Joseph Hoffer, a Hungarian-born architect trained at the Polytechnikum of Vienna, worked in the newly independent Kingdom of Greece between 1833 and 1838. In Athens he surveyed with extraordinary accuracy the buildings of the Acropolis, which led to the discovery of one of the "refinements" of ancient architecture, the curvature of the horizontal parts of Greek temples. He published his findings in the Vienna Allgemeine Bauzeitung in 1838, but for some time his achievement was ignored. John Pennethorne, an English architect, claimed to have observed this same fact first, but he published it only later. After his return from Greece, Hoffer, already a master-builder in his native Arad, was admitted to the builders' guild of Pest, but with only limited rights; in Hungary, his scholarly achievement was not appreciated.

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