1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Jacobi, Johann Georg

JACOBI, JOHANN GEORG (1740–1814), German poet, elder brother of the philosopher, F. H. Jacobi (1743–1819), was born at Düsseldorf on the 2nd of September 1740. He studied theology at Göttingen and jurisprudence at Helmstedt, and was appointed, in 1766, professor of philosophy in Halle. In this year he made the acquaintance of J. W. L. (“Vater”) Gleim, who, attracted by the young poet’s Poetische Versuche (1764), became his warm friend, and a lively literary correspondence ensued between Gleim in Halberstadt and Jacobi in Halle. In order to have Jacobi near him, Gleim succeeded in procuring for him a prebendal stall at the cathedral of Halberstadt in 1769, and here Jacobi issued a number of anacreontic lyrics and sonnets. He tired, however, of the lighter muse, and in 1774, to Gleim’s grief, left Halberstadt, and for two years (1774–1776) edited at Düsseldorf the Iris, a quarterly for women readers. Meanwhile, he wrote many charming lyrics, distinguished by exquisite taste and true poetical feeling. In 1784 he became professor of literature at the university of Freiburg im Breisgau, a post which he held until his death there on the 4th of January 1814. In addition to the earlier Iris, to which Goethe, his brother F. H. Jacobi, Gleim and other poets contributed, he published, from 1803–1813, another periodical, also called Iris, in which Klopstock, Herder, Jean Paul, Voss and the brothers Stollberg also collaborated.

Jacobi’s Sämmtliche Werke were published in 1774 (Halberstadt, 3 vols.). Other editions appeared at Zürich in 1807–1813 and 1825. See Ungedruckte Briefe von und an Johann Georg Jacobi (Strassburg, 1874); biographical notice by Daniel Jacoby in Allg. Deutsche Biographie; Longo, Laurence Sterne und Johann Georg Jacobi (Vienna, 1898); and Leben J. G. Jacobis, von einem seiner Freunde (1822).