Letter 377c

377c. Adalbert Friedrich Marcus to Schelling in Jena: Bamberg, 30 April 1803 [*]

Bamberg, 30 April 1803

What will you think of me, my dear friend, for not having written for so long? But let me first tell you the reason, and then you may pronounce sentence on me.

When I received your last letter, [1] I became convinced that you would under no circumstances be staying much longer in Jena, that your own situation there was likely becoming more unpleasant with each passing day, and that the sweetest revenge would probably be no longer to have to bicker around with those base people, and instead, if at all possible, to turn yourself into a southern plant once more.

I resolved to work out a proposal to present to the ministry in Munich. [2] One of its tasks was to organize the study of medicine in the Franconian principalities. [3] I quickly came up with a proposal and was also hoping for a quick response to my work. Various things, however, have conspired to delay the conclusion of things in Franconia, things that would take too long to relate here. The old tyrants [4] had dug in so deeply that one had to summon new levers to extract them.

About two weeks ago, the government in Munich sent two new, let us say, siege engines, and the Gothic edifice finally collapsed in a frightful heap. Count von Thürheim and territorial administrator Rath von Leiden appeared with the most tailored instructions to put an end to all this nonsense on the spot. It is done. Cathedral chapters, ecclesiastical foundations, abbacies, monasteries have all been annulled.

Next week we are expecting Count von Thürheim as president of the territorial administration for all of Franconia to implement the plan that was already signed in Munich on the 22nd of this month. I recommended you, my dear friend, as professor of the philosophy of nature at the academy in Würzburg, maintaining that such was the only way Würzburg might be elevated as a university. Today I received from Count von Thürheim the news that the court has unconditionally approved all my proposals with respect both to things and to persons.

I now doubt not for a moment that this also refers to your appointment in Würzburg. [5] I did not want to wait another moment before informing you of this situation. I suggested offering you 1000–1500 Gulden. I myself know not whence this appointment will be sent to you, whether directly from Herr Geheimrath von Zentner in Munich or from me here. Such will doubtless be clarified within 4 to 6 days. I am not yet giving free rein to my own joy, however, until I have been assured concerning all this.

My own triumph at seeing you in Franconia, however, will eclipse everything. Kilian will in all likelihood be coming as second physician and teacher at the hospital clinic in Bamberg. I still know nothing about this and must likely linger in uncertainty for a few more days in this matter as well, since I was given general assurances rather than specifics. Kornatowsky and Streng [6] will probably also be coming to Franconia as salaried general territorial physicians.

In the larger sense, my dear Schelling, I do hope you are satisfied with my arrangements and my manner of proceeding. I intend to elevate the medical institutions in Franconia to a point hitherto unknown in Germany. The oh-so-refined Saxons and Prussians [7] will soon be looking enviously on us. —

The territorial direction and high court of appeals will be coming to Bamberg, the university and main court of law to Würzburg. A practical-clinical school will remain in Bamberg, whose head I myself will be, thereafter to nurture, care for, and raise it as my favorite child. My goal is to cultivate the Bamberg school such that no German student need go to Vienna in the future. [8]

But enough for today, indeed too much. Embrace Caroline in my name, who I hope will be also a bit kindly disposed to me as well, and expect the result of my most ardent wish on the next postal day.

With love and admiration,



[*] Sources: Plitt 1:456–57; Fuhrmans 2:497–99.

This letter reflects, as it were, the incipient developments that determined where Caroline would spend the rest of her life. See below. Back.

[1] At the end of August 1802, when Schelling solicited Marcus for a statement on Auguste’s death in his and Wilhelm Schlegel’s bitter quarrel with the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung. Marcus’s affidavit appeared as an addendum to Wilhelm Schlegel’a To the Public. Rebuke of a Defamation of Honor Perpetrated in the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (letter/document 371b) along with that of Andreas Röschlaub. Back.

[2] I.e., to the Bavarian government, which had just acquired new territories. See below. Back.

[3] The Treaty of Lunéville (1801) had helped set into motion developments that eventually brought about the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation in 1806 and also reconfigured the geopolitical landscape in a way determining where Caroline would spend the rest of her life, namely, first in Würzburg, then in Munich (see map below); she never returned to Jena.

See Roscoe Lewis Ashley, Modern European Civilization (New York 1919), 199–200:

Like most other changes made in “Germany” between 1625 and 1860, the reorganization of the country was forced upon her from without. By treaties with Prussia and Austria before 1800 France had obtained an indefinite right to the lands on the left or western bank of the Rhine river. By the Peace of Lunéville (1801) she gained a clear title to all territories west of the Rhine, thus extending her eastern boundaries to the Rhine river.

Within this area there were extinguished one hundred and eighteen separate free cities, states, or principalities, which had been members of the Empire. To these princes dispossessed by the French, Austria as the head of the empire was compelled to promise compensation, that is, other lands east of the Rhine.

In point of fact the reorganization of the Holy Roman Empire was the work of Napoleon and his secretaries. Most of the knights’ lands ceased to be fiefs. The ecclesiastical properties also became integral parts of the states to which they belonged territorially.

Besides the one hundred and eighteen principalities west of the Rhine which were destroyed by Napoleon, there were one hundred and sixty others east of the Rhine which lost their separate existence. To his friends, the rulers of the South “German” states, Napoleon gave additional territories; upon some of them he conferred the title of king.

As part of these developments, the Principal Conclusion of the Extraordinary Imperial Delegation (Reichsdeputationshauptschluss), a resolution passed by the Imperial Diet of the Holy Roman Empire on 25 February 1803, had ceded to Bavaria both Bamberg and Würzburg (“South West Germany and North Italy: The War of the Second Coalition 1798–1801,” The Cambridge Modern History Atlas, ed. A. W. Ward, G. W. Prothero, Stanley Leathes, and E. A. Ben [London 1912], map 88; [University of Texas, Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection]):



[4] The last prince bishop of Bamberg, Christoph Franz von Buseck, and of Würzburg, Georg Karl Ignaz von Fechenbach; although the latter had abdicated as territorial prince in November 1802, he remained bishop. Back.

[5] These developments were part of a fateful exodus from Jena of several prominent professors.

Schelling was appointed full professor in Würzburg in the autumn of 1803 with a salary of 1500 florins, the first time he had been a salaried professor (something he had never been offered in Jena). H. E. G. Paulus, who received his own appointment in Würzburg on 20 October 1803, writes at length to Christian Friedrich Schnurrer in Tübingen around June 1803 concerning the increasing problems at the university in Jena, dissatisfaction among the faculty, and Schelling’s problems with being non-salaried (see supplementary appendix 377c.1). Back.

[6] Uncertain identity. Back.

[7] The Prussians had territories in both Upper and Lower Saxony. Back.

[8] It may be recalled that Schelling himself had considered studying in Vienna; see his letter to Wilhelm Schlegel on 3 September 1802 (letter 369d), note 8. In fact, his brother Karl Schelling did indeed study in Vienna; see Schelling’s letter to his father on 28 May 1802 (letter 361a), note 3. Back.

Translation © 2016 Doug Stott