Photos: Person in photo(3)
|Summary||Gustav von Bergmann (1749-1814) - a Baltic German pastor, writer, translator, historian, doctor without license, bibliophile, who was interested in nature, space, agriculture and many other fields. He represents the movement of "moderate" Enlightenment. Rationalist. Collector of Latvian folk songs, publisher of the first Latvian folk song editions.|
|Personal information||Father – Balthasar Bergmann (1672-1751) – pastor in Ādaži (in German: Neuermühlen) parish, wrote catechism while working in Skujene (in German: Schujen). |
Mother – Anna Elizabeth (1712-1784) was a granddaughter of the poet and linguist L. Depkin.
There were 12 children in the family, several of whom left traces in the development of Latvian culture: Balthasar Bergmann (1736-1789) – lawyer, counselor, writer, freemason; Ambrosius Bergmann (1740-1784) – physician; Liborius Bergmann (1754-1823) Lutheran pastor, historian, writer, mason. Gustav Bergmann was the 8th child and since the family paid serious attention to the education of children, they were taught by private tutors from a very young age. This experience later made Gustav Bergmann express critical remarks on punishment as a motivator for learning.
After studying in Germany, Gustav Bergmann returned to Livonia and, following family traditions, joined the Masonic lodge in Riga where he met J.Ch.Brotze, who later wrote a paper on the history of Livonia.
In his youth, G. Bergmann enjoyed hunting so much that used to take a shotgun even when visiting the dying people for last sacrament.
August 12, 1771: G. Bergmann married Beata Elisabeth Meder (1753- 1827), the daughter of the former Āraiši (in German: Arrasch) pastor. They had 10 children, the most famous of whom were: Benjamin Fürchtegott Balthasar von Bergmann (1772-1856) – Lutheran pastor, ethnographer, historian, linguist; Hermann Johann Jacob Bergmann (1780-1856) – Lutheran pastor; Heinrich Eberchard Bergmann – officer in the army of Russian Empire.
1787: appointed to the nobility
1812: rapid deterioration of health: chronic diseases of kidneys, asthma, gradual loss of memory, which led to retirement from pastor's duties at the end of 1813
1814: died after a long illness
1771: passed the exams and was ordinated for pastor
1807: assesor to the Oberconsistorium of Vidzeme Lutheran church.
Paid great attention to the issues related to peasant education.
1772: wrote and published his first book in Latvian "Lessons for Christianity" (in Latvian: Kristīga ticības mācība). It became so popular that it was republished 3 times (1786, 1787, 1803).
1776: "Geschichte von Livland: nach Bossuetischer Art entworfen". Inspired by J.Ch. Brotze.
1777: "Sacred stories from the scenes of the times of Old and New Testament (in Latvian: Svēti stāsti no tiem notikumiem vecās un jaunās derības laikos) that was based on the example of "Little Bible" by G.F.Stender. The book consists of 46 stories with a didactic comment at the end of each. Reprinted in 1786 and 1794
1785: "Sammlung Livlandischer Provinzialworter"
1789: Collection of Paternosters.
1791-1880: continued the work of pastor Chr. Harder, edited and published the "Vidzeme Calendar (In Latvian: Vidzemes kalendārs)
1795: "Lessons to be received on Sundays, Festivities and Sacral times" (in Latvian: Saņemamas sprediķu mācības uz visām svētdienām, svētkiem un svētiem laikiem)
Many occasional publications, e.g., poems for anniversaries of nobles and family members, wall calendars, etc.
Publications in Folklore
One of the sources of folk song corpus, which were sent to J.G. Herder in the 1770ies.
