Oberthür, Franz (1745–1831): Catholic theologian. A native of Würzburg, he studied theology there from 1763, though also canonical law, his electoral bishop apparently already planning an administrative career for him. Ordained in 1769. Spent 1771–73 in Rome at the behest of the electoral bishop to become familiar with curial praxis there. From 1773 vicariate and consistory councilor, thereafter (November 1773) professor of dogmatics in Würzburg. From 1780 director of municipal schools. As dean of the theological faculty, in 1805 he awarded the first doctorate to a Protestant theologian in Würzburg. Although the ceding of Würzburg to the Archduke of Tuscany in 1806 initially had little effect on Oberthür’s position, in 1809, after the Catholic restoration particularly in the university, Oberthür was forced into retirement as a representative of Enlightenment thinking. From 1821 cathedral capitular. One of the most significant Catholic theologians of the Enlightenment period (sometimes being suspected of an inclination toward neology), advocating a biblical and historical basis for all systematic theological pronouncements and for an anthropological orientation for theology itself. (Portrait: 1816, by Ferdinand Jagemann.)
During the periods when Oberthür’s Enlightenment inclinations made him a less popular in Würzburg, he developed ties with Protestant scholars in northern Germany, including Jena, Weimar, Gotha und Göttingen, towns he visited frequently. Caroline’s reference to Göttingen in letter 101 (“You have probably had no dearth of news from Göttingen”) might suggest she made his acquaintance there, likely through her father. His earlier relationship with Caroline, however, was not continued when she was living in Würzburg, since he took a reactionary posture toward Schelling.
Oemler, Christian Wilhelm (20 September 1728–2 June 1802): Consistory councilor, superintendent, and senior pastor in Jena. Attended the Gymnasium in Weimar, then from 1747 the university in Jena, where through the representatives of Wolffian philosophy there he came to an understanding of Christianity informed by the principles of “healthy reason.” Finished his theological degree in Jena in 1752 and became a private family tutor in Gera, thereafter pastor in his hometown of Denstädt, then — after a difficult time there — the duchess Amalie compensated him with an appointment as senior pastor in Neumark (1764). From 1766 archdeacon in Jena, from 1767 also permitted to lecture, in which capacity he dealt especially with school children, instructing them in his auditorium, and in 1768 founded a free school for poor children. Although his pedagogical activity was also accompanied by various troubles, he was tempted to accept an appointment in Erfurt in 1771, but the duchess once again intervened, and in 1776 he became senior pastor and superintendent in Jena, in which capacity he was especially active in improving the school system. He was later chided with adhering to rather “dry” dogmatic principles, reason ultimately remaining beholden to faith in his sermons, hymns, and prayers. Tutored Auguste and Louise Seidler for their confirmation at Easter 1800. (Portrait: Österreichische Nationalbibliothek; Inventarnummer oai:baa.onb.at:8127565.)
Oertel (Örtel), Friedrich von (1764–1807): Writer, translator. Studied law and theology in Jena, Erlangen, and Leipzig, living thereafter as a writer and independent scholar in Erfurt, Weimar, and Leipzig. Wrote for Der Neue Teutsche Merkur and the Leipziger Monatsschrift für Damen and translated French and English novels; also published stories himself.
Oken, Lorenz (orig. Okenfuss) (1779–1851): Natural scientist, philosopher of nature. A Swabian by birth, from 1800 Oken studied natural history and medicine in Freiburg, receiving his doctorate in 1804 after already publishing pieces taking their orientation from Schelling’s philosophy of nature. After a short period in Würzburg (winter semester 1804–5) studying under Ignaz Döllinger, Martin Heinrich Köhler, and Schelling, where he also became well acquainted with Caroline, he transferred to Göttingen (May 1805), where he passed his Habilitation and through Goethe’s mediation became associate professor of medicine in Jena in 1807, though he soon came into conflict with Goethe concerning the structure of the spine and skull. In 1814 he married Louise Stark, daughter of the physician J. C. Stark. From 1817 he published the extremely influential journal Isis. His participation in the gathering at the Wartburg in 1817 led to legal troubles, prompting him to resign in 1819, after which he undertook journeys to Munich, Paris, and Basel before returning to Jena in 1822 as an independent scholar. From 1827 he was professor of physiology in Munich, from 1832 professor of natural history, the philosophy of nature, and physiology in Zürich. Although Oken’s works covered anatomy, physiology, and zoology in the broadest sense, he is best known as a representative of the philosophy of nature with its insistence that nature and the spirit were originally identical. (Portrait: Lithography by Ernst Friedrich Oldermann after a drawing by Franz Krüger.)
Olshausen, Justus (1800–82): Studied in Kiel, Berlin, and Paris. From 1823 professor of Near Eastern languages in Kiel, from 22 April 1828 married to Zoe Wiedemann. From 1848 also university trustee in Kiel and vice-president of the territorial assembly, protesting against Danish pressure on German duchies under its rule, whereupon he was dismissed in 1852; from 1853 professor in Königsberg, from late 1858 till 1874 university administrator in Berlin. After his first wife, Zoe, née Wiedemann, died in 1829, he married Marie Michaelis, daughter of Gottfried Philipp Michaelis.
