The New International Encyclopædia/Tiedge, Christoph August

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TIEDGE, tēd'ge, Christoph August (1752-1841). A German poet, born at Gardelegen, Prussian Saxony. After studying jurisprudence at Halle, he occupied positions as secretary and tutor at Magdeburg, Ellrich, and Halberstadt, and in 1799 settled in Berlin. There he met Elisa von der Recke, whom he accompanied on a journey to Italy in 1804-06, remaining afterward her faithful companion, first in Berlin and from 1819 on at Dresden, where, placed beyond material care by his friend's last will, he continued to live until death. Some singable lyrics, of which “Schöne Minka, ich muss scheiden” is still unforgotten, first established his reputation, and Urania über Gott, Unsterblichkeit und Freiheit (1800; 18th ed., 1862), a lyric-didactic poem, inspired by the ethics of Kant, enjoyed wide popularity in the beginning of the nineteenth century. A kind of sequel to it were the Wanderungen durch den Markt des Lebens (1833). Among his other poetical efforts, the Elegien und vermischte Gedichte (1803) met with the greatest success. After his death the Tiedge Foundation was established in Dresden for the purpose of caring for the poet's grave and of granting subventions to poets and artists or their widows and children. Administered by the Saxon Ministry of Public Instruction, its funds amounted to more than 662,000 marks, in 1901. Consult: Falkenstein, Tiedges Leben und poetischer Nachlass (Leipzig, 1841); Eberhard, Blicke in Tiedges und Elisas Leben (Berlin, 1844); and Kern, Beiträge zu einer Charakteristik des Dichters Tiedge (ib., 1896).