Rudolf Steiner Archive 



1. Carolingian and Hohenstaufen dynasties marked by the struggle between Empire and Papacy.

2. A French bishop, Clement V, is elected to the papal throne. The papal court transferred to Avignon 1309. Beginning of the ‘Babylonian Captivity’.

3. Knights Templar. Founded 1118 by Hugues de Payen to protect pilgrims on their way to the Holy Sepulchre. After their defeat at Acre 1291 they took refuge in Cyprus. The order was denounced 1307 by the Inquisition; their property was sequestrated. The Templars were arrested and most, including the leader, Jacques Molay, tortured and burnt. Papal Bull 1312 suppressed the Order.

4. Mongol invasions. After destroying the power of China and Islam in Central Asia, the armies of Chingis Khan (1167–1227) advanced through Georgia, overran the Ukraine and the Crimea and destroyed three Russian armies (1222–3). A renewed invasion of Russia began in 1237 under Ögödei. The Mongols captured Moscow, Rostov, Yaroslavl and destroyed the army of the Grand Duke. In 1240 they advanced towards Poland and Hungary and reached Pesth. Another army overran Lithuania and East Prussia. Archduke Henry of Silesia was defeated at Liegnitz by a force under Kaidu and in 1241 all Hungary fell to the Mongols. The death of Ögödei in 1241 saved Western Europe from further invasion. A full account will be found in The Mongols by E. D. Phillips, Thames & Hudson, 1969. Also, The Mongols and Russia by G. Vernadsky, Yale, 1959.

5. H. T. Buckle (1822–62) English historian. His chief work was the History of Civilisation in England (1857–61). He saw in the law of causality the determining factor in history. Freidrich Ratzel (1844–1904). Geographer and professor in Munich and Leipzig.

6. Ernst von Wildenbruch (1845–1909). Author of historical dramas Die Karolinger 1881, Die Quitzows 1888, etcetera. Filled with a sense of priestly mission. His plays are patriotic, rhetorical and rely upon stage effects. ‘He was capable of raising a storm to put out a night light!’

7. Ottokar II (1253–78), King of Bohemia, was compelled to surrender Austria, Styria and Carinthia to Rudolf of Hapsburg. He refused to recognize the validity of Rudolf's election as emperor and was defeated and mortally wounded at the battle of Marchfeld 1278.

8. Osmanlis or Ottomans, a western Turkish race named after their leader Osman I or Ottoman (d. 1326) who founded the Turkish empire by conquering western Asia Minor. A nomadic people.

9. Council of Constance (1414–18). John Hus was summoned to defend himself before the Church authorities against the charge of heresy. Refused to recant and was convicted and burnt.

10. Defenestration of Prague 1618. Protestant meetings prohibited by Imperial decree. Calvinists invaded the Hradschin Palace in Prague and threw the Imperial regents, Martinitz and Slavata, together with their secretary, Fabricius, out of the window on to the courtyard fifty feet below. A Bohemian rebellion now became inevitable.

11. Peace of Westphalia 1648. Religious clauses a return to the Peace of Augsburg 1565 — ‘cujus regio, ejus religio’. Territorial and political implications of the treaty of great significance in European history.

12. James I of England or James VI of Scotland aptly described by Henry IV of Navarre and Sully as the ‘wisest fool in Christendom.’



1. Stephen I (992–1038) King of Hungary, patron saint of Hungary. He brought Hungary into the orbit of Western Culture. The ‘sacred crown’ is now in America.

2. Novalis (Friedrich von Hardenberg) (1772–1802). His unfinished novel Heinrich von Ofterdingen 1802 is an allegory of Novalis' spiritual life and was the representative novel of early Romanticism.

3. Richard Cobden (1804–54) and John Bright (1811–89), leaders of ‘Manchesterism’, the school of radical free trade principles.

4. German liberalism. In 1848 the German liberals attempted to establish a constitutional state and the National Assembly offered the crown to Frederick William IV who refused to meet liberal demands. Later the movement split into moderates and radicals (the German Progressive Party). Finally the National Liberals supported Bismarck's anti-clericalism and imperialism. By the end of the century liberalism was a spent force.

.5. Friedrich Lassalle (1823–64), architect of the German labour movement. In his ‘Open letter’ 1863 he urged the proletariat to form an independent political party. Founder and president of the ‘General Association of German Workers’.

