geijer history swedish published sweden university
GEIGER, ABRAHAM (1810-1874), one of the ablest leaders of the modern Jewish school of theology and criticism, was born at Frankfort-on-tlme-Main, May 24, 1810. After receiving from his father and uncle the elements of an ordinary rabbinical education, he was in his eleventh year sent to the gymnasium, whence in 1829 he passed to the university of Heidelberg, which be soon afterwards exchanged for that of Bonn. As a student he greatly distinguished himself both in philosophy and in philology, and at the close of his course wrote on the relations of Judaism and Mahometanism a prize-essay which was afterwards published, in 1833, under the title Was hat Mohammed aus dent Judenthunt aufgenOMMen 7 In November 1832 he went to Wiesbaden as rabbi of the synagogue there, and, still pursuing the line of scientific study upon which he had entered during his undergraduate course, became in 1835 one of the most active promoters of the Zeitschrift fur Judische Theoloyie, which appeared from 1835 to 1839, and again from 1842 to 1847. In 1838 he removed to Breslau, where he continued to reside for the next twenty-five years, and where he wrote some of his most important works, including his Lehr- Bad Lesebuch 2711' Sprache der Mischna (1845), his Studien, from Mainionides (1850), his translation into German of the poems of Juda ha-Levi (Abu'l Hassan) in 1851, and the Ursehrift and Uebersetzungen der Bibel in ihrer 44blicingigkeit von der innern Entwickelung des Judenthums (1857). The last-named work especially attracted much attention at the time of its appearance, and may be said to have marked a new departure in the methods of studying the records of Judaism. In 1863 Geiger became head of the synagogue of his native town, whence he removed in 1870 to Berlin, where, in addition to his duties as chief rabbi, he took the principal charge of the newly established seminary for Jewish science. The Urschrift was followed by a more exhaustive handling of one of its topics in Die S'adductier and Pharislier (1863), and by a more thoroughgoing application of its leading principles in an elaborate history of Judaism (Das Aden-aunt u. seine Geschichte) in 1865-71. Geiger also contributed frequently on Hebrew, Samaritan, and Syriac subjects to the • Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenliinclischew Gesellschaft, and from 1862 until his death (which occurred on time 23d of October 1874) he was editor of a periodical entitled Jildische Zeitschrift fur Wissenschaft and Leben. He also published a Jewish prayer-book (Israelitisches Gebetbuch) which is well known in Germany, besides a variety of minor monographs on historical and literary subjects connected with the fortunes of his people. An Allgemeine Einleitung and five volumes of .11rachgelassene Schriften were edited by his son L. Geiger in 1875.
GEIJER, ERIK GUSTAF (1783-18t7), Sweden's greatest historian, was born at Ransiiter in Virmland, January 12, 1783, of a family that had immigrated from Austria in the time of Gustavus Adolphus. At sixteen he left Carlstad gymnasium for the university of Upsala, where in 1803 he carried off the Swedish Academy's great prize for an Arentinne ofver Riksforstdndaren Sten Sture. He graduated in 1806, and in 1810 returned from a year's residence in England to become " docent " in his university. Soon afterwards he accepted a post in the public record office at. Stockholm, where, with eleven friends, he founded the " Gothic Society," to whose organ Iduna he contributed a number of prose essays and the songs Manheni, Vikingen, Den siste k,ampen, Den siste skalden, Odalbonden, Kolargossen, and others, whose simplicity and earnestness, warm feeling, and strong patriotic spirit are dearer to his nation for the fine melodies to which he set them. About the same time lie issued a volume of hymns (1812), of which several are inserted in the Swedish Psalter. Geijer's lyric mouse was soon after silenced by his call to be assistant to Fant, professor of history of Upsala (1815), whom he succeeded in that chair in 1817. In 1824 lie was elected to the Swedish Academy. A single volume of a great projected work, Svea Rikes Haider, itself a masterly critical examination of the sources of Sweden's legendary history, appeared in 1825. Geijer's researches in its preparation had severely strained his health, and he went the same year on a tour through Denmark and part of Germany, his impressions from which are recorded in his Hinnen (1834). In 1832-36 he published three volumes of his SvenPka folkets historia, a clear view of the political and social development of Sweden down to the close of Queen Christina's reign. The acute critical insight, just thought, and finished historical art of these two incomplete works of Geijer entitle him to the first place among Swedish historians. His chief other historical and political writings are his Kort teekning of Sveriges tillstand °eh, of de forneintste handlande personer under titlea frjia Karl XI L's clod till Gustaf I Es antrade of regjeringen (Stockh. 1838), and Peoda/ism och republikanisin, ett bidrag till AS'auikullsfo?fdttnimgens historia (1844), which led to a controversy with the historian Fryxell regarding the part played in history by the Swedish aristocracy. Geijer also edited, With the aid of Schroder, a continuation of nut's Scriptures sveeicarum medii covi (181825), and, by himself, Therild's Samlade shrifter (1819-25), and Konung Gustaf I 11.'s efterlemnade Popper (3 vols. 1843-45). Geijer's academic lectures, of which the last three, published in 1845, under the title Om vcir lids inre sandilillsforallanden,i synnerhet med afseende pc't Fiiderneslanflet, involved him in another controversy with Fryxell, exercised a great influence over his students, who especially testified to their attachment after the failure of the prosecution for alleged anti-Trinitarian heresies in his Thorild, tillika en philosophisk eller ophilosophisk bekannelse (1820). A number of his extempore lectures, recovered from notes, were published by Ribbing in 1856. Failing health forced Geijer to resign his chair in 1846, after which be removed to Stockholm for the purpose of completing his Svenska folkets historia, and died there 23d April 1847. His Sandwie skrifter (13 vols. 1849-55 ; new ed. 1873-75) include a large number of philosophical and political essays contributed to reviews, particularly to Liter«turbladet (1838-39), a periodical edited by himself, which attracted great attention in its day by its pronounced liberal views on public questions, a striking contrast to those he had defended in 1828-30, when, as again in 1840-41, he represented Upsala university in the Swedish diet.
Geijer's style is strong and manly. His genius bursts out in sudden flashes that light up the dark corners of history. A few strokes, and a personality stands before us instinct with life. His language is at once the scholar's and the poet's ; with his profoundest thought there beats in unison the warmest, the noblest, the most patriotic heart. Geijer came to the writing of history fresh from researches in the whole field of Scandinavian antiquity, researches whose first-fruits are garnered in numerous articles in Iduna, and his masterly treatise Ora den gamin nordiska folk. visan, prefixed to the collection of ,Svenska folkvisor which he edited with A. A. Afzelius (3 vols. 1814-16). The development of freedom is the idea that gives unity to all his historical writings. This idea is not subjective ; he traces it in the darkest annals of his country. Sweden, he repeats, is the only European land that has not been trod by foreign armies, that has never accepted the yoke of serfdom. There, on the whole, the king has ever been the people's faithfullest ally, and all his great designs for the country's external and internal gain have been carried out "by the help of God and Sweden." Throughout life Geijer was what he professed to be, a seeker ; and to no philosophic system did lie yield absolute allegiance. Yet his writings mark a new era in Swedish history, the rise of a "critical school " whose aim is to draw the truth without distortion, and present reality without a foil.
For Geijer's biography, see his own Minnen (1834), which contains copious extracts from his letters and diaries ; Malmstrom, nestal ofver E. G. Geyer, addressed to the Upsala students, June 6,. 1848, and printed among his Tal och esthetiska afhandlingar (1868), and Grundclragen of Svenska vitterhetens hdfdar (1866-68); and S. A. Hollander, _Winne of E. G. Geijer (1869).