20 in German History
January 20, 1488
Birth of Sebastian Münster (1488-1582) in Ingelheim, Germany. Münster was
professor of Hebrew at the University of Basel after 1527. His major contribution
to scholarship was his Cosmographia, published in 1544. That book, proceeding
from the geography of Ptolemy, represented a revival of the science of
geography in Germany, and was the earliest German description of the world.
January 20, 1586
Birth of Johann Hermann Schein (1586-1630) in Grünhain, Germany. As a composer
of sacred and secular music, he was one of the musicians of the period
to introduce Italian Baroque style into German music. He became the cantor
at the Church of St. Thomas in Leipzig in 1616 (a position which Johann
Sebastian Bach would hold after starting in 1723).
January 20, 1813
Death of Christoph Martin Wieland in Wiemar, Germany. His Geschichte
des Agathon is considered the first of the genre of "Bildungsroman".
He was one of the luminaries at the court of Weimar.
January 20, 1859
Death of Bettina von Arnim (1785-1859) in Berlin. Born Elisabeth Brentano, she married
the poet Achim von Arnim in 1811 and took his name. She bore seven children
and was a devoted mother. She was, however, not satisfied with the purely
domestic life. She is the author of the books, Goethes Briefwechsel
mit einem Kinde (1835), Die Günderode (1840), Dies
Buch gehört dem König (1843), Clemens Brentanos Frühlingskranz
(1844) and Gespräche mit Dämonen (1852). She was
also a talented sculptor and musician. Her mother had been close friends
with Goethe, and Bettina too became a good friend of his until 1811 when
Goethe's wife Christiane found the friendship inappropriate.
January 20, 1943
Death of Max Freiherr von Beck in Vienna, Austria. He became chancellor
of Austria in 1906 and in that role established universal male suffrage
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