6. ‘The materialist conception of history starts from the principle that production, and with production the exchange of its products, is the basis of every social order ... the ultimate causes of all social change and political revolutions are to be sought not in the minds of men ... but in changes in the mode of production and exchange’ (Marx: Anti-Dühring). ‘The mode of production of the material means of existence conditions the whole process of social, political and intellectual life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but it is their social existence which determines their consciousness’ (Marx: Preface to the Critique of Political Economy). ‘The division of labour implies from the outset the division of the conditions of labour, of tools and materials and thus the splitting up of accumulated capital among different owners, and thus, the division between capital and labour, and the different forms of property itself’ (Marx on the class war in The German Ideology).



1. Frédéric Jean Soret (1795–1865). Scientist and author. A frequent visitor in Goethe's house. Notes from his journal were used by Eckermann for his ‘Conversations with Goethe’.



1. The Austrian Minister was Dr. Giskra (1820–79).

2. Oskar Hertwig (1849–1922). Director of the Anatomical-biological Institute in Berlin (1888–1921). Author of works on biology, zoology. Rejected Darwin's theory of sexual selection.



1. E. Horneffer (b. 1871). A disciple of Nietzsche, professor in Giessen. Emphasized pedagogic value of Graeco-Roman culture.



1. Count Leopald von Kalkreuth (1855–1928). Landscape and portrait painter. Professor at the Weimar Art School, 1885–90.

2. W. Scherer (1841–86). Pioneer of philological approach to the study of literature. Professor of German languages, Berlin.

3. H. von Treitsche (1834–96). Historiographer of the Prussian state. A Patriot and nationalist. Published the Preussische Jahrbücher (1866–89).

4. R. Strauss (1864–1949). Director State Opera, Vienna, 1918. Famous for Choral works, Lieder, chamber music, ballet and opera.

5. Waldemar von Biedermann (1817–1903). Goethe scholar. Edited a collection of Goethe's Gespräche (1889–96) 10 vols.

6. Kreuzwendedich Frieherr von Rheinbaben (1855–1921). 1901–9, Prussian Finance Minister; 1913–21, President of the Goethe Society.

7. Eduard von Hartmann (1842–1906). Philosophie des Unbewussten, 1869. See Rudolf Steiner's Riddles of Philosophy, Part II and his Briefe, Vol II, 1953.

8. Harry Graf Kessler (1868–1937); K. Breysig (1855–1940), historian.

9. Benjamin Tucker published in America a periodical: Liberty, the Pioneer Organ of Anarchism. J. H. Mackay (1864–1933). Belonged to the literary Bohemia of Berlin. Popularized ‘individual anarchism’, cf. his novel Die Anarchisten, 1891. The hero is the mouthpiece of the author. An aggressive socialist. Dealt with in detail in R. Steiner's Gesammelte Aufästze zur Kulturgeschichte (1887–1901).

10. About the expression: ‘vain self-praise stinks’ Goethe commented: ‘That may be; but the public has no nose for the smell of others' unjust criticism.’

11. Dreyfus (1859–1935). Jewish officer falsely accused of treason and transported to Devil's Island. Rehabilitated 1906.

12. W. Bölsche (1862–1939). Disciple of Zola; tried to link poetry and science. Scientific popularisor. Best known for Das Liebesleben in der Natur, 3 vols.

13. O. E. Hartleben (1864–1905). Dramatist, novelist and lyric poet. Attacked moral conventions and believed in the free personality.

14. M. Halbe (1865–1944). Dramatist and novelist. Nostalgia for lost youth, attachment to homeland, W. Prussia. (See R. Steiner's Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Dramaturgie, 1889–1900).

15. Rosa Luxemburg (1870–1919). Radical Socialist, worked for overthrow of existing regime. Opposed to war 1914. Author of ‘Spartakus’ letters 1916. Drafted programme of newly formed Communist party 1918. With K. Liebknecht fomented Spartakus rebellion, January, 1919. Finally shot by counter revolutionaries.

16. Theodor Herzka (1845–1924). National economist. Wished to establish settlement co-operatives in various countries, e.g. Africa, and to redistribute land in order to break the monopoly of landed proprietors.



1. R. Hamerling (1830–89). Early work lyrical poems. Homunculus (1888) attacked the soullessness of the epoch. Philosophy opposed to monism and pessimism.

