Definitions for wolf, friedrich august

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  1. Wolf, Friedrich August

    great classical scholar, born near Nordhausen; studied at Göttingen; was professor of Philology at Halle; became world-famous for his theory of the Homeric poems; he maintains, in his "Prolegomena ad Homerum," that the "Iliad" and the "Odyssey" were originally a body of independent ballads handed down by oral tradition, and gradually collected into two groups, which finally appeared each as one, bearing the name of Homer, who, he allows, was probably the first to attempt to weave them severally into one; the "Prolegomena" was published in 1735, and its appearance caused a wide-spread sensation, and gave rise to a controversy which maintains itself to the present time (1759-1824).


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