Seume, Johann Gottfried

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Seume, Johann Gottfried


Born Jan. 29, 1763, in the village of Poserna, Saxony; died June 13, 1810, in Teplitz. German publicist and poet of the Enlightenment. Secretary to the commander in chief of the Russian occupational forces in Poland, General O. G. Igel’ strem (1790’s).

In 1803, Seume, the son of peasants, published the article “A Walk in Syracuse.” In 1811 his collection of aphorisms Apocrypha, reflecting his radical antifeudal views, was published. Seume’s best works include the elegy “My Mother’s Grave” (1807). In his patriotic appeal “To the German People in 1810” (1810, published in 1813), he expresses rage against the princes. His articles about Russia (1790’s) and the book My Summer 1805 (1806) are noted for their sympathy for the Russian peasantry. In the tragedy Miltiades (1808), Seume depicts a Greek hero who is unjustly accused of betraying his country. His last work was Mv Life (1809–10, published in 1813).


Prosaische und poetische Werke, vols. 1–10. Berlin [no date]. Werke, vols. 1–2. Weimar, 1962.
In Russian translation:
Nemetskie demokratv XVIII veka: Shubart, Forster, Zeime. Moscow, 1956.


Volkov, I. F. “Rossiia i russkii narod v zhizni i tvorchestve nemetskogo pisatelia-demokrata I. G. Zeime.” Uchenie zapiski Taganrogskogo pedagogicheskogo instituta, 1957, issue 3.
Neustroev, V. P. “Zeime.” In Nemetskaia literatura epokhi Prosveshcheniia. [Moscow] 1958.
Hunger, J. J. G. Seume. Berlin, 1953.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.