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Friedrich Schlegel's application

Transcription of the back of Schlegel's letter

Transcription of Friedrich Schlegel's application

The flourishing condition in which the Electoral Bavarian Universities are under the supervision of your High Count's Excellency must arouse in scholars, who are concerned about a happy success of their efforts, the lively desire to be allowed to work as members of such excellent institutions, since only through such a happy association and under such insightful protection can the activity of the individual receive its full effectiveness.

            I dare to express this wish to your Excellency and to propose myself to you as professor of philology at the University of Würzburg, which is entrusted to your special leadership.

            My nature is not entirely unknown to the learned public. Already 9 and 8 years ago I gave as first attempts some works on Greek literature and antiquities, which have not remained unknown to the connoisseurs of this subject; later I sought to apply the same principles of historical criticism to the literature of the newer languages and of the Middle Ages. Since the last three years, when I have been in Paris for the most part, I have occupied myself almost exclusively with oriental literature and linguistics, especially with the Indian language, the knowledge of which, apart from England, is still as rare in Europe as it is highly important for ancient history. I am now engaged in the preparation of a work on this subject, and I flatter myself that your Excellency will graciously permit me to present it to you.

            The collegia, which my studies so far have enabled me to perform, would be, apart from interpretative lectures on ancient cultures, and apart from general and special literary history, the following; universal history, especially ancient, history of philosophy, and oriental languages, in so far as those with which I have occupied myself (the Indian and Persian) may be appropriate to the need and purpose of the university, or may be an ornament to it.

            If a plan for a philological seminar to be connected with the professorship of philology has already been drafted, then as soon as it is known to me, I will conscientiously determine what I am able to contribute to it according to my strength.

            In full confidence in your High Count's Excellency's known benevolent attitude towards scholars, I have dared to present my wish to you, and have the honor to present myself to you in

Cologne on the Rhine, July 10, 1805                                              

                                                                                              Friedr. Schlegel Doct. Philos.