Johann Georg Hamann

John R. Betz (University of Notre Dame)
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Among the German authors of the eighteenth century, none can claim the distinction of being so revered by his contemporaries and so forgotten by posterity as Johann Georg Hamann, otherwise known as the “Magus of the North”. Admittedly, to some of the lesser critics (and to some modern historians), he was an obscure “irrationalist” and “enemy” of the Enlightenment. By the greatest intellectuals of the age, however, he was almost unanimously regarded as a “wise man” and seer. To Herder, his first disciple, he was the German Socrates, whose ideas he popularized. To Goethe, he was “the brightest mind of his day” [“der hellste Kopf seiner Zeit”], “an original mind” [“

2612 words

Citation: Betz, John R.. "Johann Georg Hamann". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 August 2005 [, accessed 30 September 2023.]

6011 Johann Georg Hamann 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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