1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Logau, Friedrich, Freiherr von

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LOGAU, FRIEDRICH, Freiherr von (1604–1655), German epigrammatist, was born at Brockut, near Nimptsch, in Silesia, in June 1604. He was educated at the gymnasium of Brieg and subsequently studied law. He then entered the service of the duke of Brieg. In 1644 he was made “ducal councillor.” He died at Liegnitz on the 24th of July 1655. Logau’s epigrams, which appeared in two collections under the pseudonym “Salomon von Golaw” (an anagram of his real name) in 1638 (Erstes Hundert Teutscher Reimensprüche) and 1654 (Deutscher Sinngedichte drei Tausend), show a marvellous range and variety of expression. He had suffered bitterly under the adverse conditions of the time; but his satire is not merely the outcome of personal feeling. In the turbulent age of the Thirty Years’ War he was one of the few men who preserved intact his intellectual integrity and judged his contemporaries fairly. He satirized with unsparing hand the court life, the useless bloodshed of the war, the lack of national pride in the German people, and their slavish imitation of the French in customs, dress and speech. He belonged to the Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft under the name Der Verkleinernde, and regarded himself as a follower of Martin Opitz; but he did not allow such ties to influence his independence or originality.

Logau’s Sinngedichte were edited in 1759 by G. E. Lessing and K. W. Ramler, who first drew attention to their merits; a second edition appeared in 1791. A critical edition was published by G. Eitner in 1872, who also edited a selection of Logau’s epigrams for the Deutsche Dichter des XVII. Jahrhunderts (vol. iii., 1870); there is also a selection by H. Oesterley in Kürschner’s Deutsche Nationalliteratur, vol. xxviii. (1885). See H. Denker, Beiträge zur literarischen Würdigung Logaus (1889); W. Heuschkel, Untersuchungen über Ränders und Lessings Bearbeitung Logauscher Sinngedichte (1901).