The New International Encyclopædia/Reimarus, Hermann Samuel

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REIMARUS, rḯ-mä'rụs, Hermann Samuel (1694-1768). A German naturalistic philosopher. He was born in Hamburg, December 22, 1694, studied at the universities of Jena and Wittenberg, traveled afterwards in Holland and England, and on his return was elected rector at Wismar (1723) and in 1728 professor of Hebrew and mathematics at the Gymnasium of Hamburg. He died there March 1, 1768. He is the author of the so-called Wolfenbüttelsche Fragmente eines Unbekannten, first published by Lessing in his Beiträge zur Geschichte und Litteratur aus den Schützen der Wolfenbüttelschen Bibliothek (1774, 1777-78). These Fragmente, up to that time known only in manuscript by a few of Reimarus's most intimate friends, produced a sensation throughout Germany, since the author, in the boldest and most trenchant manner, denied the supernatural origin of Christianity. They were partially translated, as Fragments from Reimarus (London, 1879). A cognate work is his Vornehmste Wahrheiten der natürlichen Religion (1754). His edition of Dio Cassius is one of the most valuable contributions to classical philology (1750). Consult his biography by Strauss (Bonn, 1862; 2d. ed. 1877).