Insofern aber die Sprache, indem sie bezeichnet, eigentlich schafft, dem unbestimmten Denken ein Gepräge verleiht, dringt der Geist , durch das Wirken mehrerer unterstützt, auch auf neuen Wegen in das Wesen der Dinge selbst ein. August and Ottilie had three children: Walther, Freiherr von Goethe — , Wolfgang, Freiherr von Goethe [ de ] — and Alma von Goethe [ de ] — Mignon Schubert songs Mignon desires her fatherland painting " None but the Lonely Heart " Tchaikovsky song Mignon opera Mignon film Mignon film The Wrong Move film.
2. Examining Humboldt’s Writings: Contours, Scope, and
Elective Affinities The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily The Sorrows of Young Werther Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship Wilhelm Meister's Journeyman Years. Putnum's Sons. Physics Today. Secord, and Emma C. This reaction suggests, Schiller thinks, that our enjoyment of nature is not aesthetic but moral.
Friedrich Schiller era hijo del oficial Johann Caspar Schiller y de Elisabeth Dorothea Schiller, originaria de Kodweiß. Debido a que el padre obtuvo una plaza de oficial de reclutamiento, la familia se asentó en en Lorch, no lejos de Marbach y poco después del nacimiento de su hermana Luise se trasladaron a ottavianelli.eu mismo año, el joven Schiller comenzó la escuela.
10.09.2021 · By David Gosselin Friedrich Schiller and Johan Wolfgang Goethe stand out as two of the greatest poets in history. Both are celebrated as the fathers of German classicism, which they helped usher in with their scholarly collaborators, including the philosopher Johann Gottfried von Herder and the classical philologist Wilhelm von Humboldt.
Beyond the Lines: “Longing” in Schiller and Goethe ...
10.09.2021 · By David Gosselin Friedrich Schiller and Johan Wolfgang Goethe stand out as two of the greatest poets in history. Both are celebrated as the fathers of German classicism, which they helped usher in with their scholarly collaborators, including the philosopher Johann Gottfried von Herder and the classical philologist Wilhelm von Humboldt.
In , Humboldt was admitted to the famous group of intellectuals and cultural leaders of Weimar ottavianelli.eu and Schiller were the key figures at the time. Humboldt contributed (7 June ) to Schiller's new periodical, Die Horen, a philosophical allegory entitled Die Lebenskraft, oder der rhodische Genius (The Life Force, or the Rhodian Genius).
Gibt ihm der Schulunterricht, was hierzu erforderlich ist, so erwirbt er die besondere Fähigkeit seines Berufs nachher sehr leicht und behält immer die Freiheit, wie im Leben so oft geschieht, von einem zum andern überzugehen. Er hat neben sich entstehen sehen und mächtig gefördert eine neue allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, ein Zurückführen des Mannigfaltigen im Sprachbau auf Typen, die in geistigen Anlagen der Menschheit gegründet sind: Den ganzen Erdkreis in dieser Mannigfaltigkeit umfassend, jede Sprache in ihrer Struktur ergründend, als wäre sie der einzige Gegenstand seiner Forschungen gewesen, Insofern aber die Sprache, indem sie bezeichnet, eigentlich schafft, dem unbestimmten Denken ein Gepräge verleiht, dringt der Geist , durch das Wirken mehrerer unterstützt, auch auf neuen Wegen in das Wesen der Dinge selbst ein.
Andre graben sich gleichsam mühseliger in den Gedanken ein, glauben nie genug in den Ausdruck legen zu können, ihn anpassend zu machen, und vernachlässigen darüber das in sich Vollendete der Form. Die Sprachen beider tragen dann das Gepräge davon an sich. En ambos lenguajes quedan las marcas de esto. Denn das Verstehen ist kein Zusammentreffen der Vorstellungsweisen in einem unteilbaren Punkt, sondern ein Zusammentreffen von Gedankensphären, von welchen der allgemeine Teil sich deckt, der individuelle überragt.
Dadurch wird das geistige Fortschreiten des Menschengeschlechts möglich, indem jede gewonnene Erweiterung des Denkens in den Besitz anderer übergehen kann, ohne in ihnen der Freiheit Fesseln anzulegen, welche zur Aneignung und zu neuer Erweiterung notwendig ist. Encyclopaedia Britannica OCLC ISSN Eusko Ikaskuntza, Vistas Leer Editar Ver historial. Wikimedia Commons Wikiquote Wikisource. Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Karl Ferdinand von Humboldt. Yet in the short period from to he was able to institute a radical reform of the entire Prussian educational system from elementary and secondary school to the University which was based on the principle of free and universal education.
Predictably, Humboldt soon ran into difficulties with the established landed aristocracy in Prussia when he insisted that the University be endowed with landed property in order to insure its independence from the state and the changing winds of politics. After quarreling with his superiors he was asked to resign his post and in was sent to Vienna as ambassador where, however, he soon became instrumental in convincing Austria to join the Grand Coalition of the European powers against Napoleon.
But during the initial diplomatic lull in Vienna he still found time for his linguistic studies. In he produced his first extensive philosophical and methodological statement, the Essai sur les langues du Nouveau Continent Essay on the languages of the New Continent that was to introduce his study of the Indian grammars of the Americas GS Vol 3: — During the negotiations for the first and second Paris peace treaty and subsequently at the Congress of Vienna he was successful in defending Jewish rights but failed in his attempt to secure a liberal constitution for the German Confederation Deutscher Bund to be based on a statute of fundamental principles Grundgesetz that would have guaranteed the rights of all citizen.
He returned to Berlin to the ministry of the Interior to head a committee to draft a new Prussian constitution in But his carefully designed comprehensive plan for introducing a liberal constitution GS Vol 2: — that would have transformed Prussia into a genuine constitutional monarchy did not have a chance to be adopted. When Humboldt strongly resisted the repressive measures taken by the royal government in the wake of the Karlsbad decrees and in the ensuing assault on civil liberties, King Friedrich Wilhelm III on New Years Eve of summarily dismissed him from all his duties.
