Johann Jakob Bodmer

1698 (Greifensee, Switzerland) – 1783 (Zürich)

Bodmer’s significance isn’t for his poetry or plays (he was derivative at best), but for his reinstatement of the medieval Nibelunglied, his translations from English, his stand for expressive freedom (Haller among his supporters), and his influential effect on others. Lavater, Pestalozzi, Sulzer and Fuseli (Füssli) were among his students; he introduced Fuseli to Homer, the Nibelunglied, Shakespeare and Milton. The young Klopstock and Wieland were his houseguests; he championed their work, though was put out by the taste of each for earthly pleasures. Goethe also stayed with him, introduced by Lavater.