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Base, Carl Benedict

BASE, CARL BENEDICT (1780-1864), French Hellenist, of German extraction, was born at Suiza near Naumburg on the nth of May 1780. Having studied at Jena and Helmstedt, in 1801 he made his way on foot to Paris, where he was commissioned by the comte de Choiseul-Gouffier, late ambassador to Constantinople, to edit the works of Johannes Lydus from a MS. given to Choiseul by Prince Mourousi. Hase thereupon decided to devote himself to Byzantine history and literature, on which he became the acknowledged authority. In 1805 he obtained an appointment in the MSS. department of the royal library; in 1816 became professor of palaeography and modern Greek at the Ecole Royale, and in 1852 professor of comparative grammar in the university. In 1812 he was selected to superintend the studies of Louis Napoleon (afterwards Napoleon III.) and his brother. He died on the 2 1st of March 1864. His most important works are the editions of Leo Diaconus and other Byzantine writers (1819), and of Johannes Lydus, De ostentis (1823), a masterpiece of textual restoration, the difficulties of which were aggravated by the fact that the MS. had for a long time been stowed away in a wine-barrel in a monastery. He also edited part of the Greek authors in the collection of the Historians of the Crusades and contributed many additions (from the fathers, medical and technical writers, scholiasts and other sources) to the new edition of Stephanus's Thesaurus.

See J. D. Guigniaut, Notice historique sur la vie el les travaux de Carl Benedict Hase (Paris, 1867); articles in Nouvelle Biographic generate and Allgemeine deutsche Biographie; and a collection of autobiographical letters, Briefe von der Wanderung und aus Paris, edited by O. Heine (1894), containing a vivid account of Hase's journey, his enthusiastic impressions of Paris and the hardships of his early life.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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