Hermann Daniel Hermes

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Hermann Daniel Hermes (24 January 1734 – 12 November 1807) was a Prussian protestant theologian.[1][2] Towards the end of his life he became caught up in the campaign for a return to religious orthodoxy pursued by the Rosicrucian politician Johann Christoph von Wöllner, being employed as an "inquisitor" in 1794 in Halle,[3] and elsewhere.


Hermann Daniel Hermes was born in Petznick, a village near Stargard in Western Pomerania. His father was a Protestant pastor. His mother, Lukrezia, was the daughter of another Protestant pastor, Heinrich Becker from Rostock.[4] His siblings included the successful popular novelist Johann Timotheus Hermes.[1]

After attending school in Wernigerode, in 1750 he commenced a study period at Halle University after which he took a teaching post at the Realschule (school) recently set up in Berlin by Julius Hecker. In 1756 he moved on to a position as a (Protestant) minister at Dierberg near Ruppin, north of Berlin. A succession of church promotions followed. At this stage, there was no sign of the obsessive hostility to new thinking which would become a defining feature of his work after he came under the influence of Wöllner.[1] Eventually, he became senior minister at St. Mary Magdalene in Breslau. He was later identified as a "Prussian inquisitor" and was removed from office without formal explanation.

Much of his later career awaits further modern research, although his prominent role in the anti-enlightenment fundamentalist government mandated "crusading" of the 1790s has recently formed the basis for an historically based novel (in Polish) by the Breslau/Wrocław writer Henryk Waniek.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Adolf Schimmelpfennig (1880). "Hermes: Hermann Daniel H., Oberconsistorialrath in Berlin, war der Sohn eines Geistlichen und 1734 am 24. Januar in Petznik bei Stargard geb..." Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig & Wikisource. pp. 196–197. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  2. ^ * Henryk Waniek: Der Fall Hermes, Kraków 2007, ISBN 978-83-08-04090-4
  3. ^ Christopher Clark (6 September 2007). Chapter 8: Dare to Know .... Counter-enlightnement?. Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947. ISBN 978-0140293340.
  4. ^ Erich Beyreuther (1969). "Hermes, Johann Timotheus". Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB). Duncker & Humblot, Berlin. p. 669 f. ISBN 3-428-00189-3.
  5. ^ Patryk Balawender (5 August 2009). Recenzja książki "Sprawa Hermesa". Hermes w Górach Śląskich, Wrocław 1994, wyd. 2, Wrocław 1996 (in Polish). Gildia Internet Services Sp z o.o., Warszawa. ISBN 978-83-08-04090-4. Retrieved 14 September 2015.