Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Voss, Johann Heinrich

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VOSS, JOHANN HEINRICH, a German poet; born in Sommersdorf, Germany, Feb. 20, 1751. He received a scanty school education, acted for a time as private tutor in a family, and in 1772 went to Göttingen, where he studied the classical and modern languages, and was one of the founders of the Göttingen Dichterbund, or Poet's Union. In 1775 he retired to Wandsbeck, in order to edit the “Almanac of the Muses,” which he published till 1800. In 1778 he became rector of a school at Otterndorf, in Hanover, and in 1782 went as rector to Eutin. In 1805 he became professor at Heidelberg. Between 1785 and 1802 he published several volumes of original poems, the best of which is the idyl, “Luise.” Among his translations that of Homer's works is undoubtedly the greatest, being the classical German version of these great epics. A translation of Shakespeare, which he undertook with his sons, was published in nine volumes in 1829. He died in Heidelberg, March 29, 1826.