Günther, Johann Christian

BORN 8 Apr 1695, Striegau, Niederschlesien - DIED 15 Mar 1723, Jena, Thüringen
CAUSE OF DEATH Tuberculosis
GRAVE LOCATION Jena, Thüringen: Alter Friedhof (memorial plaque, grave location unknown)

Johann Christian Günther was engaged to marry Magdalena Eleonore Jachmann, known as Leonore, in 1715. Shorty after that he started his studies in Wittenberg with the aim of becoming a physician. But he was more interested in poetry and received the title of "Poeta laureatus Caesareus" in 1716. But he had ran into high debts and was even imprisoned for them. He broke with his father and in 1717 he went to Leipzig.

Johann Burkhard Mencke (1674-1732) observed his talent and supported him financially. In 1718 his "Ode auf den Frieden von Passarowitz" was published. Mencke tried to help him to the position of court poet to king August, but his attempts failed after Günther turned up drunk at the audience. An attempt to set himself up as a physician in Kreuzburg failed as well. Günther mostly lived with the families of his friends. In 1723 he returned to Jena. He had fallen ill with tuberculosis and he died of that disease in 1727. After his death his work was published. Goethe praised his talent in his "Dichtung und Wahrheit".


Memorial plaque for Johann Christian Günther at the Alter Friedhof, Jena.
Picture by Androom (06 Feb 2005)


• Gorys, Erhard, Thüringen, Artemis Reis- en Cultuurgids, Kok Lyra, Kampen, 1996
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
Johann Christian Günther – Wikipedia

Guppy, Thomas Richard

Published: 12 Jan 2019
Last update: 03 Jan 2022