Popular Science Monthly/Volume 65/June 1904/The Royal Prussian Academy of Science and the Fine Arts: Berlin IV

Popular Science Monthly Volume 65 June 1904  (1904) 
The Royal Prussian Academy of Science and the Fine Arts: Berlin IV by Edward F. Williams




IV. From the Reorganization in 1812 through the Reign of Frederick William III., to 1840.

THIS period was a period of great men in almost every branch of learning, especially in science, of great statesmen and historians, of great warriors and rulers. It was a period in which the intellectual life of Germany developed rapidly, in which the gymnasia were much improved, in which the new science of teaching was created, in which the universities, more especially those of Prussia, stimulated by the standards set up at Berlin, became worthy of a kingdom and the patronage the world has given them.

During the reign of Frederick William III., or from 1812 to 1840, the character of the academy changed very little. Its statutes were modified only when absolutely necessary, although under the influence of the Humboldts and their sympathizers it became, what it was organized to be, an institution for research, and through its publications, for the diffusion of knowledge. In the early decades of the nineteenth century Germany began to take her true place as a leader in scientific, historical and philosophical studies. She sought to make her own what Cousin, the French philosopher, describes as 'the true, the beautiful and the good.' The unity of all branches of learning became apparent. It was in this new era of intellectual life that some of the great undertakings for which the academy has acquired fame were planned and set on foot. Men like Niebuhr, Schleiermacher, Savigny and Boeckh felt the need of an institution which would consider and execute enterprises for the diffusion of knowledge which were far beyond the resources of private individuals. One of these enterprises, and one in which Boeckh was deeply interested, was the gathering, arranging and publication of Greek and Latin inscriptions. Out of the discussions in which Boeckh and many others engaged have come the volumes of Latin inscriptions to which Mommsen gave so many years of his life and which with their vast amount of information will ever remain a monument to his industry, scholarship and rare skill as an editor. The volumes of Greek inscriptions are of scarcely less value than those of the Latin. Another result of the departure from traditional methods has been the edition of the works of Aristotle, including comments on his writings and such annotations by present-day scholars as have seemed necessary. It was through Wolff, one of the members of the academy, who died in 1824, that German scholars were made acquainted with the treasures of Grecian archeology. In the second decade of the century, great as was the ambition of many of its leaders, the academy was by no means what it now is. At its regular sessions rarely more than one half its members were present. Only 8 out of 29 or 30 who might have had the privilege heard Schleiermacher's remarkable essay on 'Various Methods of Translation.' The philosophical class, of which Schleiermacher was the head, contained only two members in addition to himself, Savigny and the younger Ancillon. It was the historical class which led the academy. To it belonged William von Humboldt, Ideler, Niebuhr, Buttmann, Boeckh and Bekker. In the decade following the fall of Napoleon the works of Savigny, the Grimm brothers, Lachmann, Bopp, Diez, Carl Bitter, Kiebuhr, the Humboldts, Eichorn, Creutzer, Gottfried and Hermann appeared. Many of them were epoch-making. Schleiermacher represented philosophy, philology and theology, as well as ethics, in his writings and in his instructions as a professor in the university. Boeckh represented philology, history and economics, while Niebuhr made it plain in his Roman History how history should be studied and written. Savigny indicated in his writings on law how closely united it is with history and philosophy.

