HERDER, Johann Gottfried

HERDER, Johann Gottfried (1802 von). Mohrungen, Ostpreussen (now Morąg in Poland) 25.8.1744 — Weimar 18.12.1803. Famous German Author, Philosopher and Scholar. Son of Gorrfried H., a modest precentor and teacher, and Anna Peltz. After Pietist education studied theology at Königsberg, where Kant and Hamann inspired his thinking. In 1764-69 teacher and priest in Riga, then visited Paris and in the entourage of the Prince of Holstein Italy. From 1776 Generalsuperintendent in Weimar. Now started his literary activity as a critic, wrote soon important works on literature and history. He was a romantic, associated with Goethe and Wieland, and in the romantic way rather enthusiastic about India, without knowing much. Married 1773 Karoline Flachsland, six sons and one daughter.

Publications: A great number of works, e.g. Fragmente über die neuere deutsche Literatur. Riga 1767; Kritische Wälder. 1-3. Riga 1769; Über den Ursprung der Sprache. B. 1772; Vom Geist der ebräischen Poesie. 1-2. Dessau 1782-83; Ideen zur Philosophie der Geschichte der Menschheit. 1-4. Riga – Lp. 1784-91; Briefe zur Beförderung der Humanität. 1-10. Riga 1793-97.

Edited the 2nd edition of G. Forster’s German Sakontala. Frankfurt 1803; “Ueber ein morgen­ländisches Drama”, Werke zur schönen Literatur und Kunst. Stuttgart 1828, 9, 181-220(?).

Collected works in 33 vols. 1877-1913.

Sources: Gildemeister, Bibl.; *R. Haym, A.D.B. 12, 1880, 55-100; *H.-W. Jäger, N.D.B. 8, 1969, 595-603; *Lex. gramm. 1996; Wikipedia with portrait and references (still more in German version).

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