His dismissal marked not only the end of his political career but the de facto elimination in Prussia of the chances for the development of a true civil society, the creation of democratic institutions and thus for the middle classes to participate actively in the political life of the country. Aside from a prolonged visit to Paris and London in , Humboldt spent the rest of his life at the family estate in Tegel which he had renowned architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel remodel in classicist style.
There he concentrated his energy on his scholarly and linguistic work. Therefore it seemed obvious to Humboldt that a categorical separation between philosophy of language and empirical linguistics as it developed during the nineteenth century and still exists today, was unacceptable. His wide-ranging and ambitious empirical investigations into the cosmos of human languages covered practically the entire globe. Alexander von Humboldt said about his brother that it had been granted to him.
Humboldt viii. Du Ponceau and John Pickering in Philadelphia and Boston in the United States. He managed, with the help of his brother Alexander initially, to acquire what was probably the largest collection of linguistic materials in Europe for his time. There was in effect no language group on the globe that did not attract his attention.
Among the European and Indo-European languages Humboldt knew and studied classical Greek and Latin, Sanskrit, all of the Romance languages, English, Basque, Old Icelandic, Lithuanian, Polish, Slovenian, Serbo-Croatian, Armenian but also Hungarian. He was familiar with Hebrew, Arabic and Coptic of which he wrote a grammar.
From among the Asian languages he studied Chinese, Japanese, Siamese and Tamil. These form what we call today the Austronesian language group whose existence Humboldt was the first to demonstrate conclusively. Among the papers in his remains we find studies, notes, analyses, observations and materials relating to well over two hundred languages.
In his private and public life he mastered and used besides his native German French, English, Italian and Spanish. These and his other presentations formed part of the published proceedings of the Berlin Academy. The piece occupies a special place in the development of the hermeneutics of the human sciences.
Buschmann also edited and published the remaining two volumes in and About this work the American linguist Bloomfield wrote:. Bloomfield These, however, were not published until the twentieth century. Among these groundbreaking works of which no English translations yet exist must be counted the Grundzüge des allgemeinen Sprachtypus Fundamentals of the Linguistic Prototype and Vom grammatischen Baue der Sprachen On the Grammatical Structure of Languages.
During the nineteenth century Humboldt was for the representatives of the academically established discipline of linguistics with its positivistic historicist and strictly Indo-European orientation nothing but the odd man out. What separated him from the mainstream was his philosophically grounded understanding of language and linguistics and his decidedly non-Eurocentric orientation, which preserved the enlightenment Universalist tradition by providing it with a new philosophical base.
Yet soon after his death in the integrity of the collection was violated, its contents were divided and dispersed and many items sent to different locations. Astonishingly, the extensive body of his posthumous works and papers was not ever systematically examined or properly catalogued, let alone studied in depth until recently. Until this day all editions of his works have remained incomplete. His texts consist of philosophical reflections, fragments, studies of varying types and length, notes, diaries, as well as entire treatises and monographs with themes ranging from political theory, anthropology, aesthetics, educational theory, literature and history to hermeneutics, ethnology, and last but not least, to philosophy of language and linguistics.
Not to be omitted are the political memoranda produced at the time Humboldt held public office, many of which must be counted among his outstanding literary and intellectual achievements.
There is in addition also a sizable corpus of translations from the works of Lucretius, Pindar, Aeschylus, Aristophanes and others GS Vol 8 and of non-Western works such as the Bhagavad Gita as well as his own poetic productions GS Vol 9.
Noteworthy among these are his correspondence with his wife Caroline 7 vols. An entire group of his correspondence consists of exchanges with scholars in different parts of the world and is concerned with specific issues and problems. The bulk of these communications can be found among his extant linguistic papers where they have come down to us in the order in which Humboldt filed them.
Among his published writings only the Ideen zu einem Versuch die Grenzen der Wirksamkeit des Staats zu bestimmen The Spheres and Duties of Government , the Aesthetische Versuche I Essays on Aesthetics I , Prüfung der Untersuchungen über die Urbewohner Hispaniens On the Early Inhabitants of Spain , and the Kawi-Einleitung Introduction to the Kavi Language , constitute complete works in the traditional sense. The majority of his writings consist of essays, articles or presentations produced for specific occasions on the one hand and of a large body of sketches, studies, notes, expositions and entire treatises on the other.
Humboldt used the medium of writing as a vehicle of intellectual exploration to untangle the complex and diverse aspects of a specific problem or set of problems rather than attempting to state a fixed and definite position or opinion, and he would often bring to bear different view-points onto the matter at hand and utilize varying formulations. It is characteristic of his intellectual style that he would with consistent philosophical and methodological astuteness develop a specific type of questioning that made it possible for him to bring to view particular phenomena or sets of problems in their inherent complexity.
What lends a sense of unity to the large variety of his writings devoted to so many different domains of knowledge, is his consistency in articulating questions, in applying a specific viewpoint and perspective, and a recurring use of specific key concepts and their concomitant terminology.
His political writings from this period take issue with the eighteenth century absolutist idea of the state while at the same time offering a critical analysis of the political situation in contemporary France.
Humboldt tried to explain the unsuccessful attempts by the French National Assembly to create a lasting constitution and civic order by its unrealistic absolutist reliance on principles of abstract reason. In order to safeguard the freedom of the individual from government encroachment, Humboldt proposed to limit the functions and the authority of the state.
To reach that goal, freedom was the indispensable condition GS Vol 1: For this reason, Humboldt maintained, a government should not be evaluated solely by its legal system that granted freedom and liberty to its citizens but equally by how much and to what degree it helped assure the creation of such a manifold of situations and opportunities for the individual citizens to develop their human capacities in actual reality.
His starting point is the question:. Combining a Kantian questioning from the Critique of Judgment with the performative model of the human mind presented by Fichte in his Science of Knowledge Wissenschaftslehre , Humboldt advanced a theory of the imagination Einbildungskraft that enabled him to explain aesthetic effects as an interactive process involving the triad of artist, work of art and recipient.
In other words, a generative one has replaced the traditional mimetic or objective concept of art. Subsequently, in his linguistics and philosophy of language Humboldt would advance a similar generative view of human language and speech. Because he understood linguistic form as procedural rule and direction, as forma formans , Form von Form , GS Vol 5: rather than as some kind of material shape or fixed objective entity Form von Materie , the structure and organization of a language for him could not be gathered from the actual verbal forms of its construction, its grammar.
It was to be obtained rather from an analysis of the procedures language employs in its generation of speech Verfahrensweise der Sprache bei der Erzeugung der Rede. For, as Humboldt put it.
How such an analysis of the process of speech production is to proceed, what it encompasses, what it is able to achieve and how it will enable the linguist to study and describe different natural languages, Humboldt has discussed in great depth and detail in several of his larger linguistic treatises, as for example in his Fundamentals of the Linguistic Prototype Grundzüge des allgemeinen Sprachtypus , GS Vol 5: ff. In this, his first major statement on language, he takes issue with the concept of the linguistic sign, which had been one of the cornerstones of seventeenth and eighteenth-century philosophy of language.
In both the rationalist and empiricist schools of thought it was assumed that signs constituted a special class of objects outside the mind existing independently from it to which convenient labels agreed upon by society had been attached.
But Herder himself had not been able to advance a plausible solution to the problem, either, even though he connected the origin of language with reflection Besonnenheit , claiming that it was through reflection that humans had first created language.
Thinking consists for Humboldt. In other words, in this process of segmentation not only are different objects are created, but with it the very subject of this thinking activity constitutes itself. No thinking, not even the purest, can occur without the aid from the general forms of our sensibility allgemeinen Formen unsrer Sinnlichkeit ; only through them can it be apprehended and, as it were, arrested. What Humboldt is saying, then, is that the mental acts he has described would not have been possible without assistance from the general forms of our sensibility.
But how precisely do they make these acts possible? The sensory designations of those units, into which certain portions of our thinking are united, in order to be opposed as parts to other parts of a greater whole as objects to the subjects, is called in the broadest sense of the word: language Sprache. This imposition of order is the work of the sensory medium of language: word sounds function as structured units Einheiten through which we discern and secure the mental units in the flow of impressions and images.
What constituted language, according to Saussure, was. Sound and thought can be combined only by means of these units. There he had shown the act of language production, or Articulation to be at one and the same time the constitutive act for the consciousness of self of the speaking individual. Thus there arises in the act of speaking the distinction between subject and object as mutually constitutive correlatives of this act. Subsequently, in thesis 7 we learn that besides the linguistic and epistemological angle there is still an anthropological side to this process.
For Humboldt it is language instead that serves as the civilizing force leading the individual to self-consciousness and societal interaction and thus involves a positive relation to the other. In working with over a dozen native South and Central American languages, Humboldt created one such schema enabling him to describe and to compare the phonetic systems of these different languages.
The words we hear and those that we utter are the stimuli for our language capacity to generate participatory responses. However, shared language capacity and linguistic competence cannot guarantee that one individual understands what the other is saying.
Only through dialogue with the other can they test their understanding, amend and correct it, if necessary. Every understanding is therefore also a non-understanding, Humboldt argued. A concept, Humboldt argued, can attain its distinctness and clarity only through its being reflected back from the intellect of another person einer fremden Denkkraft , GS Vol 5: with language as the only mediator between one intellect and another.
There existed for him a communicative prototype of human speech that is embedded in the structure of language itself manifesting itself in the different languages. All speech is directed at someone and its structure cannot be understood by applying Cartesian grammatical analysis to it, because from a logical and grammatical point of view, it makes no difference whether I use the first, second or third personal pronoun, when in each case these pronouns function as the subject of a sentence.
But for Humboldt I and he really are different entities, and with them, he argued, all possibilities are exhausted: because they constitute the I and the not-I. In his empirical investigations Humboldt therefore paid special attention to the system of personal pronouns in a given language because it was from there that one could reconstruct the specific manifestation of the prototypal speech situation. It is in these texts that the marriage of philosophy of language and empirical linguistics that characterizes his work, can best be studied.
First of all, Humboldt was decidedly critical of all attempts to construct a system of Philosophical Grammar supposedly underlying all natural languages, because it was patterned after the concepts of Latin and French grammar and in practice had resulted in the writing of grammars that violated the nature of the Non-European languages by forcing them into the procrustean bed of a Western system, whose categories were completely alien to their own inherent structures GS Vol 5: He did not, however, reject the idea of linguistic universals.
On the contrary, these constituted the backbone of his concept of linguistic variety, the fact namely that each language by its structure and formation was able to represent a specific view of the world Weltansicht.
With Kant he believed in the universality of the mental structures and Kantian categories represented for him the rules and the laws of thinking that were ultimately responsible also for the rule systems that govern our linguistic utterances. But he rejected the idea that these structures were themselves already a kind of logical grammar from which a Philosophical Grammar could directly be deduced.
Therefore, the comparative study of the languages required some new kind of Universal Grammar to serve as tertium comparationes for the linguist not to lose himself in endless and aimless comparisons. Hence he replaced the traditional principles with a radically different conception that he had derived from his work in comparative anatomy at Jena in the notion of type, used first in his Plan for a Comparative Anthropology of and which he now adapted to the study of language. Once established, through a combination of philosophical-methodological reflection and concrete linguistic analysis, the linguistic prototype was to serve and did serve Humboldt as a guide and tertium comparationis for the study and comparison of different languages and language groups.
In short, the prototype is not to be seen as an object, a list of specific surface structure features, nor does it resemble any existing actual language, but instead stands for the communality of elements, rules, and structures that underlie all language production. For example, the existence of phonetic elements in a given language, constituting a sound system Lautsystem and its individual word always combining a sound-unit with a thought-unit, must be understood as part of the prototypal nature of language, whereas the particular Lautsystem of that language as it resulted from its historical development becomes the subject of specific linguistic investigations.
Yet for Humboldt languages do not differ from each other as species Gattungen but as individuals; their character does not pertain to the species but to them as individuals as conditioned by and as a result of their own specific historical development GS Vol 6: There are some critical distinctions that Humboldt employs in his linguistic writings, which shed light on his understanding of language and the approach he follows in his empirical investigations.
Thus he distinguished sharply as did his contemporary Schleiermacher before Saussure and twentieth-century linguistics, between language Sprache and Speech Rede.
Because language in its fullest sense occurs only in the societal context in its acts of speech production and in what is being said through them, its true nature can only be intimated and perceived in living discourse verbundener Rede and should be studied equally in its lasting manifestations in the works of culture and of science, in literature, poetry, and philosophy.
Cassirer, Ernst Fichte, Johann Gottlieb Gadamer, Hans-Georg Habermas, Jürgen Heidegger, Martin Kant, Immanuel Schlegel, Friedrich. Goethe and Schiller were the key figures at the time. Humboldt contributed 7 June to Schiller's new periodical, Die Horen , a philosophical allegory entitled Die Lebenskraft, oder der rhodische Genius The Life Force, or the Rhodian Genius. In and , Humboldt was in Vienna ; in he made a geological and botanical tour through Switzerland and Italy.
Although this service to the state was regarded by him as only an apprenticeship to the service of science, he fulfilled its duties with such conspicuous ability that not only did he rise rapidly to the highest post in his department, but he was also entrusted with several important diplomatic missions.
Neither brother attended the funeral of their mother on 19 November With the financial resources to fund his scientific travels, he sought a ship on a major expedition. Meantime, he went to Paris, where his brother Wilhelm was now living. Paris was a great center of scientific learning and his brother and sister-in-law Caroline were well connected in those circles.
Louis-Antoine de Bougainville urged Humboldt to accompany him on a major expedition, likely to last five years, but the French revolutionary Directoire placed Nicolas Baudin at the head of it rather than the aging scientific traveler. He had already selected scientific instruments for his voyage. Discouraged, the two left Paris for Marseilles , where they hoped to join Napoleon Bonaparte in Egypt, but North Africans were in revolt against the French invasion in Egypt and French authorities refused permission to travel.
Humboldt and Bonpland eventually found their way to Madrid , where their luck changed spectacularly. In Madrid, Humboldt sought authorization to travel to Spain's realms in the Americas; he was aided in obtaining it by the German representative of Saxony at the royal Bourbon court. Baron Forell had an interest in mineralogy and science endeavors and was inclined to help Humboldt.
For Humboldt "the confluent effect of the Bourbon revolution in government and the Spanish Enlightenment had created ideal conditions for his venture". The Bourbon monarchy had already authorized and funded expeditions, with the Botanical Expedition to the Viceroyalty of Peru to Chile and Peru —88 , New Granada — , New Spain Mexico — , and the Malaspina Expedition — These were lengthy, state-sponsored enterprises to gather information about plants and animals from the Spanish realms, assess economic possibilities, and provide plants and seeds for the Royal Botanical Garden in Madrid founded Spain under the Habsburg monarchy had guarded its realms against foreigner travelers and intruders.
The Bourbon monarch was open to Humboldt's proposal. Spanish Foreign Minister Don Mariano Luis de Urquijo received the formal proposal and Humboldt was presented to the monarch in March With Humboldt's experience working for the absolutist Prussian monarchy as a government mining official, Humboldt had both the academic training and experience of working well within a bureaucratic structure.
Humboldt had not mapped out a specific plan of exploration, so that the change did not upend a fixed itinerary. He later wrote that the diversion to Venezuela made possible his explorations along the Orinoco River to the border of Portuguese Brazil.
With the diversion, the Pizarro encountered two large dugout canoes each carrying 18 Guayaqui Indians. The Pizarro ' s captain accepted the offer of one of them to serve as pilot. Humboldt hired this Indian, named Carlos del Pino, as a guide.
Venezuela from the 16th to the 18th centuries was a relative backwater compared to the seats of the Spanish viceroyalties based in New Spain Mexico and Peru, but during the Bourbon reforms, the northern portion of Spanish South America was reorganized administratively, with the establishment of a captaincy-general based at Caracas.
Investigating evidence of a rapid fall in the water level of valley's Lake Valencia, Humboldt credited the desiccation to the clearance of tree cover and to the inability of the exposed soils to retain water. With their clear cutting of trees, the agriculturalists were removing the woodland's "threefold" moderating influence upon temperature: cooling shade, evaporation and radiation.
Also described the Guanoco asphalt lake as "The spring of the good priest" " Quelle des guten Priesters ". In February , Humboldt and Bonpland left the coast with the purpose of exploring the course of the Orinoco River and its tributaries. This trip, which lasted four months and covered 1, miles 2, km of wild and largely uninhabited country, had an aim of establishing the existence of the Casiquiare canal a communication between the water systems of the rivers Orinoco and Amazon. Around 19 March , Humboldt and Bonpland discovered dangerous electric eels , whose shock could kill a man.
To catch them, locals suggested they drive wild horses into the river, which brought the eels out from the river mud, and resulted in a violent confrontation of eels and horses, some of which died. Humboldt and Bonpland captured and dissected some eels, which retained their ability to shock; both received potentially dangerous electric shocks during their investigations.
Humboldt laid to rest the persistent myth of Walter Raleigh 's Lake Parime by proposing that the seasonal flooding of the Rupununi savannah had been misidentified as a lake. On 24 November , the two friends set sail for Cuba, landing on 19 December,  where they met fellow botanist and plant collector John Fraser.
Humboldt, who was already in Cuba, interceded with crown officials in Havana, as well as giving them money and clothing. Fraser obtained permission to remain in Cuba and explore. Humboldt entrusted Fraser with taking two cases of Humboldt and Bonpland's botanical specimens to England when he returned, for eventual conveyance to the German botanist Willdenow in Berlin.
During an initial three-month stay at Havana , his first tasks were to properly survey that city and the nearby towns of Guanabacoa , Regla , and Bejucal. Those three areas were, at the time, the first frontier of sugar production in the island. During those trips, Humboldt collected statistical information on Cuba's population, production, technology and trade, and with Arango, made suggestions for enhancing them. He predicted that the agricultural and commercial potential of Cuba was huge and could be vastly improved with proper leadership in the future.
On their way back to Europe from Mexico on their way to the United States, Humboldt and Bonpland stopped again in Cuba, leaving from the port of Veracruz and arriving in Cuba on 7 January , staying until 29 April In Cuba, he collected plant material and made extensive notes. Mutis was generous with his time and gave Humboldt access to the huge pictorial record he had compiled since This type of careful recording meant that even if specimens were not available to study at a distance, "because the images traveled, the botanists did not have to".
Humboldt had hopes of connecting with the French sailing expedition of Baudin, now finally underway, so Bonpland and Humboldt hurried to Ecuador. Their stay in Ecuador was marked by the ascent of Pichincha and their climb of Chimborazo , where Humboldt and his party reached an altitude of 19, feet 5, m.
This was a world record at the time for a westerner— Incas had reached much higher altitudes centuries before ,  but feet short of the summit. At Callao , the main port for Peru, Humboldt observed the transit of Mercury on 9 November and studied the fertilizing properties of guano , rich in nitrogen, the subsequent introduction of which into Europe was due mainly to his writings.
Humboldt and Bonpland had not intended to go to New Spain, but when they were unable to join a voyage to the Pacific, they left the Ecuadorian port of Guayaquil and headed for Acapulco on Mexico's west coast. Even before Humboldt and Bonpland started on their way to New Spain's capital on Mexico's central plateau, Humboldt realized the captain of the vessel that brought them to Acapulco had reckoned its location incorrectly.
Since Acapulco was the main west-coast port and the terminus of the Asian trade from the Spanish Philippines, having accurate maps of its location was extremely important. Humboldt set up his instruments, surveying the deep-water bay of Acapulco, to determine its longitude. Humboldt and Bonpland landed in Acapulco on 15 February , and from there they went to Taxco , a silver-mining town in modern Guerrero.
Impressed by its climate, he nicknamed the city the City of Eternal Spring. Humboldt was also given a special passport to travel throughout New Spain and letters of introduction to intendants, the highest officials in New Spain's administrative districts intendancies.
This official aid to Humboldt allowed him to have access to crown records, mines, landed estates, canals, and Mexican antiquities from the prehispanic era. They spent the year in the viceroyalty, traveling to different Mexican cities in the central plateau and the northern mining region.
The first journey was from Acapulco to Mexico City, through what is now the Mexican state of Guerrero. The route was suitable only for mule train, and all along the way, Humboldt took measurements of elevation.
When he left Mexico a year later in , from the east coast port of Veracruz, he took a similar set of measures, which resulted in a chart in the Political Essay , the physical plan of Mexico with the dangers of the road from Acapulco to Mexico City, and from Mexico City to Veracruz.
Humboldt was impressed with Mexico City, which at the time was the largest city in the Americas, and one that could be counted as modern. He declared "no city of the new continent, without even excepting those of the United States, can display such great and solid scientific establishments as the capital of Mexico".
His report on silver mining is a major contribution, and considered the strongest and best informed section of his Political Essay.
Although Humboldt was himself a trained geologist and mining inspector, he drew on mining experts in Mexico. One was Fausto Elhuyar , then head of the General Mining Court in Mexico City, who, like Humboldt was trained in Freiberg. Humboldt also consulted other German mining experts, who were already in Mexico. His aim was to muster evidence that these pictorial and sculptural images could allow the reconstruction of prehispanic history.
For American-born Spaniards creoles who were seeking sources of pride in Mexico's ancient past, Humboldt's recognition of these ancient works and dissemination in his publications was a boon. He read the work of exiled Jesuit Francisco Javier Clavijero , which celebrated Mexico's prehispanic civilization, and which Humboldt invoked to counter the pejorative assertions about the new world by Buffon, de Pauw, and Raynal.
Leaving from Cuba, Humboldt decided to take an unplanned short visit to the United States. Knowing that the current U. Jefferson warmly replied, inviting him to visit the White House in the nation's new capital.
In his letter Humboldt had gained Jefferson's interest by mentioning that he had discovered mammoth teeth near the Equator. Jefferson had previously written that he believed mammoths had never lived so far south. Humboldt had also hinted at his knowledge of New Spain. Arriving in Philadelphia , which was a center of learning in the U. After arriving in Washington D. C, Humboldt held numerous intense discussions with Jefferson on both scientific matters and also his year-long stay in New Spain.
Jefferson had only recently concluded the Louisiana Purchase , which now placed New Spain on the southwest border of the United States. The Spanish minister in Washington, D. Humboldt was able to supply Jefferson with the latest information on the population, trade agriculture and military of New Spain.
This information would later be the basis for his Essay on the Political Kingdom of New Spain Jefferson was unsure of where the border of the newly-purchased Louisiana was precisely, and Humboldt wrote him a two-page report on the matter. After six weeks, Humboldt set sail for Europe from the mouth of the Delaware and landed at Bordeaux on 3 August Humboldt kept a detailed diary of his sojourn to Spanish America, running some 4, pages, which he drew on directly for his multiple publications following the expedition.
The leather-bound diaries themselves are now in Germany, having been returned from Russia to East Germany, where they were taken by the Red Army after World War II.
Following German reunification, the diaries were returned to a descendant of Humboldt. For a time, there was concern about their being sold, but that was averted. Humboldt came to be well-known with the reading public as well, with popular, densely illustrated, condensed versions of his work in multiple languages. Bonpland, his fellow scientist and collaborator on the expedition, collected botanical specimens and preserved them, but unlike Humboldt who had a passion to publish, Bonpland had to be prodded to do the formal descriptions.
Many scientific travelers and explorers produced huge visual records, which remained unseen by the general public until the late nineteenth century, in the case of the Malaspina Expedition, and even the late twentieth century, when Mutis's botanical, some 12, drawings from New Granada, was published. Humboldt, by contrast, published immediately and continuously, using and ultimately exhausting his personal fortune, to produce both scientific and popular texts.
Humboldt's name and fame were made by his travels to Spanish America, particularly his publication of the Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain. His image as the premier European scientist was a later development. For the Bourbon crown, which had authorized the expedition, the returns were not only tremendous in terms of sheer volume of data on their New World realms, but in dispelling the vague and pejorative assessments of the New World by Guillaume-Thomas Raynal , Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon , and William Robertson.
The achievements of the Bourbon regime, especially in New Spain, were evident in the precise data Humboldt systematized and published. This memorable expedition may be regarded as having laid the foundation of the sciences of physical geography , plant geography , and meteorology.
He closely observed plant and animal species in situ, not just in isolation, noting all elements in relation to one other. He collected specimens of plants and animals, dividing the growing collection so that if a portion was lost, other parts might survive. Humboldt saw the need for an approach to science that could account for the harmony of nature among the diversity of the physical world.
For Humboldt, "the unity of nature" meant that it was the interrelation of all physical sciences —such as the conjoining between biology , meteorology and geology —that determined where specific plants grew.
He found these relationships by unraveling myriad, painstakingly collected data,  data extensive enough that it became an enduring foundation upon which others could base their work. Humboldt viewed nature holistically , and tried to explain natural phenomena without the appeal to religious dogma.
This quantitative methodology would become known as Humboldtian science. Humboldt wrote "Nature herself is sublimely eloquent. The stars as they sparkle in firmament fill us with delight and ecstasy, and yet they all move in orbit marked out with mathematical precision. His Essay on the Geography of Plants published first in French and then German, both in was based on the then novel idea of studying the distribution of organic life as affected by varying physical conditions.
It was a fold-out at the back of the publication. These detailed the information on temperature, altitude, humidity, atmosphere pressure, and the animal and plants with their scientific names found at each elevation.
Plants from the same genus appear at different elevations. The depiction is on an east-west axis going from the Pacific coast lowlands to the Andean range of which Chimborazo was a part, and the eastern Amazonian basin.
The map was the basis for comparison with other major peaks. By his delineation in of isothermal lines, he at once suggested the idea and devised the means of comparing the climatic conditions of various countries. His discovery of the decrease in intensity of Earth's magnetic field from the poles to the equator was communicated to the Paris Institute in a memoir read by him on 7 December Its importance was attested by the speedy emergence of rival claims.
His services to geology were based on his attentive study of the volcanoes of the Andes and Mexico, which he observed and sketched, climbed, and measured with a variety of instruments. By climbing Chimborazo, he established an altitude record which became the basis for measurement of other volcanoes in the Andes and the Himalayas. Humboldt was a significant contributor to cartography, creating maps, particularly of New Spain, that became the template for later mapmakers in Mexico. His careful recording of latitude and longitude led to accurate maps of Mexico, the port of Acapulco, the port of Veracruz, and the Valley of Mexico, and a map showing trade patterns among continents.
His maps also included schematic information on geography, converting areas of administrative districts intendancies using proportional squares. Humboldt conducted a census of the indigenous and European inhabitants in New Spain , publishing a schematized drawing of racial types and populations distribution, grouping them by region and social characteristics.
He presented these data in chart form, for easier understanding. Humboldt's assessment was that royal government abuses and the example of a new model of rule in the United States were eroding the unity of whites in New Spain.
One scholar says that his writings contain fantastical descriptions of America, while leaving out its inhabitants, stating that Humboldt, coming from the Romantic school of thought, believed ' Views of indigenous peoples as 'savage' or 'unimportant' leaves them out of the historical picture.
He often showed his disgust for the slavery  and inhumane conditions in which indigenous peoples and others were treated and he often criticized Spanish colonial policies. Humboldt was not primarily an artist, but he could draw well, allowing him to record a visual record of particular places and their natural environment. Many of his drawings became the basis for illustrations of his many scientific and general publications.
After a short trip to Italy with Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac for the purpose of investigating the law of magnetic declination and a stay of two and a half years in Berlin, in the spring of , he settled in Paris.
His purpose for being located there was to secure the scientific cooperation required for bringing his great work through the press.
This colossal task, which he at first hoped would occupy but two years, eventually cost him twenty-one, and even then it remained incomplete. House where Humboldt and Bonpland lived in Mexico City in , located at 80 Rep. Statue to Humboldt in Alameda Park, Mexico City, erected on the two hundredth-anniversary of the beginning of his travels to Spanish America.
Statue of Humboldt in Cuernavaca , Mexico. He was elected to the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Over the years other learned societies in the U. After Mexican independence from Spain in , the Mexican government recognized him with high honors for his services to the nation. Importantly for Humboldt's long-term financial stability, King Frederick William III of Prussia conferred upon him the honor of the post of royal chamberlain, without at the time exacting the duties.
The appointment had a pension of 2, thalers , afterwards doubled. Financial necessity forced his permanent relocation to Berlin in from Paris. In Paris he found not only scientific sympathy, but the social stimulus which his vigorous and healthy mind eagerly craved. He was equally in his element as the lion of the salons and as the savant of the Institut de France and the observatory.
On 12 May he settled permanently in Berlin, where his first efforts were directed towards the furtherance of the science of terrestrial magnetism. In , he began giving public lectures in Berlin, which became the basis for his last major publication, Kosmos — For many years, it had been one of his favorite schemes to secure, by means of simultaneous observations at distant points, a thorough investigation of the nature and law of " magnetic storms " a term invented by him to designate abnormal disturbances of Earth's magnetism.
His appeal to the Russian government, in , led to the establishment of a line of magnetic and meteorological stations across northern Asia. Meanwhile, his letter to the Duke of Sussex , then April president of the Royal Society, secured for the undertaking, the wide basis of the British dominions.
In , the th year of his birth, Humboldt's fame was so great that cities all over America celebrated his birth with large festivals. In New York City, a bust of his head was unveiled in Central Park.
Scholars have speculated about the reasons for Humboldt's declining renown among the public. Sandra Nichols has argued that there are three reasons for this. First, a trend towards specialization in scholarship. Humboldt was a generalist who connected many disciplines in his work. Humboldt combined ecology , geography and even social sciences. Second, a change in writing style. Humboldt's works, which were considered essential to a library in , had flowery prose that fell out of fashion.
One critic said they had a "laborious picturesqueness". Humboldt himself said that, "If I only knew how to describe adequately how and what I felt, I might, after this long journey of mine, really be able to give happiness to people. The disjointed life I lead makes me hardly certain of my way of writing".
Third, a rising anti-German sentiment in the late s and the early s due to heavy German immigration to the United States and later World War 1. In , and again in , projects of Asiatic exploration were proposed to Humboldt, first by Czar Nicolas I 's Russian government, and afterwards by the Prussian government; but on each occasion, untoward circumstances interposed.
It was not until he had begun his sixtieth year that he resumed his early role of traveler in the interests of science. Humboldt was not encouraging about a platinum-based currency, when silver was the standard as a world currency. But the invitation to visit the Urals was intriguing, especially since Humboldt had long dreamed of going to Asia. He had wanted to travel to India and made considerable efforts to persuade the British East India Company to authorize a trip, but those efforts were fruitless.
When Russia renewed its earlier invitation to Humboldt, he accepted. For Humboldt, the Russian monarch's promise to fund the trip was extremely important, since Humboldt's inherited , thaler fortune was gone and he lived on the Prussian government pension of 2,—3, thalers as the monarch's chamberlain. The Russian government gave an advance of chervontsev in Berlin and another 20, when he arrived in St. Humboldt was eager to travel not just to the Urals, but also across the steppes of Siberia to Russia's border with China.
Humboldt wrote Cancrin saying that he intended to learn Russian to read mining journals in the language. He also invited Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg to join the expedition, to study water micro-organisms in Lake Baikal and the Caspian Sea.
Humboldt himself was keen to continue his studies of magnetism of mountains and mineral deposits. Humboldt's title for the expedition was as an official of the Department of Mines. As the expedition neared dangerous areas, he had to travel in a convoy with an escort.
Physically Humboldt was in good condition, despite his advancing years, writing to Cancrin "I still walk very lightly on foot, nine to ten hours without resting, despite my age and my white hair".
Between May and November he and the growing expedition traversed the wide expanse of the Russian empire from the Neva to the Yenisei , accomplishing in twenty-five weeks a distance of 9, miles 15, km.
Humboldt and the expedition party traveled by coach on well maintained roads, with rapid progress being made because of changes of horses at way stations. The party had grown, with Johann Seifert, who was a huntsman and collector of animal specimens; a Russian mining official; Count Adolphe Polier, one of Humboldt's friends from Paris; a cook; plus a contingent of Cossacks for security.
Three carriages were filled with people, supplies, and scientific instruments. For Humboldt's magnetic readings to be accurate, they carried an iron-free tent. The Russian government was interested in Humboldt finding prospects for mining and commercial advancement of the realm and made it clear that Humboldt was not to investigate social issues, nor criticize social conditions of Russian serfs.
In his publications on Spanish America, he did comment on the conditions of the indigenous populations, and deplored black slavery, but well after he had left those territories. The itinerary was planned with Tobolsk the farthest destination, then a return to St Petersburg. Humboldt wrote to the Russian Minister Cancrin that he was extending his travel, knowing that the missive would not reach him in time to scuttle the plan. They still followed the Siberian Highway and made excellent progress, sometimes a hundred miles km in a day.
The correction of the prevalent exaggerated estimate of the height of the Central Asian plateau, and the prediction of the discovery of diamonds in the gold-washings of the Urals, were important aspects of these travels. In the end, the expedition took 8 months, traveled 15, km, stopped at post stations, and used 12, horses.
One writer claims that "Nothing was quite as Humboldt wanted it. The entire expedition was a compromise. In , he completed the three-volume Asie Centrale ,  which he dedicated to Czar Nicholas, which he called "an unavoidable step, as the expedition was accomplished at his expense".
Nevertheless, it gave Humboldt comparative data for his various later scientific publications. The writing took shape in lectures he delivered before the University of Berlin in the winter of — These lectures would form "the cartoon for the great fresco of the [K]osmos ". Humboldt had long aimed to write a comprehensive work about geography and the natural sciences. The work attempted to unify the sciences then known in a Kantian framework. With inspiration from German Romanticism , Humboldt sought to create a compendium of the world's environment.
The third and fourth volumes were published in —58; a fragment of a fifth appeared posthumously in His reputation had long since been made with his publications on the Latin American expedition. There is not a consensus on the importance of Kosmos.