It was in 1815 that Boeckh proposed and secured the adoption of a plan for the publication of all accessible Greek and Latin inscriptions. He thought the work might occupy four years and cost about $450. It is not yet entirely complete and has cost more than $45,000. Boeckh gave his personal attention to Grecian antiquities and with the aid of a commission appointed by the academy, by correspondence with societies in Corfu, Thessaly and Athens, and by searching the libraries of Europe, gathered material for a work which he soon discovered would be far more extensive, valuable and costly than he had originally anticipated. Bekker came to his aid and was made his permanent assistant in 1817. He had spent the years 1810-12 in Paris, copying manuscripts, and in 1815-16 had been employed with Professor Goeschen in Verona in copying the 'Gaius,' discovered by Mebuhr while serving as ambassador in Rome, a work which has proved to be of importance for the science of law. In 1817 Bekker was entrusted with the preparation of the writings of Aristotle, which was subsequently made to include the comments and everything else which could throw light upon their meaning or their importance. Professor Brandis was chosen as his assistant. This edition, now under the care of Professor Diels, is approaching completion and is of inestimable value to all who prize learning and painstaking accuracy. Mr. Diels entered the academy in 1882 and is still one of its most important members. Bekker devoted the years 1817-20 to careful study of the material in the libraries of Italy, Holland, Belgium and France as a preparation for his editorial work, which began in April, 1821. Although it was decided as early as 1817 that an edition of Grecian inscriptions should be published, nothing was actually done to bring this about till 1826. Prior to this last date it had become evident that it would not be enough to publish inscriptions which had already appeared, as Zumpt proposed, or were in the libraries, but that all of them must be copied anew from the ruins and monuments on which they were found and then patiently studied and criticized by the best scholars of the day. For defraying the cost of this undertaking, a grant from the government was sought and obtained. A third work of very great importance interested the academy and received a good deal of assistance from it, the Monumenta Germaniæ. So important was this work that the Society for the Study of Old German History was organized to care for it, a society in which all German-speaking countries have shown an interest. A long step forward was taken by the academy in 1821, when it secured a printing-press of its own, with fonts of type in Arabic and Sanscrit as well as in Greek, Latin and German. Of course, there were troubles with the printer, but it was now possible for the academy to watch closely its own work and to send it out into the world in such shape as it desired. Henceforth the 'Transactions' or 'Proceedings' appeared in a greatly improved form.

There were many serious discussions among the members of the academy as to the wisdom of retaining four distinct classes, each with its own special secretary or director. Some like Schleiermacher wished the number reduced. He did not care to have the philosophical class continued. He and its members preferred to be in the historical class. Others thought science had been neglected, although as many men prominent in its various branches as could be persuaded to come to Berlin had been invited thither as members of the academy or as professors in the university. Minister Altenstein in 1820 sent an order to the academy to put a statement of the changes it desired into writing, but with the understanding that the philosophical class would be retained, and the historical class, if possible, be made more efficient. That meant that the four classes would be continued substantially as they were.

Meanwhile the government had grown suspicious of Schleiermacher and Savigny. They were looked upon as 'demagogues and spies.' The police were ordered to listen to Scheiermacher's sermons. William von Humboldt was dismissed from the cabinet as Cultus minister because of the liberality of his views, and the academy was rebuked for publishing such papers as those of Niebuhr. A decree was issued on October 19, 1819, by order of the king, which forbade any member of the academy to publish anything, whether literary or scientific, without the approval of the government censor. Thus the right of free publication, which the academy and its members had long enjoyed, was invaded, and in spite of protestations, freedom of publication was suspended for five years, and was not formally removed till July, 1843. But a petition for freedom on the part of the academy to issue its official papers without submitting them to censorship was favorably received by the king, although that privilege was denied to its members as individuals.

The physical class of the academy, stimulated by what the historical class had accomplished, set itself about great enterprises. In 1820 it sent Ehrenberg, who had already won fame as a microscopist, to Egypt. He and Hanpricht, his associate, explored the Libyan desert, Lower Egypt, Upper Egypt as far as Nubia, the coast of the Red Sea and passed through Arabia, Petrea and Syria. To the funds required in 1823 the king made generous gifts from his private resources. The year 1825 was given to travel and study in Abyssinia. In the 85 boxes sent to Berlin at different times there were geological specimens of great variety, many fossils, a large selection of dried plants, as well as of woods, fruits, seeds, weapons and instruments in use in northern Africa. Of animals there were above 4,000 different specimens in ten times that number of individual examples, and 2,900 specimens of plants. This journey and its outcome were significant for both the academy and the progress of science.

