Portrait: Friedrich Nietzsche, a philosopher, cultural critic, composer, poet, philologist, and Latin and Greek scholar

22 January 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

in 1882 by Gustav Adolf Schultze

in 1882 by Gustav Adolf Schultze

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a German philosopher, cultural critic, composer, poet, philologist, and Latin and Greek scholar whose work has exerted a profound influence on modern intellectual history. He began his career as a classical philologist before turning to philosophy. He became the youngest ever to hold the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel in 1869 at the age of 24. Nietzsche resigned in 1879 due to health problems that plagued him most of his life; he completed much of his core writing in the following decade. In 1889, at age 44, he suffered a collapse and afterward a complete loss of his mental faculties. He lived his remaining years in the care of his mother until her death in 1897 and then with his sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche. Nietzsche died in 1900.   read more…

Portrait: Architect, city planner, painter, furniture and stage designer Karl Friedrich Schinkel

25 December 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Berlin, Portrait

Schinkel in 1836 © Carl Joseph Begas

Schinkel in 1836 © Carl Joseph Begas

Karl Friedrich Schinkel was a Prussian architect, city planner, and painter who also designed furniture and stage sets. Schinkel was one of the most prominent architects of Germany and designed both neoclassical and neogothic buildings. His most famous buildings are found in and around Berlin.   read more…

The Preussen

1 September 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Tall ships, Hamburg, Yacht of the Month

Deutsches Museum in München - Fünfmast-Vollschiff Preußen Modell © Mattes

Deutsches Museum in München – Fünfmast-Vollschiff Preußen Modell © Mattes

Preußen (usually Preussen in English) was a German steel-hulled five-masted ship-rigged windjammer built in 1902 for the F. Laeisz shipping company and named after the German state and kingdom of Prussia. It was the world’s only ship of this class with five masts carrying six square sails on each mast. Until the 2000 launch of the Royal Clipper, a sail cruise liner, she was the only five-masted full-rigged ship ever built. Her homeport was Hamburg.   read more…

Portrait: Carl von Clausewitz, Prussian general and military theorist

26 July 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Carl von Clausewitz by Karl Wilhelm Wach

Carl von Clausewitz by Karl Wilhelm Wach

Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz was a Prussian general and military theorist who stressed the “moral” (psychological) and political aspects of war. His most notable work, Vom Kriege (On War), was unfinished at his death. Clausewitz was a realist in many different senses and, while in some respects a romantic, also drew heavily on the rationalist ideas of the European Enlightenment. Clausewitz’s thinking is often described as Hegelian because of his dialectical method; but, although he was probably personally acquainted with Hegel, there remains debate as to whether or not Clausewitz was in fact influenced by him. He stressed the dialectical interaction of diverse factors, noting how unexpected developments unfolding under the “fog of war” (i.e., in the face of incomplete, dubious, and often completely erroneous information and high levels of fear, doubt, and excitement) call for rapid decisions by alert commanders. He saw history as a vital check on erudite abstractions that did not accord with experience. In contrast to the early work of Antoine-Henri Jomini, he argued that war could not be quantified or reduced to mapwork, geometry, and graphs. Clausewitz had many aphorisms, of which the most famous is “War is the continuation of politics by other means.  read more…

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