Merian, John Bernard

, perpetual secretary of the academy of sciences at Berlin, was born at Leichstal, near Basil, Sept. 27, 1723, of a reputable family, and received a learned education, with the particulars of which, however, we are unacquainted. In 1750 he was invited from Holland to Berlin, on the recommendation of Maupertuis, and died in that city Feb. 12, 1807, in the eighty-fourth year of his age. The best known of his works were French translations of Claudian, and of Hume’s Essays, the latter, published at Amsterdam, 1759 1764, 5 vols. 12mo, enriched with commentaries and refutations of the most objectionable principles. He translated also some of Michaelis’s works. The Memoirs of the Academy of Berlin contain several of his pieces on philosophical subjects and on geometry. One of the best is a parallel between the philosophy of Leibnitz and Kant, which was much noticed on its first appearance. Merian bore an estimable private | character, and preserved all the activity and vigour of youth to a very advanced age. A few days before his death he officiated as secretary at a sitting of the academy, to celebrate, according to custom, the memory of the Great Frederic. 1


Biog. Dict. Athenaeum, vol. II.