Martin Opitz(redirected from Martin Opitz von Boberfeld)
Born Dec. 23, 1597, in Bunzlau; died Aug. 20, 1639, in Danzig. German poet, classicist, and art theorist.
Opitz studied law and philology in Heidelberg and was in the diplomatic service of various princes. In his treatise Aristarchus (1617), he called on Germans to study and perfect their native language. In Buch von der deutschen Poeterey (1624) he provided a theoretical basis for the use of syllabotonic versification, which had become firmly established in German poetry. His poetry, written mostly to illustrate his theory, was based on the traditions of the classics and the Renaissance. Opitz introduced new forms, furthered the German literary language, and helped free poetry from antiquated medieval traditions. His best work is the narrative poem Trostgedichte in Widerwärtigkeit des Krieges (1633).