Time Table
Part Three: 1793 - 1805



At the beginning of April 1793, the Schillers gave up their apartment in the house of the Schramm sisters and moved into a cottage. During the summer semester, Schiller continued his lecturing on esthetics, which was to become Schiller's last lecturing project.

At the end of June, the second issue of the 'Neue Thalia' was published and contained Schiller's essay "Ueber Anmut und Wuerde" (On Grace and Dignity), which was also published as a special print edition, with a dedication to Karl von Dalberg.

At the beginning of August, the Schillers travelled via Nuernberg, Ansbach and Feuchtwangen to Heilbronn. From this free imperial city, they wanted to explore if it was possible for them to enter Wuerttemberg peacefully, given the circumstances of Schiller's flight some eleven years earlier. To this end, Schiller even wrote a polite letter to the Duke, but it remained unanswered. Friends reported to Schiller that the Duke was to have stated that he would ignore Schiller, should he step on Wuerttemberg soil.

On September 8th, Schiller and his wife thus went to Ludwigsburg. The couple's first son, Karl Friedrich Ludwig, was born there on September 14, 1793, while Schiller's former fellow Karlsschule student Friedrich Wilhelm von Hoven assisted as an obstetrician. Schiller's sister Luise stood by his wife Charlotte during her 'confinement'.

At the end of September, Schiller met (the German poet) Hoelderlin for the first time and recommended him to Charlotte von Kalb as private teacher for her son. Schiller's literary work, which was often interrupted by illness and sleeplessness, was dedicated to "Wallenstein" and to his aesthetic writings.

On October 24, 1793, Duke Karl Eugen died in Hohenheim. Schiller attended the nightly transfer of the ducal casket to the tomb of the Ludwigsburg palace and is assumed to have attended the funeral ceremony in the palace chapel. At the end of October, respectively at the beginning of November, Schiller visited the Stuttgart Karlsschule and was enthusiastially welcomed by its 400 students.


While we can follow Beethoven's development as counterpoint student of Haydn (and Schenk), his rapid success as a piano virtuoso, and his gaining the friendship of many influential friends and patrons in Vienna in our Biographical Pages, we might wish to point out here what information of these years might relate to the development of the overall political climate in Vienna and how this might have affected Beethoven in the 'non too immediate' pursuit of his 'Ode' idea, yet we might also refer to the nucleus of information that might have become important to Beethoven's later taking up certain aspects of the 'Ode' idea(s).

We know that Emperor Joseph II had passed away in February, 1790, and that his brother Leopold ascended to the Imperial throne in September, 1790. Generally it can be said that Emperor Leopold II, until his death in 1792, had not 'carried the torch' of his brother's ideas of 'enlightened absolutism any further', while his successor Franz II would soon find occasion to revert to the formerly prevailing ideas of outright absolutism to an even greater degree. We will return to this issue in the year 1794.

In the year 1793, we also find Beethoven corresponding with Eleonore von Breuning. While this does not seems to have anything 'directly' to do with the development of the 'Ode to Joy', we might keep in mind what close friends Beethoven had been with the girl's family, and what the content of those letters might tell us about this close friendship, so that it might not seem 'out of sinc' to us that later, in the early 1800's, when Eleonore would finally have married Franz Gerhard Wegeler, Beethoven would, as also Leonard Bernstein described, be fascinated by the 'Leonore' subject for his opera, once he connected the 'Leonore' concept in his mind with the Schiller lines 'Wer ein holdes Weib errungen', which would then also be incorporated into the text of the finale of his opera 'Fidelio'.

To read more about Beethoven's correspondence of that time, please refer to our background section on Beethoven to the year 1793.To the Beethoven Background Page to the Year 1793

The beginning of this year saw Schiller and his family still in Wuerttemberg, where, from 11th to 13th of March, Schiller stayed in Tuebingen and from whence he removed himself and his family to Stuttgart in mid-March.

At the beginning of May, Schiller met Johann Gottlieb Fichte for the first time. On May 14th, the family had returned to Jena.