Opitz, Martin (1597–1639): Baroque writer, poet, and literary theoretician from Silesia. His theoretical work Das Buch von der deutschen Poeterey (1624) provided an examination of the principles, forms, rhymes, and meters best suited for raising poetry written in the German language into a higher art form; the book determinatively influenced German poetry well into the eighteenth century.
Orlov (Orlof), Alexei Grigoryevich (1737–1808): Russian general, presumed murderer of Peter III in 1762, brother of Grigory Orlov. After the death of Catherine the Great in 1796, he was exiled from Russia by Paul I in 1796 and lived for a while in Dresden, where during the summer of 1800 J. F. A. Tischbein did a portrait of his daughter, Anna Alekseevna. He returned to Russia after Paul’s death in March 1801. In her memoirs, Caroline Tischbein remembers him as a “gigantic, sinister figure” who made a “repugnant impression” on her, not least with the dark blue scar across his entire face, allegedly from the fingernails of the hapless czar whom he murdered. (Portrait: 1779 by Carl-Ludwig Christinek.)
Orlov, Count Grigory Grigoryevich (1734–83): Instrumental in the conspiracy against Peter III in 1762 on behalf of Grand Duchess Catherine Alekseyevna, later Catherine the Great, with whom he also had an illegitimate son. Eventually fell out of favor at court and went abroad, eventually returning to Moscow. Married his niece, née Zinovyeva It was he who gave Catherine the Great (his former lover) what became known as the Orlov Diamond.
Örsted (Örstedt), Hans Christian (14 August 1777–9 March 1851): Danish physicist, professor in Copenhagen, discovered the relationship between magnetism and electricity. From 1794 studied pharmaceutics in Copenhagen, becoming an adjunct professor of chemistry at the medical school there in 1800. From 1801 to 1803, he traveled in Holland, Germany, and Paris. Met Johann Wilhelm Ritter while in Germany. From 1806 professor of physics in Copenhagen
Osann, Johann Bernhard Gottfried (1756–1835): Pastor in Rosdorf/Göttingen. Previously pastor in Adelebsen/Göttingen, eventually superintendent in Zellerfeld (adjacent to Clausthal). From 1819 pastor and inspector in Seelze near Hannover.
Osiander, Friedrich Benjamin (1759–1822): Obstetrician and professor in Göttingen who attended Lotte Michaelis during her fatal childbirth, during which there were apparently vehement arguments between Osiander, on the one hand, and the unidentified family physician and midwife, on the other, concerning treatments. The resulting scandal prompted Osiander to publish a self-defense, Fried. Benj. Osiander’s Anzeige seiner Vorlesungen im Sommerhalbenjahr 1793. Das Neueste aus meiner göttingischen Praxis (Göttingen 1793) (supplementary appendix 123a.1). (Portrait: anonymous drawing after portrait in the Sammlung Voit, SUB Göttingen.)
Osiander studied medicine in Tübingen, including obstetrics, from 1775 to 1779 before opening a practice in Kirchheim/Teck in Württemberg. He continued his obstetric studies in Strasbourg and from 1781 in Cassel, where he also interned with another physician. From 1780–91 he conducted no fewer than 118 surgical interventions in the 168 births involving transverse or oblique fetal presentation; counter to the Viennese view (Boer), he maintained that artificial intervention never be postponed and that births never be left to chance. From 1792 professor of medicine and obstetrics and director of the newly established obstetrics clinic in Göttingen. Of 2450 births in which he assisted there between 1792 and 1822, he intervened in 1159 cases, allowing only 1381 to follow a natural course. Although he attracted many students to Göttingen, his methods resulted in an excessive number of unnecessary operations involving births and also tended to blind physicians to the dangers of such instruments and artificial procedures as the use of forceps. He did not, however, generally favor perforation, artificially induced premature births, or episiotomy, preferring to use long forceps. In addition to the forceps, he also developed and used a lever, a dilatatorium, a knife for Caesarian sections, a pelvimeter, a vessel for water dispersion, and other instruments. From 1802 active only as obstetrician. From 1804 member of the Society of Science in Göttingen, from 1805 Hannoverian aulic councilor. Also published extensively on the subject, founded an obstetrics society in Göttingen, and an anatomical museum whose inventory later passed to state ownership.
Otth (Ott), Karl Adolf (Adolph) (2 April 1803–39): Son of C. R. W. Wiedemann’s sister Charlotte. 1821–22 in Geneva (to learn French and prepare for studying medicine), thereafter studying medicine in Bern, 1825–26 in Kiel, where his studies focused on sea life, plants, and animals. From 1826 in Berlin, where he attained his doctorate, thereafter returning for a short period to Bern. Spent the winter 1828/29 in Paris, after which he began medical practice in Bern. In 1836 spent five weeks in Algiers, studying geography and collecting insects and amphibians. Back in Bern, he published the collection of illustrations Esquisses africaines desinées pendant un voyage en Alger (Bern 1838–39). Journeyed to Alexandria in 1839 but died on 16 May after having traveled through the desert to Jerusaelm and contracted a plague-like disease. He is buried in Jerusalem.
