Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V11, Page 559 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CHRISTIAN FURCHTEGOTT GELLERT (1715-1769), German poet, was born at Hainichen in the Saxon Erzgebirge on the 4th of July 1715. After attending the famous school of St Afra in Meissen, he entered Leipzig University in 1734 as a student of theology, and on completing his studies in r 739 was for two years a private tutor. Returning to Leipzig in 1741 he contributed to the Bremer Beitrage, a periodical founded by former disciples of Johann Christoph Gottsched, who had revolted from the pedantry of his school. Owing to shyness and weak health Gellert gave up all idea of entering the ministry, and, establishing himself in 1745 as privatdocent in philosophy at the university of Leipzig, lectured on poetry, rhetoric and literary style with much success. In 1751 he was appointed extrabrdinary professor of philosophy, a post which he held until his death at Leipzig on the 13th of December 1769. The esteem and veneration in which Gellert was held by the students, and indeed by persons in all classes of society, wag unbounded, and yet due perhaps less to his unrivalled popularity as a lecturer and writer than to his personal character. He was the noblest and most amiable of men, generous, tender-hearted and of unaffected piety and humility. He wrote in order to
SIR WILLIAM GELL (1777-1836)

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