Vienna in 1800, in the seventy -first year of his age. He published several works on subjects of philology, bibliography, literary, and even natural history, and poetry. The principal of these are, 1. A translation into German of “Ossian’s poems,Vienna, 1768—1772, 3 vols. 4to, and 8vo. This translation is truly poetical; but the author appears to have committed an error in judgment, in giving the preference to hexameters, by which he has given a refinement and a connection to the whole, which does not correspond with the original. 2. “The Songs of the Bard Sined,” (Denis) with a preliminary dissertation on the ancient poetry of the North, Vienna, 1772, 8vo. 3. “A systematic catalogue of Butterflies in the environs of Vienna,” ibid. 1776, 4to, with plates. 4. “An Introduction to the knowledge of Books,” 2 vols. 4to, 1777 — 1778. This, which like most of his works, is written in German, contains a division of Bibliography into three periods. The first relates to the state of book-writing, previous to Christianity; the second comprehends the state of Bibliography from the introduction of Christianity to the restoration of letters, or the invention of printing; and the third extends from this latter period to the present times. Each of these periods contains an historical and mechanical account of book-making. The historical account of the first period exhibits the origin, progress, and decline of the art of writing and preserving books in different nations; and the other part of this same period contains a description of the alphabets, paper, and instruments employed in writing, and the form of books in these early times. In the second period is the history of printing; and in the third, an account of the most celebrated libraries of that time in Italy, England, France, Holland, | Spain, Sweden, Poland, Russia, Germany, and Vienna, comprehending printed books and manuscripts. In this exhibition, the books are reduced, like the sciences, under the distinct classes of theology, law, philosophy, physic, mathematics, history, and philology, and are considered with respect to their number, their qualities, their rarity, &c. and the manuscripts, whether Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Gothic, Lombard, French, or Anglo-Saxon, are enumerated, though without many critical illustrations. 5. “A Typographical History of Vienna from the year 1482 to 1560,” ibid. 1782, 4to. 6. A publication in Latin, “8. Augustini Sermones inediti, admixtis quibusdarn dubiis,” ibid. 1792, fol. These were copied from a manuscript of the twelfth century in the imperial library. 7. “Codices manuscripti theologici Latiui aliarumque occidentis linguarum bibliothecae Palatinse Vindobon.” vol. I. 1793, fol. vol. II. 1801, intended as a continuation of Lambecius’s very elaborate catalogue. The two together form a complete catalogue of every article in the imperial library of the theological kind, except ecclesiastical history, and the canon-law. 9. “Carmina qusedam,Vienna, 1794, 4to, a collection of Latin poems. 1


Dict. Hist. Dibdin’s Bibliomania. Month. Rev. vols. Lviu. and LXI.