Johann Gottfried Herder

1744 (Mohrungen, E. Prussia, now Morąg, Poland) – 1803 (Weimar)

Kant, initially influential, let him attend his lectures free, but they broke off before long; meanwhile he became Hamann’s protégé. His ideas profoundly affected Goethe when they met in Strasbourg (Herder was there for an eye operation); Goethe later got him a lifetime position in Weimar, though they subsequently fell out. Jean Paul moved to Weimar to be close to Herder; Wieland was another associate there. Forster’s translation of a Sanskrit play strongly influenced Herder. He met Klopstock in Denmark and Diderot and d’Alembert in France. Lessing was a respected acquaintance, though they disagreed healthily.