Karl Philipp Moritz (September 15, 1756 – Berlin, June 26, 1793) was a German author, editor and essayist of the Sturm und Drang, late enlightenment, and classicist periods, influencing early German Romanticism as well. He led a life as a hatter's apprentice, teacher, journalist, literary critic, professor of art and linguistics, and member of both of Berlin's academies.
Moritz was born into impoverished circumstances in Hameln in 1756. After receiving a scanty schooling, he was apprenticed to a hat maker. After distressful attempts to gain a living, he caught the attention of a patron in Hanover and entered a gymnasium; however, he soon accepted an engagement as actor under Ekhof at Gotha, failing in which he returned to study (1776) at Erfurt; but tiring again he joined the Herrnhuter (Moravian Church) at Barby, and studied theology at Wittenberg (1777); then taught philanthropy at the Potsdam military orphanage, soon again to take to wandering.
Teaching in Berlin, he made a reputation as writer, preacher and poet, and went to England. Then he became professor at the gymnasium at Berlin (German: Köllnisches Gymnasium). Next he tried editing the Vossische Zeitung to make it proletarian, but failed. Later he traveled to Italy (1786) where he met Goethe, and on his return to Germany he took up residence as Goethe's guest at Weimar. Duke Karl August helped him join the Berlin Academy of Sciences, and in 1789 Moritz became a professor of antiquities at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin. Among his students were Ludwig Tieck, Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder and Alexander von Humboldt. He was an avid admirer of Jean Paul, and befriended Moses Mendelssohn, and Asmus Jakob Carstens...
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