[Index of Biographies]

Georg Friedrich Rogall (1701-1733)

[This is a draft of an article in The Dictionary of Eighteenth Century German Philosophers, 3 vols., edited by Manfred Kuehn and Heiner Klemme (London/New York: Continuum, 2010).]

Georg Friedrich Rogall was born (19 Apr 1701) in Königsberg, the son of a merchant, and also died there (6 Apr 1733), just thirty-two years later.  During this brief life he vigorously promoted Pietism [glossary] in Königsberg, introduced various pedagogical reforms, and edited a popular hymnal.

Rogall attended the Altstadt gymnasium before entering the university in Königsberg as a theology student (matriculating 28 September 1717), and then transferred to Frankfurt/Oder, and again to Halle in 1722, where he studied philosophy, natural science, and mathematics under Christian Wolff [bio].  Not long after his arrival in Halle, however, he met up with August Hermann Francke [bio], who soon converted him to Pietism.  Rogall resumed his studies in theology and began teaching at Francke’s famous orphanage.  After receiving his magister at Halle (18 January 1723), he returned to Königsberg in June of 1724 where he received a doctorate in theology the following year (20 August 1725).  With Francke’s help and by order of the Pietist king, Friedrich Wilhelm I, a new full professorship of philosophy (without specification of area) was created at the university in Königsberg that same year and given to Rogall.  He was also made an associate professor in theology against the objections of the dean of the theology faculty, Johann Jakob Quandt [bio].

In 1727 Rogall was made inspector of the Collegium Fridericianum (the model Pietist Latin school in Königsberg), in 1728 he became adjunct director, and in April of 1729 he assumed the directorship from the more liberal Heinrich Lysius [bio], with instructions from the King to pattern the school after Franke’s orphanage at Halle.  Rogall was still director in 1732 when an eight-year old Immanuel Kant enrolled, in part because his parent’s were encouraged by Rogall’s worship services at the school.  In 1731 he was promoted to full professor of theology, at which time he relinquished his professorship in philosophy, and 1732 he was promoted to the third full professorship, assumed the pastorate of the Cathedral church, and also became inspector of that church’s associated secondary school.

Rogall married Rebekka Hoffmann, the daughter of Pietist merchant Daniel Hoffmann in 1731; Abraham Wolf [bio], the Pietist full professor of theology, had already married a sister of Hoffmann’s in 1727.  Daniel Arnoldt [bio], a theology professor at Königsberg, would later marry Rogall’s daughter, Marie Julianne Rogal (1717-36), a few months after his early death.

One of Rogall’s first actions in Königsberg was to push successfully for the university expulsion in 1725 of Christian Gabriel Fischer [bio], one of the philosophy faculty’s most outspoken advocates of Christian Wolff’s philosophy — although it should be noted that Rogall was at this same time teaching logic (SS 1726) and metaphysics (WS 1726/27 and SS 1727) using Wolff.  Once he became the director of the Collegium Fridericianium, Rogall managed to bring the gifted Daniel Salthenius [bio] to Königsberg in 1729 to replace him as its inspector.  Together they developed free schools for the underprivileged and made them more effective by using the grade-system developed in Halle, where students were taught at their own level in each particular subject.  In 1731 he published a hymnal that soon won a wide following and enjoyed many editions.


Kern alter und neuer Lieder: für das Königreich Preussen mit einem erwecklichen Spruche über einem jeden Liede und mit erbaulichen Gebeten, auch nöthigen Registern (Königsberg, 1731).

Brüderliche Erweckung an einige angehende Lehrer im Königreiche Preußen (Königsberg, 1731).

Dissertatio critico-exegetica de auctoritate et antiquitate interpunctionis in Novo Testamento (Königsberg, 1734).

Further Reading

ADB, vol. 29, p. 45 (Julius August Wagenmann).

APB, vol. 2, p. 566 (Fritz Gause).

Arnoldt, Daniel Heinrich, Ausführliche und mit Urkunden versehene Historie der Königsbergischen Universität (Königsberg, 1746), vol. 1, p. 171; vol. 2, pp. 139, 186, 218, 414.

 — Zusätze zu seiner Historie der Königsbergischen Universität (Königsberg, 1756), p. 35.

 — Fortgesetzte Zusätze zu seiner Historie der Königsbergischen Universität (Königsberg, 1769), p. 12.

DBE, vol. 8, p. 365.

Gause, Fritz, Die Geschichte der Stadt Königsberg in Preussen, 2nd enlarged ed., 3 vols. (Köln, 1996), vol. 2, pp. 118-20, 151.

Jöcher (Leipzig, 1751), vol. 3, cols. 2178-79.

Klemme, Heiner F., Die Schule Immanuel Kants. Mit dem Text von Friedrich Schiffert über das Königsberger Collegium Fridericianum, 1741 (Hamburg, 1994), pp. 20-21.

Pisanski, Georg Christoph, Entwurf einer preussischen Literargeschichte in vier Buchern: mit einer Notiz uber den Autor und sein Buch, ed. by Rudolf Philippi (Königsberg, 1886), pp. 571, 574, 586, 597, 640. Orig. publ.: Königsberg, 1790.

Riedesel, Erich, Pietismus und Orthodoxie in Ostpreußen. Auf Grund des Briefwechsels G. F. Rogalls und F. A. Schultz’ mit den Halleschen Pietisten (Königsberg and Berlin, 1937).

Wotschke, Theodor, Georg Friedrich Rogalls Lebensarbeit nach seinen Briefen (Königsberg, 1928).

 — Der Pietismus in Königsberg nach Rogalls Tode in Briefen (Leipzig, 1929-30).

Zippel, Gustav, Geschichte des Königliche Friedrichskollegiums 1698-1898 (Königsberg, 1898), pp. 71-8.

[Index of Biographies]