Gustav Eduard Benseler

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Gustav Eduard Benseler (born February 28, 1806 in Freiberg ; † February 1, 1868 in Leipzig ) was a German classical philologist and lexicographer .


Benseler financed his school attendance at the grammar school in Freiberg with private lessons. In 1824 he was enrolled at the University of Leipzig , where he studied classical philology with Gottfried Hermann . After graduating in 1831, he went to Freiberg as an assistant teacher, where he moved up to become a teacher at the high school. During the revolution of 1848/49 he was committed to the liberal forces. With his speaking skills, he moved to the top of the Freiberg Fatherland Association and was elected a member of the Second Chamber of the Saxon State Parliament. There he tried with his friend Otto Leonhard Heubner to set up the provisional government in Dresden. After the uprising was put down, Benseler planned to flee to America, but was arrested in Freiberg and sentenced to fifteen years in prison after two years in custody. His wife obtained a reduction in sentence to six years at workhouse. In 1853 he sat in Zwickau, where he translated Isocrates' speeches and pursued other literary studies. In 1855 his wife succeeded in obtaining an early release. Benseler tried unsuccessfully for positions abroad and then went to Leipzig. Until the end of his life he abstained from politics and was completely absorbed in his studies. He supported his family with publications and private lessons until he died in 1868.


Benseler's work focused on three fields: Greek speakers, Greek lexicography and Saxon mining. He translated the speeches of Isocrates (parts 1832, complete 1851, again 1854-55), Aeschines and Demosthenes (1854-61). His Greek-German and German-Greek school dictionary created with Karl Schenkl was edited and reissued many times in the 20th century. The dictionary of Greek proper names (2 volumes, 1863–70), which was continued by his son Gustav Benseler after Benseler's death, is considered to be Benseler's main work .

To mining, his private passion, Benseler dedicated the works Berggeschichten from the rise of Saxon mining and his imprisoned history of Freiberg and its mining (2 volumes, 1853).


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Wikisource: Gustav Eduard Benseler  - Sources and full texts