It was very popular in Britain and America. In a letter Humboldt said of it: "It will damage my reputation. All the charm of my description is destroyed by an English sounding like Sanskrit. The other two translations were made by Elizabeth Juliana Leeves Sabine under the superintendence of her husband Col.
These three translations were also published in the United States. The numbering of the volumes differs between the German and the English editions. Volume 3 of the German edition corresponds to the volumes 3 and 4 of the English translation, as the German volume appeared in 2 parts in and Volume 5 of the German edition was not translated until , again by a woman. Less well known in Germany is the atlas belonging to the German edition of the Cosmos "Berghaus' Physikalischer Atlas" , better known as the pirated version by Traugott Bromme under the title "Atlas zu Alexander von Humboldt's Kosmos" Stuttgart In Britain, Heinrich Berghaus planned to publish together with Alexander Keith Johnston a "Physical Atlas".
But later Johnston published it alone under the title "The Physical Atlas of Natural Phenomena". In Britain its connection to the Cosmos seems not have been recognized. Alexander von Humboldt published prolifically throughout his life. Many works were published originally in French or German, then translated to other languages, sometimes with competing translation editions. Humboldt himself did not keep track of all the various editions.
Many of the original works have been digitally scanned by the Biodiversity Library. In the original edition, the publication was in a large format and quite expensive.
Humboldt was generous toward his friends and mentored young scientists. Bonpland returned to Latin America, settling in Buenos Aires, Argentina, then moved to the countryside near the border with Paraguay. The forces of Dr. Bonpland was accused of "agricultural espionage" and of threatening Paraguay's virtual monopoly on the cultivation of yerba mate. He was released after nearly 10 years in Paraguay. Humboldt and Bonpland maintained a warm correspondence about science and politics until Bonpland's death in During Humboldt's time in Paris, he met in the young and brilliant Peruvian student of the Royal Mining School of Paris, Mariano Eduardo de Rivero y Ustariz.
Subsequently, Humboldt acted as a mentor of the career of this promising Peruvian scientist. Agassiz sent him copies of his publications and went on to gain considerable scientific recognition as a professor at Harvard.
Humboldt's popular writings inspired many scientists and naturalists, including Charles Darwin , Henry David Thoreau , John Muir , George Perkins Marsh , Ernst Haeckel ,  Ida Laura Pfeiffer  as well as brothers Richard and Robert Schomburgk. Humboldt carried on correspondence with many contemporaries and two volumes of letters to Karl August Varnhagen von Ense have been published.
Charles Darwin made frequent reference to Humboldt's work in his Voyage of the Beagle , where Darwin described his own scientific exploration of the Americas. In one note, he placed Humboldt first on the "list of American travellers". Darwin's sister remarked to him "you had, probably from reading so much of Humboldt, got his phraseology and the kind of flower French expressions he uses". When Darwin's Journal was published, he sent a copy to Humboldt, who responded, "You told me in your kind letter that, when you were young, the manner in which I studied and depicted nature in the torrid zones contributed toward exciting in you the ardour and desire to travel in distant lands.
Considering the importance of your work, Sir, this may be the greatest success that my humble work could bring. Humboldt would later reveal to Darwin in the s that he had been a fan of Darwin's grandfather's poetry.
Erasmus Darwin had published the poem The Loves of the Plants in the early s. Humboldt praised the poem for combining nature and imagination, a theme that permeated Humboldt's own work. A number of nineteenth-century artists traveled to Latin America, following in the footsteps of Humboldt, painting landscapes and scenes of everyday life. Johann Moritz Rugendas , Ferdinand Bellermann , and Eduard Hildebrandt were three important European painters.
His paintings of Andean volcanoes that Humboldt climbed helped make Church's reputation. His 5 foot by 10 foot painting entitled The Heart of the Andes "caused a sensation" when it was completed. Church had hoped to ship the painting to Berlin to show the painting to Humboldt, but Humboldt died a few days after Church's letter was written. He wrote to Humboldt in , sending him his proposal for South American travels. Humboldt replied, thanking him and sending a memorandum helping guide his travels.
Ida Laura Pfeiffer , one of the first female travelers who completed two trips around the world from to , followed in Humboldt's footsteps. The two explorers met in Berlin in before Pfeiffer's second tour and again in when she returned to Europe. Humboldt provided Pfeiffer with an open letter of introduction in which he bade anyone who knew of his name to assist Madame Pfeiffer for her "inextinguishable energy of character which she has everywhere shown, to wheresoever's she has been called or better put, driven by her unconquerable passion to study nature and man.
Ferdinand Bellermann, Colonia Tovar. Ferdinand Bellermann, Sugar Plantation near Puerto Cabello. Ferdinand Bellermann.
Wilhelm von Humboldt - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre
María Rosario Martí Marco, Wilhelm von Humboldt y la creación del sistema universitario moderno, Madrid, Verbum, 2012. ISBN 978-84-7962-804-8; Véase también. Alexander von Humboldt; Friedrich Schiller; Johann Wolfgang Goethe; Clasicismo de Weimar; Lorenzo Hervás; Enlaces externos
Schiller begegnet zum ersten Mal Goethe. Schiller wird zum unbesoldeten Professor für Geschichte an die Universität Jena berufen. schließt Freundschaft mit Wilhelm von Humboldt. Januar 21/04/ · Schiller continued to write poetry and intensified his collaborations with Goethe, including the co-production of a series of epigrams, entitled Xenien, whose sardonic critique of their contemporaries ignited a widespread literary feud (Mohr ). This extraordinarily productive period, however, lasted less than a decade, at which point. María Rosario Martí Marco, Wilhelm von Humboldt y la creación del sistema universitario moderno, Madrid, Verbum, ISBN ; Véase también. Alexander von Humboldt; Friedrich Schiller; Johann Wolfgang Goethe; Clasicismo de Weimar; Lorenzo Hervás; Enlaces externos.