Birthplace: Ipotesti, Moldavia
Location of death: Bucharest, Romania
Cause of death: Syphilis
Remains: Buried, Bellu Cemetery, Bucharest, Romania
Race or Ethnicity: White
Executive summary: The greatest Romanian poet
The greatest Romanian poet of the 19th century, born on the 20th of December in Ipateshti near Botoshani, in the north of Moldavia. He was of Turco-Tatar origin, and his surname was originally Emin; this was changed to Eminovich and finally to the Romanian form Eminescu. He was educated for a time in Czernowitz, and then entered the civil service. In 1864 he resumed his studies in Transylvania, but soon joined a roving theatrical company where he played in turn the roles of actor, prompter and stage manager. After a few years he went to Vienna, Jena and Berlin, where he attended lectures, especially on philosophy. In 1874 he was appointed school inspector and librarian at the university of Jassy, but was soon turned out through the change of government, and took charge, as editor in chief, of the Conservative paper Timpul (Times). In 1883 he had the first attack of the insanity hereditary in his family, and in 1889 he died in a private institution in Bucharest.
In 1870 his great poetical talent was revealed by two contributions to the Convorbiri literare, the organ of the Junimist party in Jassy; these were the poems "Venera si Madona" and "Epigonii." Other poems followed and soon established his claim to be the first among the modern poets of his country. He was thoroughly acquainted with the chronicles of the past, had a complete mastery of the Romanian language, and was a lover and admirer of Romanian popular poetry. Influenced by these studies and by the philosophy of Schopenhauer, he introduced a new spirit into Romanian poetry. Mystically inclined and himself of a melancholy disposition, he lived in the glory of the medieval Romanian past; stifled by the artificiality of the world around him, he rebelled against the conventionality of society and his surroundings. In inimitable language he denounced the vileness of the present and painted in glowing pictures the heroism of the past; he also surprised nature in its primitive beauty, and he gave expression to stirring emotions in lyrics couched in the language and metre of popular poetry. He further proved himself an unsurpassed master in satire. Over all his poetry hangs a cloud of sadness, the sense of coming doom. Simplicity of language, masterly handling of rhyme and verse, deep thought and plastic expression made Eminescu the creator of a school of poetry which dominated the thought of Romania and the expression of Romanian writers and poets at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th.
Father: Gheorghe Eminovici
Mother: Raluca Iurascu
Risk Factors: Syphilis, Bipolar Disorder
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