The scientific section of the academy put forth a special effort in 1825 to strengthen its influence by securing men of the first rank for its various departments. As the astronomer had failed to keep abreast of the times, Oltmans and Encke were brought into the academy. Encke served it forty years, and till 1863 was secretary of the mathematical class. It was through his influence and discoveries that the academy gave such an impulse to astronomical studies. The new building for astronomical uses, begun in 1832, was completed in 1835, and $375 a year for six years was set aside by the government for its support. A map of the heavens was planned, on which the position of all fixed stars above the ninth and tenth magnitudes was to be shown. The heavens were divided into 24 sections and assigned to as many observers. It was supposed that the map, which was a pioneer of its kind, would be completed in four years. In fact, it was only partially completed in 1859, but it prepared the way for the more accurate and extensive work of later days. Not a little was done by the historical class in archeology, and the need of special funds and accurately trained laborers in this field was seen to be so pressing that in 1829 the Archeological Society of Berlin was formed. Aid was given Graff for a German dictionary and to Bopp for an edition of the Indian poem, 'Mahabharata.'

Hegel's philosophy with its theories of panlogism and its doctrine of the absolute, was not favorable to science. Yet it enjoyed the confidence of the government and in many circles was accepted as true. But to Schleiermacher and not a few others its theories seemed fanciful and uncertain. Perhaps it was on account of their unwillingness to receive him into the academy that in 1826 he and a few others founded a society for scientific criticism with the three departments of philology, philosophy and history. This society, to which some distinguished men attached themselves who might otherwise have been in the academy, till some time after the death of Hegel was influential in Berlin. Regular sessions were held, and year books, two volumes each year, from 1827 to 1840, were published.

It was in this last year that the philosophical class, now reduced to two members, was given up, and its work transferred to the historical class, of which, since Buttmann had become too old to discharge its duties, Schleiermacher became secretary. During the first third of the century the philosophy of the absolute had the field. It was in the second third of the century that natural history and religion entered the lists against it and won the victory. And yet the reign of science in Berlin began with the return to that city in 1827 of Alexander von Humboldt, who had lived twenty years in Paris in close association with Liebig, Arago, Gay Lussac, Bonpland and Valenciennes, to all of whom he was warmly attached. At that time the academies of Paris were at the height of their fame, as eminent in their different fields as the university of Paris had been in the middle ages among the other universities of Europe. Humboldt had rare skill in gathering and grouping facts, and the publication of his 'Cosmos' was a great event in the scientific world. Yet its leaves were hardly dry from the press before its conclusions were outgrown. But the spirit and method of the book, writers like Harnack say, will survive.

The winter of Humboldt's return was full of excitement for learned circles in Berlin. In the university he lectured on the 'Cosmos,' and sixteen times he spoke on the physics of the world to an audience which filled the Singakademie and represented every class of society from the king to a stone mason.

Between 1830 and 1840 many of the more prominent and useful members of the academy passed away—Niebuhr, Seebeck, Rudolph, Schleiermacher, William von Humboldt,—and new men were added—Dirrichlet, Ranke the historian, Eichorn the critic, Hoffman the statesman, Graff, Stein, Johannes Müller, G. Rose, Gerhard, Dove the meteorologist, Poggendorf, Neander the church historian, and Magnus—every one of whom contributed not a little to the increase of knowledge and to the fame of the academy.

