The New International Encyclopædia/Voss, Johann Heinrich
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Voss, Johann Heinrich
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VOSS, Johann Heinrich (1751-1826). A German poet, translator, and classical philologist, born in Sommersdorf, Mecklenburg. He studied at Göttingen, and after editing for a time the Göttinger Musenalmanach, was made rector of the Gymnasium at Otterndorf (1778). He translated the Odyssey, was promoted in 1782 to the rectorship of the Gymnasium at Eutin, and here in 1789 published a translation of Vergil's Eclogues and Georgics, his classical version of the Homeric poems (4 vols., 1793), and two volumes of controversial letters addressed to Heyne (Mythologische Briefe, 1794). In 1802 he moved to Jena, and in 1805 was made professor of classical literature at Heidelberg. Here he translated Horace, Hesiod, Theocritus, Bion, Moschus, and Tibullus, and attempted Shakespeare, Ovid, and Aristophanes with less success. Of his original poems in four volumes (1825) the idyl Luise (1795) is alone noteworthy. His later works, Wie ward Fritz Stolberg ein Unfreier (1819) and Antisymbolik (1824-26), are painstaking and dignified, but dreary. Voss's Letters are in three volumes (Halberstadt, 1829-33). Consult the Lives by Paulus (Heidelberg, 1826) and Herbst (Leipzig, 1872-76); also Prutz, Der Göttinger Dichterbund (Leipzig, 1841).