Gellert, Christian Fürchtegott

PHILOSOPHER (HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE)
BORN 4 Jul 1715, Hainichen, Erzgebirge (near Freiberg) - DIED 13 Dec 1769, Leipzig
GRAVE LOCATION Leipzig, Sachsen: Südfriedhof

Born as the fifth son of a poor preacher. When he was fourteen he was able to visit the Fürstenschule in Meissen. From 1734 until 1738 he studied in Leipzig, but financial problems forced him to leave university. In 1740 he continued his studies until his promotion in 1744. His dissertation was about the theory and history of fables. In 1744 he became a teacher in Leipzig.

He wrote fables, plays and novels and in in 1751 he was appointed professor of Philosophy. Until his death he held public readings on fables, moral issues and other subjects. Goethe attended his readings and praised them in his "Dichtung und Wahrheit". Gellert was visited by G.E. Lessing.

After his death in 1769 he was buried at the Alter Johannisfriedhof (Old Cemetery of St. John). Immediately afterwards the cemetery was visited by so many people that wanted to see his grave that the authoroties were forced to close it for a while. In 1900 he was moved to the crypt of the Johanniskirche to rest beside J.S. Bach. This Church was destroyed in 1943 and he was reburied at the University Church of St. Paul. But this church was blown up in 1968 and his remains were moved once more, this time to the Südfriedhof in Leipzig.

Related persons
• was admired by Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
• was visited by Lessing, Gotthold Ephraïm

Sources
Leipziger Sehenswürdigkeiten - Alter Johannisfriedhof
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Images

The grave of Christian Fürchtegott Gellert at the Südfriedhof, Leipzig.
Picture by Androom (08 Feb 2005)

 


Genod, Michel-Philibert

Published: 1 Jan 2006
Last update: 26 Nov 2005