Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock was born in Qeudlinburg
(Germany) on July 2, 1723. He was the oldest of the seventeen
children of parents Gottlieb Heinrich, lawyer, and Anna Maria.
After grammar school he continued his education at the famous
school of Schulpforta. He soon became competent in Greek and
Latin versification. He wrote several deserving idylls and
odes in German. Starting in 1745 he studied theology as well
but he didn't graduate in it. In 1748 he became a private
teacher in Langensalza.
Klopstock became famous with his epic poem 'Der Messias'
(The Messiah), which was published in parts. Because of the
success of this epic poem, the king of Denmark, Christian
V offered him a state pension to complete this marvellous
work. In the period between 1751 and 1770 he lived in Copenhagen,
making a living only by his pen. After the death of the Danish
king he moved to Hamburg and finally completed 'der Messias'
In regard to his personal life, it is noted that he married
Meta (Margaretha) Moller in 1754 . Meta died four years later
during child birth. In 1791 he married his second wife Johanna
Elisabeth von Winthem, his first wife's niece. A year later
he became to be Citizen of Honour of the French Republic.
Friedrich Klopstock died on March 14, 1803 at Hamburg, at
age 79. During his funeral he was honoured to be one of the
greatest poets of Germany of all times.
Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock