Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V11, Page 56 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE.—The main sources for the biography of Frederick the Great are his own works, which, in the words of Leopold von Ranke, " deal with the politics and wars of the period with the greatest possible objectivity, i.e. truthfulness, and form an imperishable monument of his life and opinions." A magnificent edition of Frederick's complete works was issued (1846–1857), at the instance of Frederick William IV., under the supervision of the historian Johann D. E. Preuss (1785–1868). It is in thirty volumes, of which six contain verse, seven are historical, two philosophical, and three military, twelve being made up of correspondence. So long as the various state archives remained largely inaccessible historians relied upon this as their chief authority. Among works belonging to this period may be mentioned Thomas Carlyle, History of Frederick II. of Prussia (6 vols., London, 1858–1865); J. G. roysen, Friedrich der Grosse (2 vols., Leipzig, 1874–1876, forming part V. of his Geschichte der preussischen Polilik); Ranke, Friedrich II., Konig von Preussen (Werke, vols. li. and iii.). A great stimulusto the study of Frederick's history has since been given by the publication of collections of documents preserved in various archives. Of these the most important is the great official edition of Frederick's political correspondence (Berlin, 1879), of which the thirty-first vol. appeared in 1906. Of later works, based on modern research, may be mentioned R. Koser, Konig Friedrich der Grosse, Bd. 2 (Stuttgart, 1893 and 1903; 3rd ed., 1905) ; Bourdeau, Le Grand Frederic (2 vols., Paris, 1900–1902) ; L. Paul-Dubois, Frederic le Grand, d'apres sa correspondance politique (Paris, 1903) ; W. F. Reddaway, Frederick the Great and the Rise of Prussia (London, 1904). Of the numerous special studies may be noticed E. Zeller, Friedrich der Grosse als Philosoph (Berlin, 1886) ; H. Pigge, Die Staatstheorie Friedrichs des Grossen (Munster, 1904) ; T. von Bernhardi, Friedrich der Grosse als Feldherr (2 vols., Berlin, 1881) ; Ernest Lavisse, La Jeunesse du Grand Frederic (Paris, 1891, 3rd ed., 1899; Eng. transl., London, 1891); R. Brode, Friedrich der Grosse and der Konflikt mit seinem Vater (Leipzig, 1904) ; W. von Bremen, Friedrich der Grosse (Bd. ii. of Ertieher des preussischen Heeres, Berlin, 1905) ; G. Winter, Friedrich der Grosse (3 vols. in Geisteshelden series, Berlin, 1906) ; Dreissig Jahre am Hofe Friedrichs des Grossen. Aus den Tagebiichern des Reichsgrafen Ahasuerus Heinrich von Lehndorff, Kammerherrn der Konigin Elisabett Christine von Preussen (Gotha, 19o7). The great work on the wars of Frederick is that issued by the Prussian General Staff: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen (12 vols. in three parts, Berlin, 1890–1904). For a full list of other works see Dahlmann-Waitz, Quellenkunde (Leipzig, 1906). (J. Si.; W. A. P.)

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