RAMLER, KARL WILHELM (1725–1798), German poet, was born at Kolberg on the 25th of February 172 5. After completing his studies in Halle, he went to Berlin, where, in 1748, he was appointed professor of logic and literature at the cadet school. In 1786 he became associated with the author, Johann Jakob Engel, in the management of the royal theatre, of which, after resigning his professorship, he became (1790-96) sole director. He died at Berlin on the 11th of April 1798. Ramler was a skilful but cold and uninspired versifier; and the reputation he enjoys as poet and critic is mainly due to his skill in imitating and reproducing in German, classical (mostly Horatian) metrical forms; and he had a reputation, not unfounded, of correcting his friends' writings out of recognition. His Tod Jesu, a Cantata, is well known owing to its musical setting by Karl Heinrich Graun.
Ramler published Geistliche Cantaten (1760) and Oden (1767). A collection of his works was published by L. F. G. von Göckingk (2 vols., 1800-I 801). See also Heinsius, Versuch einer biographischen Skizze Ramler; (1798); and K. Schüddekopf, Karl Wilhelm Ramler, bis zu seiner Verbindung mit Lessing (1886).