Sigmund von Birken

Alternative Name(s)
  • Betulius
  • Sigismundus Betulius
Date 1626 - 1681
Biographical NotesGerman writer, historian and poet. Son of a Protestant pastor whose family fled for protection to Protestant Nuremberg in 1629. After studying for a time in Jena (1643-44) he returned to Nuremberg where in 1645 he became a member of the Pegnesischer Blumenorden under the name Floridan. In 1646 he worked at the court of Wolfenbüttel as tutor to the ducal children, among whom was Anton Ulrich, with whom Birken was to develop a literary relationship. After travelling in northern Germany, Birken returned to Nuremberg in 1648. In 1655 he was ennobled; in 1658 he became a member of the Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft (Fruitbearing Society), a German literary society emulating the example of the Academia della Crusca of Florence. In 1662 he became head of the Pegnesischer Blumenorden. Birken worked as tutor, historiographer, translator, and as a literary adviser to the courts of Vienna, Dresden, Wolfenbüttel, and Brandenburg-Bayreuth. Famous as a diarist and renowned for his pastorals, his works also include occasional and religious poems, pedagogic dissertations, and festal works for great occasions in ode or dramatic form.
Work(s)Author of [Preface to Birken's Hochfürstlicher brandenburgischer Ulysses] (1669) in Hochfürstlicher brandenburgischer Ulysses; oder Verlauf der Länder Reise, welche der Durchleuchtigste Fürst und Herr, Herr Christian Ernst Marggraf zu Brandenburg ... durch Teutschland, Frankreich, Italien und die Niderlande, auch nach den spanischen Frontieren hochlöblichst verrichtete: Aus denen mit Fleiss gehaltenen Reiss- Diariis zusammengetragen und beschrieben durch Sigmund v. Birken