For some reason the physical class was now growing more rapidly than the historical class, for there had in reality ceased to be more than these two classes, and efforts were made in the early thirties to render them more nearly equal. But the objection to Hegel on the part of many, and the admiration felt for him on the part of others, made it well-nigh impossible to elect any one to the historical class. This abnormal condition of things was brought to an end by the sudden death of Hegel on November 14, 1831. A commission was appointed to see if some means could not be devised for reducing the four so called classes of the academy to two, a mathematical-physical class and a historical-philosophical class, the arrangement which now exists, but which was not brought about till 1838, although the difficulties between the classes had long before passed away. By special decree on March 31, 1838, many desirable changes were favored and made legal by the king. In 1837 it had been definitely decided that the academy should stand for research, chiefly in science and literature, that the number of members should not exceed fifty, equally divided between the classes, and that each class should nominate only one hundred corresponding members. The mathematical-physical class voted to have two members each for chemistry, physics, botany, zoology and anatomy, and six for the mathematical sciences. In May, 1839, the historical class proposed three members for the study of philosophy and its history, three for the study of general history, two each for archeology, mythology and oriental literature, four for the old classical literature, one member for the study of German philology, and one for the study of politics.

With this arrangement of its forces the academy could now be defined as 'a society of learned men organized to advance and spread general knowledge apart from the function of teaching.' It was agreed that each class should determine and direct its own work, that special meetings for each class should be held once a month, general meetings each week, that no person should belong to two classes at the same time, that each class should propose its own members, though they must be elected by the vote of both classes of the academy and that vote confirmed by the king. The right to lecture in any Prussian university was made one of the perquisites of members of the academy. Ordinary members were paid $50 a year, the botanist, the chemist, the astronomer, two philologists and two historians, more than twice as much. The four secretaries while managing their special sections were to preside in turn at general meetings four months each.

