Born: Ju­ly 4, 1715, Hain­i­chen, Sax­o­ny.

Died: De­cem­ber 13, 1769, Leipzig, Ger­ma­ny.

Buried: Süd­fried­hof, Leip­zig, Ger­ma­ny.


In 1734 Gell­ert en­tered the Un­i­ver­si­ty of Leip­zig as a the­o­lo­gy stu­dent. Af­ter comp­let­ing his stu­dies, he served for some time as an as­sist­ant to his fa­ther, the pas­tor at Hain­ich­en. How­ev­er, due his poor me­mo­ry, he de­cid­ed he was un­suit­ed for the min­is­try.

In 1739, he be­came do­mes­tic tu­tor to the sons of Herr von Lüt­tich­au, near Dres­den, and in 1741 re­turned to Leip­zig to su­per­vise the ed­u­ca­tion of a ne­phew at the Un­i­ver­si­ty. He also re­sumed his own stu­dies, gra­du­at­ing MA in 1744.

In 1745, he be­came pri­vate tu­tor or lec­tur­er in the phi­lo­so­phy fa­cul­ty. In 1751, he was ap­point­ed ex­tra­or­di­na­ry pro­fess­or of phi­lo­so­phy, lec­tur­ing on po­et­ry and rhe­to­ric, and then on mo­ral phi­lo­so­phy. He re­fused a re­gu­lar pro­fess­or­ship in 1761, not feel­ing strong enough for the post.