2. The Gymnasium prepared pupils for the Abitur and the University. Main subjects Greek and Latin; two foreign languages, usually French and English, included in the curriculum.

Realschule. Here emphasis an Mathematics and Natural Sciences. This type of school had a vocational bias.

3. Leitha and Leithania. The Leitha a tributory of the Danube. Up till 1918 formed the frontier between Austria and Hungary. The Austrian half of the Empire called Cis-Leithania, the Hungarian half, Trans-Leithania. See The Hapsburg Empire by C. S. Macartney, 1968.

4. Redemptorists. St. Alfonso de Liguori (1696–1787) founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. Members of this congregation called Redemptionists. Undertook missionary work in the dioceses around Naples, heard confession and supervised schools. St. Alfonso beatified 1816 and canonized 1839.

5. The ‘Reich German’ refers to the German who was born and lived in Imperial Germany pre-1918.

6. John Calvin (1509–64). Founded the theological academy in Geneva. Taught doctrine of predestination. Ulrich Zwingli (1484–1531). Head of the Reformed Church in Switzerland. Killed in the Confessional war between Zürich and the five Cantons.

7. Gottfried Herder (1744–1807). A seminal influence in theology, history, philosophy and pedagogy. Friend of Goethe. See any history of German literature.

8. Karl von Linnä or Linnaeus (1707–78). Swedish naturalist. Inventor of artificial system of plant classification.

9. Gustav Stresemann (1878–1929). National liberal politician. Post-1918 advocated a policy of reconciliation. Chancellor 1923. Foreign Minister 1923–9. Nobel Peace Prize 1926.

10. K. J. Schröer (1825–1900). Literary historian. Professor of history of literature at the Technische Hochschule in Vienna. Teacher of R. Steiner. See latter's Course of my Life.

11. R. Eucken (1846–1929). Professor of Philosophy, Jena. Pioneer of idealist metaphysics.

H. Bergson (1859–1941). Professor at Collge de France. Famous for his book Creative Evolution and the idea of the elan vital as the fundamental stuff of the Universe.

12. Thomas Woodrow Wilson (1856–1924). Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Economy. President U.S.A. 1912–20. Author of the ‘Fourteen Points’ as basis for peace 1918. Idea of a ‘League of Nations’ stemmed from him; also of a world government to prevent future wars.



1. Photius (815–869). Patriarch of Constantinople and author of the great schism between the Orthodox Church and the Church of Rome. This schism finally centred on the ‘filioque’ controversy. The Western Church added filioque (‘and the Son’) to the Constantinopolitan Creed, the so called double Procession of the Holy Ghost. Photius refused the insertion of filioque in the Nicene Creed. The Orthodox Church sees in Photius the champion of their cause against Rome. The addition of filioque became a dogma of the Roman Church in the fourth Lateran Council 1215.

2. Ignatius Loyola(1491–1556). Wounded at siege of Pamplona 1521 and during convalescence read devotional books. 1522 retired to Manresa, devoted himself to prayer and meditation. Sketched the fundamentals of the Spiritual Exercises. Took the monastic vows, gathered a few companions (e.g. Francis Xavier, Peter Favre) who became nucleus of the Society of Jesus. The Spiritual Exercises is a book of devotion and a training manual. Approved by Pope Paul 1540. Loyola beatified 1609, canonized 1622. See R. Fülop Müller, Power and Secrets of the Jesuits, 1930; Father J. Brodrick, The Origin of the Jesuits, 1940; and Ignatius Loyola, the Pilgrim rears, 1956.

3. Zwingli and Calvin — see notes to Lecture VI.

Kaspar von Schwenkfeld (1489–1561). An Evangelical sectarian. His followers formed communities in Silesia and Pennsylvania.

Anabaptists. A Christian sect of the Reformation which rejected infant baptism and believed in the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. Associated with the peasant revolts in Saxony 1521. Leaders executed, banished or expelled.

4. Vladimir Solovieff (1853–1900). Russian theologian, philosopher and poet. His philosophy has a profound mystical quality. Opposed to Slavophil nationalism and the despotic state. See N. Berdyaev, The Russian Idea, 1947. (This book useful on the interpretation of the Russian make-up, cf. Lecture I of this course); N. L. Lossky, History of Russian Philosophy, 1953.