Three public meetings were appointed for each year, Frederick's Day in January, Leibniz Day in July and the king's birthday. For January the program was to be a general history of the year; for July, an account of the special work done. Persons not belonging to the academy could be employed for special service, but only two men at a time for each class, and not more than $300 a year could be paid out for this kind of work. With slight modifications these arrangements and regulations are still in force, although the members are paid $225 (900 Marks) each a year, and divisions into sections in the academy made for convenience and efficiency are all now embraced in the two classes already named. The king died in 1840. At that time the income of the academy from all sources was a little more than $15,000. It had not increased materially since 1809, and yet out of this small income some money had been saved and invested as capital. The king had preserved the independence of its members save in regard to the censorship exercised over their private writings, and had entrusted its care to wise advisers. During this reign, advance in knowledge, especially in scientific directions, had been very great. The academy had done some excellent work in all the departments of knowledge which it represented. In mathematics, worthy of mention are Dirrichlet, Steiner, Weierstrass, Jacobi and Kummer. When only twelve years, Dirrichlet spent his money for books on mathematics. From the Cologne gymnasium he went to Paris to hear La Place, Legendre, Forier and Poisson. He not only could understand Gauss's 'arithmetical disquisitions,' but he could make their meaning clear to others. He married Rebecca Mendelssohn Bartholdy in 1832, and after that time till his death his house was an intellectual and social center in Berlin. In the estimation of those who know it best his work was as important as that of Descartes in the use of analysis in geometry. Astronomy made good progress under Encke. His study of the occultation of Venus in 1796 enabled him to determine more accurately than had ever been done the parallax of the sun. In physics many names have become famous. Paul Ermann and Seebeck were in the academy before Frederick William III. occupied the throne; Dove, who laid the foundation of the science of modern physics; Poggendorf and Magnus came in prior to 1840. Ermann was in the academy from 1806 to 1851, was one of its secretaries from 1810 to 1841 and did as much as any one to help forward its development. DuBois Reymond was accustomed to speak of him as one of the best physicists of his era and as preparing the way for physicists like Magnus, and physiologists like Johannes Müller. Magnus was trained in chemistry by Berzelius and Gay Lussac, and in his turn trained many of the best modern chemists of Germany. Seebeck, after laboring thirteen years in the academy, withdrew to Jena, living upon his private means and devoting himself wholly to scientific studies. Mitscherlich, the discoverer of isomorphism, and Heinrich Rose, the discoverer of niobium, were trained by Berzelius and as analytical chemists have been ranked with their teacher. J. B. Karster, Weiss and G. Rose were eminent as mineralogists, and Leopold von Buch is credited with having laid the foundation for the study of geology and paleontology in Germany. His geological map in twenty-five leaves, published in 1821, had in 1843 run through five editions. For many years Link was the keeper of the botanic garden in Berlin, and with his own money founded its present magnificent herbarium. Harkell and Kunth were associated with him in his work. The latter spent sixteen years in Paris on a collection of plants carried thither by Alexander von Humboldt, and at his death left a herbarium containing 55,000 specimens, which the government was wise enough to purchase. Zoology and anatomy were represented in the academy by Rudolphi, Lichtenstein, Ehrenberg, Klug and Johannes Müller. The first named was director of the zoological museum, which he made the finest in Europe. He was author of 'Journeys in South Africa.' Klug worked in entomology for more than half a century, and at his death left the museum more than 80,000 species of insects in more than 260,000 specimens. He gave no little attention to the study of spiders and shells. Ehrenberg is famous throughout the world as a microscopist. The titles to his papers, his reports to the academy and his works fill twenty-five pages in the quarto catalogue of the academy. In anatomy and physiology the studies of Müller, who was twenty-five years in the academy, were epoch-making for the science of biology. It is admitted that he made physiology a science. Alexander von Humboldt was recognized as the most distinguished man of science of his generation. Devoting himself to no single department of science, he became eminent as a man of almost universal knowledge. At his death the king consented that his friends should establish a fund in his memory, the income of which is available under the direction of the academy for journeys in various parts of the world in the interest of such studies as Humboldt himself had most eagerly pursued. Carl Hitter was the founder of the scientific study of geography. Ideler combined the study of modern languages, in which he was an adept, with the study of mathematics and astronomy. F. A. Wolff gave himself to philology, a science which he did a great deal to form and develop. Niebuhr, Buttmann, Boeckh, Bekker, Suesmilch were ornaments to the academy. The last named was followed by Lachmann and Meineke, and these in turn by Hirst and Uhden, who began the study of archeology, which E. Gerhard did so much to push forward into the prominence it deserves. In Borne Niebuhr gathered many manuscripts, which were of use in the preparation of the Latin inscriptions. Though a librarian, Buttmann gave himself to lexicography and grammar. While England and America are deeply indebted to him for his 'Grammar of the Greek Language,' which first appeared in 1820, it is not too much to say that he made the study of that language popular and scientific for his native land. Lachmann, who lived from 1793 to 1851, was a born critic. He was a student of old dialects of modern languages, as well as of the classics and of the text of the New Testament. Zumpt was distinguished as a Latinist and for his grammar of that language. E. Gerhard was famous as an archeologist, but was most useful in carrying through Mommsen's plan for gathering, collecting, arranging and publishing the Latin inscriptions. Francis Bopp came to Berlin at the suggestion of Humboldt and was made professor of oriental languages in the university. He devoted himself mainly to Sanscrit, and published his dictionary of that language in 1827. The first part of his 'Comparative Grammar,' by which his fame was gained, appeared in 1852. Other editions appeared at different times from 1856 to 1862, and the last edition shortly after his death in 1868. To him all orientalists owe a debt of gratitude. Jacob Grimm gave himself to the study of the German language and William von Humboldt to the study of the philosophy of language, in which his writings are as important for the science of law as those of Linnæus for the science of botany. Every one knows what Niebuhr did for history, which he studied in the belief that knowledge of it is of value for the present day. Boeckh found his chief interest for the time in which he lived, in the study of life and government among the ancient Greeks. Bekker was famous for his studies of Homer, his editions of Provencial works, his studies in old French and Italian and in modern Greek. From him Lachmann learned the true method of criticism. Wilker and Friederich von Raumer were students of universal history, the latter being known for his 'History of the Crusades.' Savigny and Eichorn were historians of law, as Niebuhr was of Rome and Neander of the church. Savigny is the founder of the historical school of jurisprudence, and immortalized himself in a six-volume history of 'Roman Law in the Middle Ages.' K. E. Eichorn is the father of the history of German law. Von Ranke, who died in 1886, stands at the head of modern historians. As he went to the original sources for what he wrote, his books will not soon lose their value. Hoffmann, the statesman, became famous as a statistician and a political economist. It is said of him, as of no one else in his time, that he knew how to arrange statistics scientifically and to deduce ethical lessons from them. He was director of the Prussian bureau of statistics and made it one of the most valuable in Europe. These are some of the men who were in the academy during the period under treatment and whose names are sufficient to furnish reasons for the fame it attained and for the share it had in contributing to the knowledge of the world. Indeed it has been proudly said that no volume of the 'Proceedings' during this period is without some treatise which either founds a discipline or lifts an older one to a higher grade.