In mid-June, the printed invitation to participate in working on the 'Horen' was sent out, amongst other parties, to Immanuel Kant. With a written request in this matter to Goethe and Goethe's positive reply of June 24th, the intensive correspondence between Schiller and Goethe began.

From the middle to the end of September, Schiller stayed at Weimar as Goethe's guest.

On December 6th, Goethe sent Schiller a copy of his 'Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre', which Schiller eagerly took up to read and to which he also replied to Goethe in writing on December 9th. More about the developing friendship between Goethe and Schiller can be found in our background section on 'Schiller and Goethe' to the year 1794.

To the Schiller Background Page for the Year 1794


With respect to the general political climate in the Vienna of the year 1794 can be reported that, after the Austrian police had unveiled the activities of two 'Jacobin conspiracies', Emperor Franz II would be found embrancing a policy of initiating a system 'to secure the most absolute stability which ingenuity could devise', and that 'thought was in general, and except where directed to purely technical matters, the enemy of stability' (Knight 33). The topic of 'political stability' even entered Beethoven's correspondence of that year with his former Bonn colleague and now-publisher Nikolaus Simrock.

However, this did not mean that, at least on a purely musical level, the 'nucleus of musical ideas' that would lead to the later final conceptualization of the 'Ode to Joy', was carried further to a small degree. With respect to this can be reported that, in the year 1794, Beethoven set music to texts by Gottfried August Buerger, of which particularly the second, 'Gegenliebe' is of interest here, since its melody was later used by Beethoven for the variations in the 'Choral Fantasia', Op. 80.

To read up more on Beethoven's correspondence with Nikolaus Simrock of that year, please refer to our background page.

To the Beehoven Backgroundpage for the Year 1794

On January 15, 1795, the first issue of the "Die Horen, eine Monatsschrift, von einer Gesellschaft verfasst und herausgegeben von Schiller" (The 'Horen', a monthly publication, compiled by a Society and edited by Schiller) was published by Cotta.

In mid-February and again in mid-March, Schiller received an offer from the University of Tuebingen for a regular tenure/professorship of Philosphy which he declined due to health considerations on April 3rd.

On April 13th, the Schiller family moved into an apartment in the house of Professor Griesbach in Jena.

In mid-June, after an interruption of nearly seven years, Schiller once again took up his lyrical writings. Some of the poems of that year were published in the last four issues of the 'Horen' of that year and in the 'Musen-Almanach fuer das Jahr 1796' which Schiller also edited and which was published in mid-December by the Court Bookseller Michaelis in Neustrelitz.

The resonance to Schiller's monthly magazine 'Horen' was, in spite of the level of literary excellence of the featured contributions, rather disappointing.

For more background information on 'Schiller and Goethe' in the year 1795, please refer to our background page.

To the Schiller Background Page for the Year 1795


The major events of this year have, of course, been related in the 'Biographical Pages' of our site. With respect to any 'musical' or direct 'thematical' developments towards the 'Ode to Joy', we are also not very 'lucky' in our discoveries here.

However, we may wish to take a closer look at the issue of 'Beethoven and his friend Wegeler' who had joined him in Vienna in the year 1794 (due to the political circumstances) and who appeared to have been in very close contact with him throughout that year. Such an investigation into the 'friendship' issue will also provide us with a 'vague idea' of Beethoven's own notions of the lines of the 'Ode', 'Wem der grosse Wurf gelungen, eines Freundes Freund zu sein' (whoever has earned the great fortune to be a friend's friend). In addition to a very interesting 'letter of apology' by Beethoven to Wegeler, we will also discuss the overall topic of that friendship in our background section on Beethoven of this year.

To the Beethoven Background Page for the Year 1795

In the January issue of the 'Horen', as a continuation of the contributions to the November and December issues of the year before, Schiller's 'Beschluss der Abhandlung ueber naive und sentimentalische Dichter, nebst einigen Bemerkungen einen charakteristischen Unterschied unter den Menschen betreffend' (Resolution on a treatise on naive and sentimentalist poets, next to some remarks with respect to a characteristic difference between men) was published, while, in Goethe's and Schiller's collaboration on the 'Xenien', both decided not to separate the ownership of their epigrams but rather to publish them together.

From March 23rd to April 20th, Schiller was once again Goethe's guest in Weimar, when the Mannheim actor Iffland was also present and to perform at the theatre the lead role of Goethe's 'Egmont', which had been prepared for the stage by Schiller.

On April 25th, Goethe's 'Egmont' was actually staged in Schiller's stage version, which Goethe described as 'grausam, aber consequent' (cruel, but consequent) (Goethe und seine Zeit 203).

In mid-1796, Goethe had completed the eighth volume of his 'Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre'. After Schiller had read all eight volumes, he wrote to Goethe very enthusiastically about the work, in his letter of July 2, which will be featured in the background section.

In that year, Schiller and Goethe had written more than 1,000 'Xenien', of which 414 were published in the 'Musenalmanach fuer das Jahr 1797' and which evoked much controversy in literary circles, as these 'Xenien' were directed against the entire literary scene of the times. They were, however, not intended as an outright slight of the works of others, but rather, to add life to the literary discussion. This literary 'challenge' was considered a 'declaration of war' by others. More on this topic can be read in the background pages to this year.

To the Schiller Background Page for the Year 1796


While late 1795 saw Beethoven's brother Nikolaus Johannes arrive in Vienna from Bonn to forge a career for himself there as a pharmacist, Beethoven would be seen setting out for his journey to Prague, Dresden and Berlin and, even later in the year, to Pressburg and Pesth. These events have, of course, been described in our 'Biographical Pages'.

While this information does not appear to provide any 'direct thematical literary or musical link' to the development of the 'Ode to Joy', we might, however, point out that, during his journey to Pressburg and Pesth, Beethoven 'endorsed' the piano that was built by Johann Andreas Streicher, that very friend of Schiller who had fled with him from Wuerttemberg to Mannheim in the year 1782. A letter with respect to this topic can be looked at in our background section. While we may 'wonder' how much of a 'direct impression' Beethoven might have gained from Streicher with respect to his 'famous literary friend', we can, of course, not be sure as to whether this topic was ever discussed or not and would, therefore, have to refrain from any speculations.

Please refer to our background page on Beethoven for the year 1796 for more information.

background pages to this year.

To the Beethoven Background Page for the Year 1796

During the first months of 1797, Schiller and Goethe met very often at Jena. In mid-March, Schiller acquired a garden with a summer cottage in Jena, into which his family moved at the beginning of May, while, in April, he had received a diploma as a member of the Academy of Sciences in Stockholm.

Also during this year, Goethe and Schiller continued to encourage each other in each other's literary endeavors. In this context, they discussed the literary form of the ballad during the months of mid-May to mid-June.

At the beginning of November, Schiller set out to put down his 'Wallenstein' in verse form.

With respect to the further development of the friendship between Schiller and Goethe, please refer to our background pages on Schiller and Goethe of this year.

To the Schiller Background Page for the Year 1797


This year provides us with a further opportunity to observe Beethoven's friendships, such as that with Lenz von Breuning, which will be reflected in the background page to this year.

For more information, please refer to our background page for this year.

To the Beethoven Background Page for the Year 1797

In his correspondence with Schiller, Goethe discussed his 'scientific hypotheses' with respect to his scientific works.

At the beginning of March, Schiller received from Coburg his appointment as tenured professor at Jena (however, without payment). Goethe stayed in Jena at the end of March, the beginning of April, and the end of May, as well as all of June.

At the beginning of June, the last, twelfth issue, of the 'Horen' was published.

In mid-September, Schiller stayed in Weimar as Goethe's guest, where they discussed Schiller's completion of his play 'Wallenstein'.

On October 12th, 'Wallensteins Lager' premiered at the new Court theatre.

In mid-October, the 'Musenalmanach fuer das Jahr 1799', edited by Schiller, was published by Cotta in Tuebingen.

For more information on Schiller's and Goethe's interaction of this year, please refer to our background page.

To the Schiller Background Page for the Year 1798


If we are to believe Thayer's mentioning Anton Schindler's recollection of how Beethoven was initially inspired to write a 'heroic' symphony (as he actually did in 1803/1804 and which he originally wanted to dedicate to Napoleon Bonaparte, the dedication of which he, however, abandoned for reasons already explained in our 'Biographical Pages'), we would have to 'buy' from him the contention that the French Emissary to Vienna of the year 1798, Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, did so when Beethoven allegedly kept him and the violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer company during Bernadotte's brief two-months-stay in Vienna from February 5, 1798 to mid-April. Thayer refers to Schindler 's 'corroboration' of this contention by Count Moritz Lichnowsky, the brother of Prince Carl Lichnowsky. In the brevity of a timetable scenario, we can only let this contention 'stand' for now and try to elaborate on it in our background page to this year, as well as on Beethoven's friendship with Carl Friedrich Amenda, of which a 'first-hand' account of the Amenda family records will be featured.

For more information, please refer to our background page.

To the Beethoven Background Page for the Year 1798

From January 4th to February 7th, Schiller stayed in Weimar with his family.

On January 30th, 'Die Piccolomini' (a further part of 'Wallenstein') premiered, with the Berlin premiere following on February 18th. April 20th saw the premiere of 'Wallensteins Tod' (Wallenstein's Death), to be followed in Berlin on May 17th.

At the end of April, Schiller began with preparations to his play 'Maria Stuart' (Mary Stuart).

On July 2nd, after the staging of 'Wallensteins Tod', Schiller was introduced to the Prussian Royal couple who had come to see this staging which they preferred over the Berlin version.

At the end of August, Schiller decided to keep a second residence in Weimar, in addition to that in Jena.

On October 11th, Schiller's daughter Karoline Henriette Luise was born, and on October 23rd, Charlotte began to suffer from an infection that had her remain unconscious for several days and from which she only recuperated towards the end of November.

In mid-October, the 'Musen-Almanach fuer das Jahr 1800' was published by Cotta in Tuebingen.

In December, the Schillers moved into the former apartment of Charlotte von Kalb in Weimar.

With respect to the friendship between Schiller and Goethe can be reported that, in March, they formed, together with Heinrich Meyer, the cicrle of 'Weimarer Kunstfreunde' (Weimar friends of the arts). More on this subject can be found in our background page for this year.

To the Schiller Background Page for the Year 1799


1799 marks the year in which Beethoven, as far as valuable friendships was concerned, saw his friend Amenda leave for his homeland, as the latter had to take over family obligations, while a new 'circle of friends' entered his life with the von Brunsviks who arrived from Hungary during the summer of that year. This has, of course, already been discussed in the 'Biographical Pages', so that we may only have to briefly touch these subjects here.

For more information on this year, please refer to our background page.

To the Beethoven Background Page for the Year 1799

At the beginning of February, Cotta received two stories by Charlotte Schiller, 'Die Nonne' and 'Die Neue Pamela' which were published in the March respectively May issues of the magazine 'Flora'.

In mid-February, Schiller suffered from another infection which lasted until the end of March.

At the beginning of May, Schiller helped out with the staging of Shakespeare's 'Macbeth', since Goethe was absent.

In mid-May, Schiller retreated to the Eltersburg castle in order to complete his 'Maria Stuart', which then premiered at the Weimar Court Theatre on June 14th.

At the end of June, the 'Wallenstein Trilogy' was published in two parts in its first book edition by Cotta in Tuebingen. The 4,000 copies were soon sold out.

For more information on this year, please refer to our background pages.