1807: compiled and published the first Latvian folk song collection "Erste Sammlung lettischer Sinngedichte" with 238 texts of folk songs, folk romances and popular songs (ziņģes)
1808: compiled and published the second Latvian folk song collection "Zweite Sammlung lettischer Sinn-oder Stegreifs Gedichte" with 248 texts of folk songs, folk romances and popular songs (ziņģes) and 3 riddles
1808: published the collection of the Palsmane priest F.D. Wahr "Palsmane Folk Songs" (in Latvian: Palcmariešu dziesmu krājums) with 413 folk songs
1787: "Latvian hymnal" (in Latvian: Latviska dziesmu grāmata). Together with other Livonian priests prepared 29th edition of the Vidzemes' Lutheran hymnal
1791: "Book of good knowledge and advice for Vidzeme people" (In Latvian: Labu ziņu un padomu grāmata, vidzemniekiem par labu taisīta)
1794: 3rd translation of the Bible. Prepared in collaboration with several priests. Wrote a preface and edited more than 1000 pages
1809: "Christian songs to be sang in the Vidzemes' churches and homes" (In Latvian: Kristīgas dziesmas, Vidzemes baznīcās un mājās dziedamas) prepared by collective of authors. G. Bergmann edited 88 songs of G.F. Stender, translated 15 from German and composed 6
Reprinted several important works in literature and history, e.g. "History of Livonia" by Dionisius Fabricius, poem "Henriade" by Voltaire, a.o.
Fragments for Latvian grammar, where he tried to create new terminology in the field of grammar.
1776: "Von den lebensart un Leibeigenshaft der heutigen Läten". Ethnographic description, illustrates the views of G. Bergmann in his youth.
1796: "Die Letten vorzüglich in Lieflan, am Ende des philosophischen Jahrhunderts." Written as a reply to the book of Garlib Merkel. There is a note on manuscript "Not for publishing".
1797: "Kurze Würdigung der Merkelschen Schrift" thoughts on lifting the serfdom and on G. Merkels' ideas.
1805: "Book of Rhymes" (in Latvian: Atskaņu grāmata), which reflects on the search for rhymes for the translations of new songs.
1806: Dictionaries: Latvian–German in 1 volume; German-Latvian in 2 volumes. These dictionaries later were used in dictionary of K.K. Ulmann in 1872.
1809: "Sammlung Lettischer sinn-oder-stegreifs gedichte, wörtlich übersetzt von dem sammler, Gustav Bergmann, für Herrn Robert Jamieson". Translations of Latvian folk songs with comments and explanations.
Social activitiesHaving no doctor's licence, he helped as a medic to the people of his parish. He vaccinated more than 8000 children against pox using the adapted method. (I.e. vaccine against the pox is diluted with water 1:1. This approach decreased death rate among vaccinated population.) After examination the Russian Medicine Collegium suggested to use this method for doctors.
He used to prepare essences on the bases of alcohol and herbs to cure different diseases.
Honours and awards1787: G. Bergmann was appointed to nobility
1802: was awarded golden medal by Alexander I in gratitude for vaccination against the pox
1806: elected honoured member of the Moscow Society of Devotees of Natural Science
|Quotations||Childhood memories |
"Now, when I write this approximately 20 years later, I still nightdream that I am dragged out of my bed, beaten, pulled by hair, because used feminine form instead of masculine of mixed Nominative with Accusative. [..] My childhood was depressive, because I spent so much time in the arms of these teachers that I lost all senses of sincerity."
Memories of G. Bergmann. Quoted from Bergmann E. Von unseren Vorfahren. Berlin, 1896, p. 141.
View on lifting the serfdom as expressed by G. Bergmann's literary characters:
Prāve Krišs: "Not earlier than when people adopt a wiser life style, give up alcohol, drinking and laziness, will we see the freedom in this land."
Ārgalvju Mačs replies: "If we receive this freedom, then starvation, poverty, burglary, murders and insecure life are to be expected."
Bergmann G. Labu ziņu un padomu grāmata. Rūjiena, 1791.
Brother Ambrosius, replying on Gustavs' composed poem, 1777:
"Rhymes are great, however I can't understand a single word. Thoughts are moving here and there. A turkey also could compose a poem if he wouldn't have thoughts."
Švābe A. Kāda mācītāja dzīve. Stokholma, 1958., 16. lpp.
Priest of Piebalga (in German: Pebalg) Chr. Girgenson on the preparation of the song book that they created together, he edited texts prepared by G. Bergmann:
"In some of them I had to change each line. I'm very strict in my feedback, however he [G. Bergmann] would say that I'm doing this in order not to allow appear any other song except mine. I let him judge me on the same level of severity!... Sometimes he is correct in his comments; although often they are contradicting not only mine, but also the thoughts of Harders' that are decisive in this case. Often reading his remarks I'm wondering: where was he looking? "
Švābe A. Kāda mācītāja dzīve. Stokholma, 1958., 61. lpp.
