Fun Facts Friday: Martin Opitz

December 23, 2022

Martin Opitz (23 December, 1597 – 20 August, 1639) was a German poet and literary theorist who was considered to be the greatest poet in the land during his lifetime.

Fun Facts Friday: Martin Opitz
Books by, or about, Martin Opitz*

Fun Facts about Martin Opitz:

  1. Born as Martin Opitz von Boberfeld was born in Bunzlau, Silesia (now Poland) to a prosperous family.
  2. The poet studied at universities in Frankfurt an der Oder, Heidelberg, and Leiden.
  3. Martin Opitz didn’t let the grass grow under his feet. He served various nobles during his lifetime.
  4. In 1625 he was crowned laureate by Ferdinand II, the Holy Roman emperor, for his requiem poem on the death of Archduke Charles Joseph of Austria. Later the emperor gave him a rank of nobility.
  5. Mr. Opitz is credited with introducing foreign literary models into German poetry, as well as establishing a national German literature.
  6. He was elected to the most important literary society, Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft, in 1629. The aim of the society was to reform the German language.
  7. Today Martin Opitz is also appreciated for the importance of his translations.
  8. By translating John Barclay’s Argenis, Martin Opitz introduced Germany to the political novel.
  9. When he edited Das Annolied, an 11th Century Middle High German poem, in 1639, he also saved it for posterity since the manuscript has been lost.
  10. For a few years the poet lived in Paris, but in 1635 he went to live on Danzig (today GdaƄsk, Poland) where he acted as historiographer and secretary to WƂadysƂaw IV.

Books by, or about, Martin Opitz*

Zohar — Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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Fun Facts Friday: Martin Opitz
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Fun Facts Friday: Martin Opitz
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Martin Opitz (23 December, 1597 – 20 August, 1639) was a German poet and literary theorist who was considered to be the greatest poet in the land during his lifetime.
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Man of la Book - A Bookish Blog
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