V. The Academy under Frederick William IV., 1840 to 1859. Not since the days of Frederick the Great had there been so warm a friend of the academy on the throne as the new king. He was willing to identify himself with the academy by attending its public meetings as Frederick had not been. Save in the realm of politics and theology he granted it full liberty of discussion and publication. He was very friendly with Alexander von Humboldt, whom he had as a constant guest at his table, through whom he kept himself informed as to the progress of science in Europe and the special needs of the academy. He favored the new learning and the new methods of study, but he did not favor radical measures in politics nor changes in the creeds or in the methods of governing the church. Yet he brought the Grimms, Haupt and Mommsen to Berlin, radical as he knew them to be in their political opinions, and secured their election to the academy. From him came the money for the publication of the Latin inscriptions and for the beautiful and complete edition in thirty volumes of the works of Frederick the Great, Vol. I. appearing in 1846 and Vol. XXX. in 1856. He interested German scholars in Egyptian research and made it possible, by private gifts, for Lepsius to spend the years from 1842 to 1845 in the study of its monuments and its curious learning. He helped Agassiz to come to America, Rosen to go to the Caucasus, Petermann to Syria, Palestine and Arabia Petrea, and Peters to South Africa. He aided Graff on his Old High Dutch collection and Schwartze in his Coptic studies. He provided means with which Dove pursued his meteorological researches and for the establishment of institutes in connection with the universities for the training of teachers. In 1842 he founded the order pour le mérite and the Verdun prize to be given once in five years for the best German book issued during that period. It is interesting for Americans to know that this prize was awarded to the late Professor von Hoist for his 'Constitutional History of the United States.' And yet the relation of the academy to the government was not quite so pleasant as it had been during the ministry of Altenstein. The new ministers were not all so profoundly convinced of the usefulness of the academy as was the king, but they did not fail to aid it or cease to advise the king to sustain it. At his death the great work on German inscriptions, to which he had given much thought, was approaching completion. In passing, it may be observed that the first written word ever sent the academy by Mommsen was in a letter of thanks, dated April 2, 1843, for a grant of a little less than $120 for aid in his studies of Latin inscriptions in and about Naples. One of his last reports was read in the academy in 1903. Not only was the academy with great difficulty persuaded to undertake the publication of the Latin inscriptions, it was with still greater reluctance that it entrusted the gathering and arranging of them to so young a man as Mommsen. He was backed by men like Savigny and Lachmann, and the first installment of his work proved even to those who had doubted it his fitness for the undertaking. Yet it was not till seven years had passed, called by Gerhard his 'seven years' war.' that Mommsen was finally given entire control of the work, with power to choose his own assistants and proceed in his own way. Meanwhile he had sent the academy 450 inscriptions, most of them copied with his own hand, 100 of which could not be found in the libraries of Europe and 150 of which had never been published. During the discussions concerning himself and his relation to the inscriptions he retired to Leipzig as a professor and thence to Zürich, where he began his 'History of Rome.' In Ins new work in the 'Inscriptions' Italian scholars freely offered their assistance, some of them without asking for pay, so that when the king pledged $2,000 a year for six years there was no reason for hesitating to send the young scholar back to Italy. In 1857 he was transferred from Breslau, where he had been made a professor, to Berlin, given a chair in the university and elected to active membership in the academy. He became one of its most useful and prominent members, and at his death in 1903 was one of its most famous. Vol. IX. of the Latin inscriptions was published in 1862, and in the same year the 'Monumenta Priscæ Latinitatis.' Each year of this reign from $1,500 to $1,750 was expended, apart from special grants, for purely scientific purposes. Yet, in spite of its limited means, never exceeding $15,000 annually, the savings of the academy in 1857 had reached the sum of $25,000.

