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KARL PHILIPP MORITZ (1757-1793)

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Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 838 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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KARL PHILIPP MORITZ (1757-1793), German author, was born at Hameln on the Weser on the 15th of September 1757, of humble parentage. After receiving a scanty schooling, he was apprenticed to a hat-maker, but was later enabled to study philosophy at Erfurt and Wittenberg and in 1777 became teacher in a school at Dessau. While on a tour through Italy in 1786 he became acquainted with Goethe, who interested himself in him. On his return, he was appointed professor of archaeology and aesthetics, at the academy of art in Berlin, and in this city he died on the 26th of June 1793. Of Moritz's writings on aesthetic, archaeological and philosophical subjects, the little treatise Uber die bildende Nachahmung des Schonen (1788; re-printed 1888) and Die Gotterlehre (1791; loth ed., 1855, a reprint in Reclam's Universalbibliothek, 1878) are important; interesting, too, are the accounts of his travels, Reisen eines Deutschen in England (1788; repr. 1903; also trans. into Eng.) and Reisen eines Deutschen in Italien (3 vols., 1792-1793). As an author he is best known by his two novels, Anton Reiser (1785-1790; new ed. by L. Geiger, 1886) and Andreas Hartknopf (1786), which are mainly autobiographical. See K. F. Klischnig, Erinnerungen aus den zehn letzten Lebensjahren meines Freundes Anton Reiser (1794); Varnhagen von Ense, Denkwurdigkeiten, vol. iv. (1838) ; and M.Dessoir, Karl Philipp Moritz als Aesthetiker (1889).
End of Article: KARL PHILIPP MORITZ (1757-1793)
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