G. Bergmann replying to the highest nobility prohibition for him to buy the manor of Ķirbeļi, use the carriage and call his daughters fraulains:
What are superiors doing,
They' re working without understanding,
They eat and bite my people here
As mouthfulls of the bread.
Themselves they come from profligates
That change the words of God
They're using sacred words in speech
To cover imposition...
[Ko dara daži priekšnieki,
Tie nestrādā ar ziņu,
Tie manus ļaudis ēd un rij
Kā maizes kumosiņu.
Tie paši ir no netikļiem,
Kas Dieva vārdus groza –
Ar savu vārdu svētumu
Tie apklāj blēdību...]
Rūja V. Dainas ir šīs tautas domāšanas un jušanas veids. Pirmajam mūsu tautasdziesmu izdevējam Gustavam Bergmanim – 250. Latvijas Vēstnesis Nr. 116-118, 16.04.1999.
|Links||Liborijs Bergmanis (1754–1823) - Brother|
Benjamins Firhtegots Baltazārs Bergmanis (1772–1856) - Son
Bukulti, Garkalnes pagasts, Ropažu novads
|Education||1763 – 1767|
Veimāras klasiskā ģimnāzija
Weimar, Thuringia, Germany
10.10.1767 – 10.03.1770
University of Leipzig
Ritterstraße 26, Leipzig
Ritterstraße 26, Leipzig, Saxony, Germany
Studied theology in the University of Leipzig. Rector J.H. Winkler, the professor of the philosophy and physics initiates the interest for natural sciences. The view of G. Bergmann is influenced by theologist and latinist. J.A. Ernesti that to the contrary of the dominating dogmatism as regards the Holy Scriptures and allegoric translation expressed the idea that they should be explained by using the philologically-historic method, thus supporting the rationalism approach.
G. Bergmann in the meetings of his family used to tell the stories on his studies time that he won the eminent poet J.V.Goethe in the duel by injuring him in the arm. Duel was initiated by the phrase of J.V Goethe: "There's smell of the freshmen!" to what G. Bergmann replied with a spit.
|Working place||1770 – 1771|
Krimuldas pagasts, Siguldas novads
The year of the candidat. G. Bergmann preached in Latvian at the Pelchavs', his brother-in-law, in parish of Krimulda.
00.06.1771 – 1780
Āraišu Evaņģēliski luteriskā baznīca
"Āraišu baznīca", Drabešu pagasts, Cēsu novads, LV-4101
The memories of G. Bergmann shows that he enjoyed peacefull, easy going, idillic life-style. He built a small hut on the island of Āraiši lake, where he spent a lot of time reading his favorite book "Robinson Crusoe" by D. Defo. G. Bergmann tried to imitate the lonely and primitive life style described in the book. On the basis of this work he made his conclusions on cultural level of the Baltic tribes in the 12th century. Illustration of the island by G. Bergmann is included in his later work "Geschicthe von Livland".
Serving at Āraiši [in German: Arrasch] G. Bergmann learned Latvian language. His sources were the works of Christoph Fürecker, Georg Mancel, as well translation of the Bible by Ernst Glück.
Already in this period he opposed the mysticism and pietism of the hernhunt.
1780 – 1785
Mazsalacas Sv. Annas evaņģēliski luteriskā draudze
Mazsalacas Sv. Annas luterāņu baznīca
Baznīcas iela 24, Mazsalaca, Valmieras novads, LV-4215
Around 1782 he established the printing facilities that later were moved to Rujiena.
Around 1787 the views of G. Bergmann on lifting the serfdom slightly changes to opposition. This is also the time, when he recieved the title of landlord and strengthened his contacts with conservative local nobility – family Zivers. He organized also a "reading society" thus sharing books of foreign authors with local nobility.
