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FREUND, WILHELM:

German philologist and lexicographer; born Jan. 27, 1806, at Kempen, province of Posen; died June 4, 1894, at Breslau. He studied in Berlin and Breslau from 1824 to 1828, when he opened a Jewish religious school in the latter city, but was forced to close it on account of the opposition of the Orthodox. From 1848 to 1851 he was provisional director of the gymnasium of Hirschberg, Silesia, and from 1855 to 1870 of the school of the Jewish community of Gleiwitz, which he organized according to plans of his own. He then devoted himself exclusively to literary labors in the field of philology.

Freund's principal work, "Wörterbuch der Lateinischen Sprache" (4 vols., Leipsic, 1834-45), supplemented by his "Gesammtwörterbuch der Lateinischen Sprache" (2 vols., Breslau, 1844-45) and the "Lateinisch - Deutsche und Deutsch - Lateinisch-Griechische Schulwörterbuch" (2 parts, Berlin, 1848-55), was the foundation of all the Latin-English dictionaries now in existence, and the standard book of reference of its kind for a generation of scholars. It was translated and edited by E. A. Andrews in 1850, and has been from that time in extensive use throughout England and America. Its competitors in the schools and colleges of both countries are substantially reprints or abridgments of Freund's work.

Besides his magnum opus, Freund has published Cicero's "Pro Milone," with a facsimile of the "Codex Erfurtensis," Breslau, 1838; the "Präparationen zu den Griechischen und Römischen Schulklassikern," in small-sized and cheap instalments, which proved a very popular auxiliary handbook for many generations of German and Austrian students. Together with Marx he attempted, but with less success, a similar work on the Old Testament, 7 parts, Leipsic, 1862-93.

His "Prima," a collection of essays in letter form; "Wie Studiert Man Philologie?" 5th ed., Leipsic, 1885; and "Triennium Philologicum, oder Grundzüge der Philologischen Wissenschaften," 6 vols., 2d ed., 1878-85, place Freund among the most eminent educators in the department of classical philology. Mention should also be made of his "Tafeln der Griechischen, Römischen, Deutschen, Englischen, Französischen, und Italienischen Litteraturgeschichte," ib. 1873-75; "Cicero Historicus," ib. 1881; and "Wanderungen auf Klassischem Boden," 5 parts, ib. 1889-92.

Freund took an active share in the inner struggle of the Jewish community of Breslau, as well as in the movement for the emancipation of the Jews of Prussia. He was the most influential factor in bringing Abraham Geiger to Breslau. He also edited (1843-44) a monthly under the title "Zur Judenfrage in Deutschland," which contains many important contributions by prominent writers, and is of permanent value for the history of both the movements with which Freund identified himself. The "Preussisches Judengesetz" of July 23, 1847, which still to-day forms the basis of the legal status of the Jewish communities in Prussia, was one of the consequences of Freund's activity.

Bibliography:
  • Meyers Konversations-Lexikon;
  • Allg. Zeit. des Jud. 1886, pp. 93, 108;
  • Aḥlasaf, 1894-95, pp. 466-467.
S. A. R.
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