The New International Encyclopædia/Knebel, Karl Ludwig von

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KNEBEL, knā'bel, Karl Ludwig von (1744-1834). A German poet and translator, born at the castle of Wallerstein, Bavaria. After studying law at the University of Halle, he served for ten years as an officer in the Prussian army, and in 1774 became tutor to Prince Konstantin at Weimar, and accompanied him and his brother on a journey to France. On this occasion he called upon Goethe at Frankfort, and thus first introduced him to the hereditary Prince Karl August. After the early death of his pupil, he retired in 1779 with the rank of major and a pension for life, and henceforth lived in intimate association with that famous literary circle of which Goethe, Schiller, Herder, and Wieland were the guiding stars. In 1708 he married Luise Rudorff, chamber singer to the Duchess Amalie, retired to Ilmenau, and in 1805 removed to Jena. Although his own poems — Hymnen, Elegien, Lebensblüten in Distichen, and others — are to be commended for their classical purity of form, he is more especially remembered for his excellent translations of the Elegiæ of Propertius (1798), of the De Rerum Natura of Lucretius (1821), and of Alfieri's tragedy Saul (1829). His highly interesting correspondence with Goethe, Briefwechsel mit Goethe, was edited by Guhrauer (Leipzig, 1851).