The convent was suppressed by Duke Maurice in 1543, and was by him converted into a school (the Fiirsten Schule), one of the most renowned classical schools in Germany, which counts Lessing and Gellert among its former pupils.
Taking up the idea of a divine education of the human race, which Lessing and Herder had made so familiar to the modern mind, and firmly believing that to each of the leading nations of antiquity a special task had been providentially assigned, Ewald felt no difficulty about Israel's place in universal history, or about the problem which that race had been called upon to solve.
To him, therefore, Lessing addressed in 1778 his most elaborate answers - Eine Parabel, Axiomata, eleven letters with the title Anti-Goeze, and two pamphlets in reply to an inquiry by Goeze as to what Lessing meant by Christianity.
Goeze, and to which Lessing began an elaborate reply just before his death.
Under the impulse given by Lessing and Kant he turned to the original records of Christianity, and attempted to construe for himself the real significance of Christ.
Between Luther and Lessing there was no great writer of German prose.
Braun, Lessing im Urteile seiner Zeitgenossen (2 vols., 1884); P. Albrecht, Lessings Plagiate (6 vols., 1890 ff.); K.
Beyond this, he eloquently pleaded the cause of painting as a distinct art, which Lessing in his desire to mark off the formative arts from poetry and music had confounded with sculpture.
This notion was being generally ridiculed as untrue, when Lessing found in Mendelssohn the realization of his dream.
His friends there exerted themselves to obtain for him the office of keeper of the royal library, but Frederick had not forgotten Lessing's quarrel with Voltaire, and declined to consider his claims. During the two years which Lessing now spent in the Prussian capital, he was restless and unhappy, yet it was during this period that he published two of his greatest works, Laokoon, oder fiber die Grenzen der Malerei and Poesie (1766) and Minna von Barnhelm (1767).