Otth (Ott), Karl Emanuel (1772–1850): Bernese natural scientist and municipal bookkeeper, husband of Charlotte (Lotte) Wiedemann (Luise Michaelis’s sister-in-law), whom he married in Bern and with whom he likely became acquainted while his brother Ludwig was studying in Jena; he he seems otherwise (uncertain information) to have traveled from Bern to Weimar with his cousin Karl Friedrich Rudolph von May (1768–1846) between 3 and 18 April 1796, who studied for three semesters in Jena. Father of Karl Adolf Otth (1802–39), Maria Clara Charlotte Otth (1801–39), and Heinrich Gustav Otth (2 June 1806–8 November 1874), the latter a botanist of some renown.
Otth (Ott), Maria Elisabeth Johanna Charlotte (Lotte), née Wiedemann: Writer, native of Braunschweig, sister of Christian Rudolph Wilhelm Wiedemann (hence Luise Wiedemann’s sister-in-law), lived in Jena, then married Karl Emanuel Otth in Bern, Switzerland. Wrote under the pen name “Lotte,” including in the Zeitung für die elegante Welt (1807) no. 194 (“An Fr. Eschens Grab zu Servoz im Chamounythal”) and in the collection Alpenrosen (1815–24). Mother of Karl Adolf Otth (1802–39), Maria Clara Charlotte Otth (1801–39), and Heinrich Gustav Otth (2 June 1806–8 November 1874), the latter a botanist of some renown.
Otto, Georg Christian (1763–1828): Publicist and historical writer, close boyhood and university friend of Ludwig Tieck, often present as the narrator’s dialogue partner in Jean Paul’s works during the 1790s.
Otto, Louis-Guillaume (1754–1817): French diplomat. After barely escaping the guillotine in 1793, he held posts in Berlin, from 1800 in London, and from 1803 as active and influential ambassador in Bavaria at the court of Maximilian, who at the time was still a prince elector. From 1810 French ambassador to Vienna, where he negotiated Napoleon’s second marriage (after Josephine) to Marie-Louise, after which Otto was elevated to the status of count.
Oudinot, Charles Nicolas: Marshal of France, of bourgeois background, which caused him some early difficulty with promotions. Performed well after reenlisting in 1792, however, and in 1793 received a commission in the regular army. From 1794 promoted to general of brigade after demonstrating gallantry at Kaiserslautern. Participated in the Swiss campaign of 1799, becoming Massena’s chief of staff, then in the defense of Genoa, and Napoleon presented him with a sword of honor after the battle of Monzambano. Later an inspector general of infantry. In 1805 led the “grenadiers Oudinot,” whom he had hand picked and trained, in the battles of Vienna and Austerlitz. From 1808 governor of Erfurt, made a Marshal of the Empire and Duke of Reggio, from 1810 to 1812 governor of Holland, also commanding a corps in the Russian campaign. Lack of success in the battle at Gross Beeren led to his being replaced by Ney. After Napoleon’s abdication in 1814 went over and remained with the Royalist even after Napoleon’s return.
Overbeck, Johann Friedrich (1789–1869): Painter, founded the Christian Lucas Brotherhood or Nazarenes in 1809, moving to Rome and converting to Catholicism in 1813; influenced the pre-Raphaelites. Philipp Veit (Dorothea Veit’s son), was among his followers.
Ovid (43 BCE–ca. 18 CE): Roman writer of whose alleged immorality the Christian church disapproved, so his works were likely read in secret after the conversion of Constantine. Interest revived in the 11th century, after which numerous authors and painters borrowed from his stories, esp. in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. In his early erotic poetry, he flirted playfully with traditional motifs without betraying any genuine passion, also writing fictional love letters from famous women of the heroic period to their lovers; the masterpiece of his early work was a piece on the art of love (Ars amatoria) characterized by subtle psychological observation and a refined familiarity with the art of seduction. His greatest work is generally acknowledged to be the Metamorphoses, a vast, genre-defying work losely chronicling world history through myths.
Oyré, Francois Ignace Ervoil de (1739–98): French general, active in the first War of Coalition, commandant of Mainz during the siege, uncle (brother of the mother) of Jean-Baptiste Dubois-Crancé (the latter the father of Caroline’s second son). From 1759 stationed in Austria, from 1763 serving as captain, from March 1780 in America. From April 1791 lieutenant colonel, from February 1792 colonel, from October 1792 major general. In Mainz from 9 November 1792. After the siege, he was kept as a hostage to guarantee the correct execution of the terms of capitulation, during which time he was accused of treason until Antoine Merlin de Thionville spoke in his defense, after which he was pardoned. Returned to France in December 1794, retiring from service in March 1796. (Portrait: unknown artist.)