August Wilhelm Von, a German scholar, born in Hanover, Sept. 5, 1767, died in Bonn, May 12, 1845. He was a son of the poet and clergyman Johann Adolf Schlegel, and studied at Göttingen, at first theology and afterward philology under Heyne. He had successfully cultivated poetry from his earliest boyhood, which led to his friendship with Körner, and he is said to have been the first to compose German sonnets. After three years' residence at Amsterdam as private tutor, he settled in Jena, where he became professor, and joined his brother Friedrich in writing e33ays which opened the era of the romantic school of literature. Having separated from his wife, a daughter of Michaelis, he removed in 1802 to Berlin, where he lectured on literature and the fine arts. In 1805 he accompanied Mme. de Staël in her travels. In 1808 he delivered at Vienna his celebrated lectures on dramatic art, which reveal his immense admiration for Shakespeare. They were published in 3 vols. (Heidelberg, 1809-'ll), and several times translated into English. Visiting Stockholm in 1812, he became secretary to Berna-dotte, the future king of Sweden. In 1815, after the second occupation of Paris by the allies, he joined Mme. de Staël, and remained with her till her death in 1817. From 1819 to the end of his life he was professor of history at Bonn. His second marriage in 1819, with a daughter of Paulus of Heidelberg, resulted like the first in a separation.
His literary activity began at Jena, where he wrote for Schiller's Horen and other periodicals, edited in conjunction with his brother Friedrich the Athenäum, and began his translation of the plays of Shakespeare, of which he rendered 17, the rest being prepared by Dorothea Tieck, under the supervision of her father, and by Count Baudissin. In 1801 he published with his brother Charakteristiken und Kritiken (2 vols.), which was followed by his translations of Calderon's five principal plays (Spanisches Theater, 2 vols., 1803-'9), and of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese poetry (Blumensträusse der italienischen, spanischen und portugiesi-schen Poesie, 1804). At the suggestion of Mme. de Staël he published in French in 1807 Comparaison de la Phèdre d'Euripide avec celle de Racine, which attracted much attention and aroused much indignation in France. In his Poetische Werke (2 vols., 1811) are contained his best poems, and in his Kritische Schriften (2 vols., 1828) some of his most profound aesthetical disquisitions.
He was also remarkable as an oriental scholar, and as the first in Germany to master Sanskrit. His writings are comprised in his Sämmtliche Werke (12 vols., 1846-'7), Oeuvres écrites en français (3 vols., 1846), and Opuscula Latina (1848), the last including his translation of the Rama-yana and other contributions to Sanskrit literature.
12, 1829. He went to Leipsic to qualify himself for commerce, but soon entered the university of Göttingen, and completed his studies at Leipsic. In 1800 he established himself as Privatdocent of philosophy in Jena, and sub-' sequently lectured also in Paris. Having with his wife, a daughter of Moses Mendelssohn, joined the Catholic church, he went in 1808 to Vienna, and in the following year accompanied the archduke Charles on the battle field as a secretary, issuing patriotic proclamations against Napoleon. Subsequently he was secretary of the Austrian embassy at Frankfort till 1818, when he returned to Vienna and resumed his lectures there, and in 1828-'9 lectured in Dresden. He shared with his brother and Tieck in the leadership of the romantic school, and was especially remarkable as a critic and thinker of great originality. His principal works are: Griechen und Römer (1797); Geschichte der Poesie der Griechen und Römer (1798); Lucinde (1799), a novel of which only one volume was published on account of its voluptuous character; Alarcos, a tragedy (1802); Ueber die Sprache und Weis-heit der Inder (1808); Vorlesungen über die neuere Geschichte (1811); Geschichte der alten und neuen Literatur (2 vols., 1815); Philosophic der Geschichte (2 vols., 1829); and Phi-losophie der Sprache (1830). His works were collected in 15 vols. (1822-'46). He also published several works written by his wife.
His "Lectures on Modern History," "Philosophy of History," "Philosophy of Life and Philosophy of Language," and other works, have been translated into English.