Taubman, Frederic

, an eminent German critic, was born at Wonscisch in Franconia, about 1565. His father, who was a tradesman of the lower order, died while Taubman was a child, and his mother married a taylor, who, however, had sense enough to discern the boy’s capacity, and resolved to bring him up to letters. For that purpose he sent him to Culmbach, a town of Franconia, to school, where he remained until he was sixteen years of age, and made an uncommon progress in literature. The circumstances of his parents, however, were so very indifferent, *hat they were unable to furnish him with much, and it is said that he was frequently constrained to beg his bread from door to door. While he was at this school his mother died, and his father-in-law married another wife, who proved very kind to one now become an orphan in every way.

In 1582, George- Frederic, marquis of Brandenburg, having founded a college at Heilbrun, a town of Suabia, collected the promising youth out of all his states, and Taubman among the rest, whose great capacity recommended him to public notice; and who, besides his skill in the Latin and Greek authors, had acquired much fame by his poetry. After staying ten years at Heilbrun, he went in 1592 to Wittemberg, where he soon distinguished himself; and Frederic William, the prince of Saxony, conceived so high an esteem for him, as often to admit him into his company. The professorship of poetry and the | belles lettres becoming vacant in 1595, the university asked it of the court for Taubman, who accordingly took possession of it in October that year, and held it, with great honour to himself, and advantage to the public, as long as he lived. He died of a fever in 1613, leaving five children and a wife, whom he had married in 1596. He was one of those few happy men who had qualities to make himself beloved as well as admired. His very great learning procured him the admiration of mankind; and the liveliness of his disposition, and many private virtues, secured to him their esteem and affection,

His works are, 1. “Commentarius in Plautum, Francof. 1605;” and in 1612, not only enlarged, but more correct. A third edition, with additions, by Janus Gruterus, was published after his death in 1622. In these editions, which are all in quarto, Taubman has greatly contributed towards the restoration of the true text of Plautus. Joseph Scaliger complimented Taubman upon his Commentary on Plautus; and tells him, that it has all the marks of penetration, judgment, and industry. The learned have since ever considered it in this light; and many consider the second and third editions, notwithstanding the labours of any later critic, as the best we still have of Plautus. After his death was published, by his son, his 2. “Commentarius in Virgiliurn;” which Tanaquil Faber scruples not, in one of his letters, to call the best commentary we have upon Virgil; but this is not the general opinion. 3. “De lingua Latina dissertatio,” published by himself at Wittemburg in 1602. He also published other small pieces, and some Latin poetry. Taubmanniana came out at Leipsic in 1703: Taubman had a great turn for raillery, but whether any of his genuine witticisms can be found in this collection may reasonably admit of a doubt. 1


Melchior Adam.Niceron, vol. XIX.—Dibdin’s Classics.