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A Brief Gotthold Ephraim Lessing Bio

Written by: Lessing (Gotthold Ephraim). German critic and dramatic poet, b. Kamenz, 22 Jan. 1729. He studied at Leipsic, and at Berlin became acquainted with Voltaire and Mendelssohn. Made librarian at Wolfenbüttel he published Fragments of an Unknown (1777), really the Vindication of Rational Worshippers of God, by Reimarus, in which it was contended that Christian evidences are so clad in superstition as to be unworthy credence. Among his writings were The Freethinker and Nathan the Wise, his [208]noblest play, in which he enforces lessons of toleration and charity to all faiths. The effect of his writings was decidedly sceptical. Heine calls Lessing, after Luther, the greatest German emancipator. Died at Brunswick 15 Feb. 1781.

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