Bayer, Gottlieb Siegfried

Bayer, Gottlieb Siegfried

 

(in German literature, Théophile Siegfried Bayer). Born Jan. 6,1694, in Königsberg; died Feb. 10, 1738, in St. Petersburg. German historian and philologist.

Bayer graduated from the University of Königsberg. From 1725 he was head of the subdivision of antiquities and eastern languages at the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. His works on oriental studies, philology, historical geography, and particularly his dictionary of Chinese, are of scholarly value. His specialized works on the history of ancient Rus’, based upon Byzantine and Scandinavian sources and a chronicle in Latin translation, contain serious errors.

Bayer laid the foundation for the unscientific “Norman theory,” which was criticized as early as the 18th century by V. N. Tatishchev and later M. V. Lomonosov. His works were printed by the Academy of Sciences in a special Latin edition (Bayer did not know Russian) and later in Russian translation (On the Origin and Ancient Habitations of the Scythians, 1728; On the Location of Scythia, 1728; On the Caucasian Wall, 1728).

REFERENCES

Ocherki istorii istoricheskoi nauki v SSSR, vol. 1. Moscow, 1955.
Tikhomirov, M. N. “Russkaia istoriografiia XVIII v.” Voprosy istorii. 1948, no. 2.
Rubinshtein, H. L. Russkaia istoriografiia. [Moscow,] 1941.
Iatsunskii, V. K. Istoricheskaia geografiia. Moscow, 1955.
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