The New International Encyclopædia/Leisewitz, Johann Anton

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LEISEWITZ, lī'ze-vĭts, Johann Anton (1752-1806). A German dramatic poet, born in Hanover. He went to Göttingen in 1770, and became a member of the circle of poets called Der Hainbund, which included Stolberg and Voss, and contributed two poems to the Göttingen Musenalmanach for 1775, both essentially dramatic and democratic in tone. In 1775, at Brunswick, and later at Berlin and Weimar, he met and soon counted among his friends Eschenburg, Mendelssohn, Lessing, Nicolai, Herder, and Goethe. His single complete play, Julius von Tarent (1776), was written in Lessing's style and with much of the latter's dramatic technique. The play was a favorite of Schiller, and was frequently acted in Germany.