5. Alexander Baumgartner (1841–1910). Catholic literary historian. Member of the Jesuit Order. His book Goethe 1885 emphasizes the Catholic point of view.

6. George Henry Lewes (1871–78). Best known for the Life and Works of Goethe, 2 voll, 1855.



1. Arianism and Athanasianism. The doctrinal conflict between Arius (250–336) and Athanasius (d. 373) arose over the question of the divine Sonship of Christ. Arius maintained the Son was not God, that He was not of divine substance and not eternal, but a creation ‘begotten of God’. Athanasius defended the Godhead of the Son. Christ was truly the Son and truly God. Arianism remained the official religion of the eastern halfof the Roman Empire down to 378. The Athanasian doctrine, accepted by the Western Church at first, rejected by the Council of Antioch 341, but later supported by emporers Constantine II and Constans. The victory of the Nicene doctrine assured by the support of the Church Fathers, Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus and Gregory of Nyssa. The second Council of Constantinople 381 confirmed the Nicene faith and in 383 Arianism was proscribed. See Hastings Encyclopedia of Religion.

2. Ulfilas, the Teutons and the Heliand. The migrations of the early Christian era led to tribal groupings. The Teutonic tribes (Germanic peoples or Germans) were composed of N. Teutons, E. Teutons (Goths, Vandals and Burgundians) and W. Teutons (Franks, Saxons, Langobards).

The ‘Migration of the Peoples’ (375–568) led to attacks upon the frontiers of the Roman Empire.

Ulfilas or Wulfila (310–383). A Visigothic bishop; translated part of the Bible into Gothic. (Codex Argenteus at Uppsala.) Major influence in conversion of Visigoths to Arian christianity.

The Langobard Kingdom in Italy lasted from 568–772.

Clovis d. 511 captured Gaul for the Arian Visigoths. Was baptized 496, established a Frankish national church and so won support for Roman Catholicism.

Charles the Great overthrew the Langobards, Frisians and Saxons and united Germany under a single ruler. He was crowned in St. Peters 800 by Pope Leo III. The alliance of the Papacy and the Carolingians ensured the victory of Catholic Christianity.

Other influences in the diffusion of Christianity were the monasteries, poetic works such as the Muspilli (830), the Heliand (circa 830) in which Christ is portrayed as King and warrior, his disciples as vassals. The purpose of the poem was frankly didactic. (This complicated period of history should be studied in some standard work.)

3. Aufklärung or Enlightenment. A rationalist movement originating in England and associated with the names of Locke, Hobbes, Hume and Newton; in France with Voltaire and the Encyclopedists; in Germany with Lessing, Wolff, Nicolai and Kant. ‘Sapere aude’ said Kant — dare to be wise, have the courage to use your reason. See Kant, Was ist Aufklärung?

4. Lord Herbert of Cherbury (1583–1648) was called the ‘father of deism’. The five propositions in De Veritate 1624 were tenets of ‘natural religion’. He wished to show that Christianity and its doctrines were reasonable.

5. John Locke (1632–1704). In philosophy an empiricist; forerunner of the Enlightenment. See An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, 1690.

Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679). Philosopher: mathematicalmechanical conception of nature. Universe and man envisaged as complex machines. Politically, he looked to enlightened despotism; cf. Leviathan, 1651.

6. A. van Harnack (1851–1930). Protestant theologian and exegete; leading patristic scholar of the nineteenth century. Chief of the liberal Ritschl school of theology. Followed scientific-historical method, emphasis on ‘source study’. History of Dogma, 7 vols.; What is Christianity?

7. M. A. Bakunin (1814–76). Russian revolutionary and anarchist. Co-founder of the first International.

8. The Old Catholics. Party of reform in the R. C. Church who rejected the doctrine of papal infallibility and of Immaculate Conception. Movement founded by Döllinger in Munich 1871.

9. Paul Ernst (1866–1933). Neo-classic poet, novelist and dramatist. Strove to unite classical form and modern thought; cf. Der Weg zur Form, 1906. Wrote books connected with the war and its aftermath, Der Zusammenbruch des deutschen Idealismus, 1920.

We need your support!

We are a small nonprofit with the expenses of a large website. Your generous financial gifts make this venture possible. If you can't contribute now, please visit our Help Out page for additional ways to support our work in the future. Thank you!

External Links