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University of Jena

The University of Jena is situated in Jena in Thuringia and has around 17,000 students and 340 professors.


In 1547 the elector John Frederick the Magnanimous of Saxony, while a captive in the hands of the emperor Charles V, conceived the plan of founding a university at Jena, which was accordingly established by his three sons. After having obtained a charter from the emperor Ferdinand I, it was inaugurated on February 2, 1558.

It was most numerously attended about the middle of the 18th century; but the most brilliant professoriate was under the duke Charles Augustus, Goethe's patron (1787-1806), when Gottlieb Fichte, Georg Hegel, Friedrich Schelling, Friedrich von Schlegel and Friedrich Schiller were on its teaching staff. Founded as a home for the new religious opinions of the ifith century, it has ever been in the forefront of German universities in liberally accepting new ideas. It distanced perhaps every other German university in the extent to which it carried out what were popularly regarded as the characteristics of German student-life--duelling and the passion for Freiheit. At the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, the opening of new universities, co-operating with the suspicions of the various German governments as to the democratic opinions which obtained at Jena, militated against the university, which never regained its former prosperity.

In 1905 it was attended by about 1,100 students, and its teaching staff (including privatdocenten) numbered 112. Amongst its numerous auxiliaries may be mentioned the library, with 200,000 volumes, the observatory, the meteorological institute, the botanical garden, seminaries of theology, philology and education, and well equipped clinical, anatomical and physical institutes.