The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Lichtenberg, Georg Christoph
LICHTENBERG, Georg Christoph, gā-ōrg' krĭs'tōf lĭh'tĕn-bĕrg, German satirical writer and physicist: b. near Darmstadt, 1 July 1742; d. Göttingen, 24 Feb. 1799. He was educated at the University of Göttingen and became professor there in 1767. During frequent visits to England he collected material for his explanations of Hogarth, whom he thus assisted to popularize in Germany. He gained great celebrity as a lecturer on physical science. He being a hunchback may very possibly have embittered him and sharpened a naturally satirical disposition. The best of his satires are those on the notorious literary pirate, Tobias Göbhard; the essay on ‘The German Novel’; ‘Timorus,’ ridiculing Lavater's zeal for proselytizing; and ‘Pronunciation of the Wethers of Ancient Greece,’ aimed at Voss' system of pronouncing Greek. His brilliant sayings have been collected and published in a separate volume, ‘Lichtenberg's Thoughts and Maxims: Light Rays from his Works’ (1871).