Sigmund von Birken



Born: May 5, 1626, Wild­stein (near Eg­er), Bo­he­mia (now Skal­ná, Kar­lo­vy Va­ry, Czech­ia).

Died: June 12, 1681, Nur­em­berg, Ger­ma­ny.

Buried: Jo­han­nis­fried­hof, Nur­em­berg, Ger­ma­ny.


Sigismund was the son of son of Da­ni­el Be­tu­li­us (or Birk­en), pas­tor of Wild­stein.

In 1629, his fa­ther and oth­er ev­an­ge­li­cal pas­tors fled Bo­he­mia, and went to Nur­em­berg. Af­ter at­tend­ing the Egi­di­en-Gym­na­si­um at Nur­em­berg, Sig­is­mund en­tered the Uni­ver­si­ty of Je­na in 1643, where he stu­died law and theo­lo­gy, the lat­ter at his fa­ther’s dy­ing re­quest.

Before fin­ish­ing ei­ther course of stu­dy, he re­turned to Nur­em­berg in 1645, and due to his po­et­ical gifts was ad­mit­ted to the Peg­nitz Shep­herd and Flow­er Or­der.

At the close of 1645, he was ap­point­ed tu­tor at Wolf­en­büt­tel to the Prin­cess of Bruns­wick-Lü­ne­burg, but af­ter a year (dur­ing which he was crowned as a po­et), he re­signed the post.

After a tour when he was ad­mit­ted by Phi­lipp von Ze­sen as a mem­ber of the Ger­man So­cie­ty (or Pa­tri­ot­ic Un­ion), he re­turned to Nur­em­berg in 1648, and worked as a pri­vate tu­tor.

In 1654, Em­per­or Fer­din­and III eno­bled him, on ac­count of his po­et­ic gifts. In 1658, he joined the Fruit­bear­ing So­cie­ty, and on the death of Hars­dörf­fer in 1662, be­came Chief Shep­herd of the Peg­nitz Or­der.