Gottsched, Johann Christoph
- George J. Buelow
(b Juditten, nr Königsberg [now Kaliningrad], Feb 2, 1700; d Leipzig, Dec 12, 1766). German dramatist, poet, literary critic and philosopher. He was a leading figure in the literary reform movement of the German Enlightenment before the mid-18th century. He received his early education from his father, a Protestant minister. On 19 March 1714, before he was 15, he entered Königsberg University to study theology and subsequently philosophy, mathematics and the natural sciences. After earning a master's degree in 1723 he fled his native land under threat of induction into the Prussian army, moving to Leipzig. Two years later he began his university career as a lecturer. In 1727 he headed the local Deutschübenden-poetischen Gesellschaft, which he reorganized as a national society, the Deutsche Gesellschaft. He hoped to model it on the Académie Française and to create a decisive influence for the reform of German as a single national language, but he did not succeed. At this time he founded two weekly journals, ...