Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Born at Vogtendorf, in Upper Franconia, 22 July, 1806; d. there, 10 Nov., 1856. He was the founder of Celtic philology, an eminent philologist, and studied at the gymnasium of Bamberg. His parents wished that he should enter the priesthood, but the young man chose the scholarly career, inclining particularly to historic and linguistic study. He entered the University of Munich and after finishing his studies, taught there at the gymnasium. In 1837 appeared his book "Die Herkunft der Baiern von den Markomannen" (2nd ed., 1857), which brought him the honorary degree of Ph.D. from the University of Erlangen. The same year he went to Speyer to teach history at the lyceum and remained there until 1847, when he accepted a professorship of history in the University of Munich. But this he resigned on account of his poor health and was transferred to the lyceum in Bamberg. In 1853 appeared his monumental "Grammatica Celtica", which established his fame. Two years later he took a leave of absence to recover his health, but he died the following year.

Zeuss was a scholar of tremendous erudition, combining a knowledge of philology with that of history and ethnology. His Germanic studies had taught him the necessity of a knowledge of the Celtic languages and so he went to work to investigate this neglected field. To get at the sources, the old manuscripts, particularly those in Old Irish, he journeyed to Karlsruhe, Wurtzburg, St. Gall, Milan, London, and Oxford, and everywhere made excerpts or copies. Not only the ancient, but also the modern, dialects received his attention. As a result appeared the great "Grammatica Celtica", which proved beyond doubt that the Celtic languages were a group of the Indo-European family and which put Celtic philology on a sound scientific basis. After the author's death the work was revised and re-edited by Hermann Ebel (Berlin, 1871). It is even today of fundamental importance to all Celtic scholars. Other works of Zeuss are the "Traditiones possessionesque Wirzenburgenses" (Speyer, 1842), and "Die Freie Reichstadt Speyer vor ihrer Zerstorung".

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 6:10-20
10 Finally, grow strong in the Lord, with the strength of his ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 144:1, 2, 9-10
1 [Of David] Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, who trains my hands for war and ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:31-35
31 Just at this time some Pharisees came up. 'Go away,' they said. 'Leave ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 27th, 2016 Image

St. Frumentius
October 27: Called "Abuna" or "the fa¬≠ther' of Ethiopia, ... Read More