To the Schiller Background Page for the Year 1800


With respect to the development of the 'Ode to Joy' and with respect to the presence or absence of joy in Beethoven's life in the year 1800 can be noted that he might have experienced joy at two levels: at the level of 'professional friendships' with musicians such as the popular composer Franz Xaver Hoffmeister who would soon move to Leipzig and work there as an indepentend music publisher, but also with the experienced Viennese composer Emmanuel Aloys Foerster, as well as at the level of friendship with his patrons such as Prince Lichnowsky of whom Thayer has to report on the gift of musical instruments he presented Beethoven with but also with the annuity of 600 florins, and with his new friends, the von Brunsviks, with whom he spent some time in Hungary in the spring.

With respect to the devlopment of the 'Ode to Joy' can be reported that, as Thayer states were found among the composer's notes, '...sketches for the 'Opferlied', for the Rondo in G major, Op. 51, No.2, for a passage from Schiller's 'Ode to Joy',...' (Thayer 263).

For more information, please refer to our background page.

To the Beethoven Background Page for the Year 1800

Schiller spent the month of March in his Jena cottage in order to complete his manuscript to the 'Jungfrau von Orleans' (Maiden of Orleans (Joan of Arc)).

The book editions of 'Maria Stuart' and Schiller's rendition of 'Macbeth' were published by Cotta in Tuebingen in April of that year.

Goethe asked Schiller to stage Lessing's play 'Nathan der Weise', to which he agreed and which he carried out.

On August 6th, the Schiller couple, with their daughter Karoline, left Weimar and arrived, via Naumburg and Leipzig in Dresden on August 9th to visit his friend Koerner and his family. On September 11th, his play 'Die Braut von Messina', was staged very successfully in Leipzig, and Schiller attended the play's third staging on September 17th. On September 19th, the Schillers said their farewells to the Koerners. It was to be their last encounter.

The 'Kalender auf das Jahr 1802' with 'Die Jungfrau von Orleans. Eine romantische Tragoedie in it, was published bei Johann Friedrich Unger in Berlin, while Schiller began to work on a new translation of Carlo Gozzi's 'Turandot'.

For more information on this year, please refer to our background page.

To the Schiller Background Page for the Year 1801


In the year 1801, we can, of course, observe Beethoven's beleagurement with his loss of hearing. This was, of course, already discussed systematically in our 'Biographical Pages'. The letters of 1801 which we were not able to feature there in detail, are contained in our Beethoven Background Page for this year.

While we cannot find any trace of a 'further thematical and/or musical development' of the 'Ode to Joy' idea in this year, we might also wish to look at the 'thematic content' of this Ode with respect to philanthropy in general and with respect to a person's ability 'to be a friend's friend' (eines Freundes Freund zu sein). Here, we can observe Beethoven's philanthropic intentions to come to the aid of the only surviving daughter of Johann Sebastian Bach who lived out her days in Vienna, as well as his active involvement in 'being a friend's friend' in welcoming his fatherly friend Franz Ries' son Ferdinand to Vienna and in accepting him as a piano student. Relevant passages from letters to this will also be featured in our Background Page.

For more information on this year, please refer to our background page.

To the Beethoven Background Page for the Year 1801

At the end of January, 'Turandot, Prinzessin von China' by Carlo Gozzi (1720 to 1806), as translated by Schiller, was staged.

Immediately thereafter, Schiller began with preparations to his play 'Wilhelm Tell'.

On April 29th, the Schillers moved into their own house in Weimar (today's 'Schiller House'). On the same day, Schiller's mother died in Cleversulzbach.

For more information on this year, please refer to our background page.

To the Schiller Background Page for the Year 1802


If you return the section "Revelations of Silence" of our "Biographical Pages", you can, in the post scriptum of the "Heiligenstadt Will" of this year, also discern Beethoven's outcry for "one day of pure joy" for himself. Since this speaks so clearly "for itself", nothing further needs to be added here on this "very personal" aspect of the presence or absence of joy in Beethoven's life at that time.