Actively acted agains paganism not only in his sermons, but also in works. In the topographic description of Mazsalaca (in German: Salisburg) he wrote: "They build a fence around the old tree or ruins and donate there for Earth mother (Zemes māte) usually in Jurģi sacrifysing milk, butter, chicken, sometimes also black rooster. These donation places are considered holy. If somebody strides the fence, plows the soil, breaks off the branch or even cuts the tree there, it's believed that the misfortune will follow: the person will accidently die, will become blind or dumb." He had spoken with his parish people on this topic in several sermons. Once after a man came to him and told that his ancestors entrusted him to take care of such place. After the sermons this peasant stopped the donations. However, his wife and community insist that the donations should be continued in order to protect household from the misfortune. Bergmann visited the site together with the peasant, teared down the fence. Ignoring the threats of people he entered the holy yard, took a look at the stone for sacrifices and started to cut the holy tree, later he burnt it. Having seen that priest stayed unharmed people had left the site ashamed.
1785 – 00.12.1813
Rūjienas Sv. Bērtuļa evaņģēliski luteriskā draudze
Rūjienas Svētā Bērtuļa evaņģēliski luteriskā baznīca
Rīgas iela 32, Rūjiena, Valmieras novads, LV-4240
G. Bergmann and his family moves to Rujiena due to the financial reasons. He had big family, children had to be sent for studies and it requested huge financial resources. In order to acquire additional money, G. Bergmann also tried to speculate with the real estate. However, he did not succeed, because his status did not correspond to the status of matriculated landlord.
During the period in Rujien G. Bergmann continued his literary activities and work as the publisher. First printed work there is a german almanach for 1786, where the author substituted many of catolic memorial days with the events and persons (writers, scientists, a.o.) related to more recent time.
Priests library on 1788 hold 827 volumes, including 63 greek and 231 latin classical authors, 142 grammar books and dictionaries, and collection of rare bibles, 32 incunabula, a.o.
Along the duties of priest he participated in different activities in Oberconsistorium, for example, preparation of the new song book.
1812: Oberconsistorium grants a permission to retire due to the health issues.
|Participation in organisations||1771|
Daniela Bāka nams
Vaļņu iela 23, Rīga, LV-1050
There is a view that G. Bergmann was one of the authors for idea to found the "Latvian Society" (Latviešu biedrība).
|Place/time of death||12.07.1814|
Rīgas iela 34, Rūjiena, Valmieras novads, LV-4240
There is a commemorative place devoted to the Bergmann family in the place of the collapsed Rujiena clergy house.
Rūjienas Sv. Bērtuļa evaņģēliski luteriskā draudze
Ternejas iela, Rūjiena, Valmieras novads
|#||Location||Date||Type||Type of place|
(Bukulti, Garkalnes pagasts, Ropažu novads)
|08.04.1749||Birth time/place||Building, house|
(Rīgas iela 34, Rūjiena, Valmieras novads, LV-4240)
|12.07.1814||Place/time of death||Manor house|
(Ternejas iela, Rūjiena, Valmieras novads)
(Weimar, Thuringia, Germany)
|1763 - 1767||Education||City|
|5||Ritterstraße 26, Leipzig|
(Ritterstraße 26, Leipzig, Saxony, Germany)
|10.10.1767 - 10.03.1770||Education||Building, house|
|6||Āraišu Evaņģēliski luteriskā baznīca|
("Āraišu baznīca", Drabešu pagasts, Cēsu novads, LV-4101)
|01.06.1771 - 1780||Working place||Church|
|7||Mazsalacas Sv. Annas luterāņu baznīca|
(Baznīcas iela 24, Mazsalaca, Valmieras novads, LV-4215)
|1780 - 1785||Working place||Church|
|8||Krimuldas pagasts |
(Krimuldas pagasts, Siguldas novads)
|1770 - 1771||Working place||Parish|
|9||Rūjienas Svētā Bērtuļa evaņģēliski luteriskā baznīca|
(Rīgas iela 32, Rūjiena, Valmieras novads, LV-4240)
|1785 - 01.12.1813||Working place||Church|
|10||Daniela Bāka nams|
(Vaļņu iela 23, Rīga, LV-1050)
|1771||Participation in organisations||Building, house|