The death or withdrawal of many of the older members of the academy and the introduction of new members, many of them young men, brought a great change into its spirit and methods. The Grimm brothers were in the academy thirty years and did very much to increase its usefulness and its reputation. The second edition of Jacob Grimm's 'German Grammar,' the first edition appearing in 1822, contains his law of sound and gives its author a place by the side of William von Humboldt and Francis Bopp as one of the founders of the modern science of language. After the death of Stein, G. H. Pertz was entrusted by the Society for Old German History with the editorship of the 'Monumenta Germaniæ,' a work which but for his diligence and his skill might never have been finished. It was through his advice and persistency that the academy was induced to publish the 'Annals of Leibniz.' In 1844 Jacobi, second only to Gauss as a mathematician, was brought from Königsberg to Berlin and the academy. He devoted himself to the study of the functions of the ellipse. His writings for six years fill two of the quarto volumes of the academy. Trendelenberg, whose strength as a philosopher lay in his skill as a critic, and in his knowledge of all previous thought, was instrumental in inducing the academy to undertake the publication of the works of Aristotle. Peterman was famous for his acquaintance with the Armenian, Semitic and Coptic languages, and Homeyer for his studies in the middle ages and for his ability to trace in a scientific manner the history of law during that era, and to give his contemporaries a correct understanding of the history and development of German law. Of what Lepsius did for the science of Egyptology few are unaware. During the fifties the zoologist Peters; the physiologist DuBois Reymond; Kosch and Baum, the botanists; Buschmann, the linguist; Pinder, the numismatist; Riedel, the historian; Curtius, linguist as well as historian; Kiepert, the geographer; Haupt, the philologist; Beyrich, the geologist; and Ewald, the paleontologist,—entered the academy and by the investigations in their special departments of study and their publications did their full share in increasing its fame throughout the world. When DuBois Reymond was a candidate for the academy, Alexander von Humboldt and Johannes Müller, his backers, described him as 'a fine experimenter in physics, physiology and chemistry' and added that 'he had been carefully trained in mathematics and the classics.' Reymond became one of the best known members of the academy, was in it forty-five years and lived for it as no one had done since the days of Merian. In 1850-51, Barthomess of Frankfurt, an honorary member of the academy, published what Harnack describes as a philosophical history of the academy. It covers the period from Leibniz to Schelling, and within its limits, Trendelenberg says it is unsurpassed. Notwithstanding the excitements in Berlin, as well as elsewhere on the continent of Europe, of the year 1848, and the anxiety caused by the failing health and the mental weakness of the king nearly a decade later, the members of the academy quietly performed their tasks and through its publications added something every year to the aggregate of human knowledge. Not a few of its members were recognized throughout the world as leaders in the departments of study to which they had devoted their energies. Alexander von Humboldt, who died in 1859, having been connected with the academy, either as honorary or as active member, since the beginning of the century, was present at one of its regular sessions in March as eager for knowledge as in his youthful days. With his death and that of Carl Fitter and William Grimm a great era in the history of the academy closed. But before entering upon that chapter of its history which unites it with the present, we may call attention to the fact that in 1845 Prescott, Sparks and Bancroft, American historians, were made corresponding members, that in 1852 Dr. Edward Robinson, the distinguished biblical scholar, was added to the list, and that in 1855 the same honor was accorded to Professor James D. Dana, the geologist, and Professor Asa Gray, the botanist.