However, the "Heiligenstadt Will" also contains a few "telling references" that might be brought into connection with the "thematic content" of the text of the "Ode to Joy", namely the line "ja, wer auch nur eine Seele sein nennt auf dem Erdenrund", "indeed, whoever can even call one soul his own on this earth". These "telling references" deal, on the one hand, with the "omission" in the Will by Beethoven of his second brother Johann's first name, and with his relationship to both brothers during that time. To shed "some practical light" on this matter, our Background Page for this year will feature some original letters of this year and their literal translations.

For more information on this year, please refer to our background page.

To the Beethoven Background Page for the Year 1802

Outwardly, the year 1803 does not seem to lend itself to be considered an "eventful one" in Schiller's life. However, one has to consider that this "driven" intellectual, probably well aware of his "precarious health", went on in his literary work "as if nothing was the matter."

He completed his play "Die Braut von Messina" and it was premiered during this year in Weimar, and, subsequently in Lauchstaedt.

Schiller also worked on his translation of the french plays by Picard, "Der Neffe als Onkel" and "Der Parasit", while these plays were later also staged.

Schiller also had occasion to see himself honored by "his" local students and by the King of Sweden.

The year was concluded with Schiller's taking up his work on his play "William Tell".

We can also report that, in 1803, Schiller re-published his "Ode an die Freude" in its new version, in which two lines of the first strophe have been changed.

The material in our Background Page for this year is "rather scarce", but it contains, nevertheless, an original text and its literal translation of some "insightful correspondence" between Schiller and Wilhelm von Humboldt of February 17th of this year.

For more information on this year, please refer to our background page.

To the Schiller Background Page for the Year 1803


With respect to the development of the idea of the "Ode to Joy" project in Beethoven's life, we can report on some "outer, favorable" circumstances of this year, one of which is, of course, the "re-publication" of the "Ode to Joy", but also the fact that, by now, Schiller was no longer a "literary 'persona non grata'" in Vienna. The public was 'allowed' to see his plays and to buy his works.

With respect to the "flow of events" in Beethoven's "private life", we may refer you back to our "Biographical Pages", while we may also wish to mention that Beethoven had at least "begun" by this time to write on his "heroic" Symphony No. 3, the "Eroica".

However, this section did not lend itself to the creation of a particular background page.

On January 1, the 'Jenaische Allgemeine Literaturzeitung' was published and contained a review of the contest entries of 1803 of the 'Weimarer Kunstfreunde'

On January 13th, Goethe received from Schiller the first act of 'Wilhelm Tell', on the 16th the second act, and on February 19th the entire manuscript.

On March 17th, the five-hour premiere of 'Wilhelm Tell' took place at the Weimar Court Theatre.

On April 26th, the Schillers travelled via Weissenfels, Leizig and Wittenberg to Berlin, where they arrived on May 1st. Schillers plays 'Die Braut von Messina' and 'Jungfrau von Orleans' was staged there on May 4th and 6th, respectively. On May 13th, the Schillers had an audience with Queen Luise. It was even considered that Schiller be hired on by the Berlin court. On May 17th, the return journey began via Postdam, Wittenberg, Leipzig, Naumburg to Weimar, where they arrived on May 21st.

On May 24th, during a stay in Jena, Schiller had a severe colic attack, from which he only slowly recuperated after months.

On July 25th, Schiller's daughter Henriette Luise was born in Jena.

Towards the end of the year, Goeschen negoatiated with Schiller with respect to the 'Journal fuer deutsche Frauen von deutsche Frauen geschrieben', which was to be published from 1805 on, as to Schiller's involvement in this project.

For more information on this year, please refer to our background page.

To the Schiller Background Page for the Year 1804


While Beethoven's "mooning" over his friend, Josephine von Brunsvik appears to have been "in full swing" during this year, we can also report that he completed his Third Symphony" with the "inevitable" result of its "not" being dedicated to Napoleon Buonaparte, and that he also began to write on his only opera, which "came" to him in form of a manuscript by J.N. Bouilly. The "heroine's" name was "Leonore". More on this "topic" in the Background Pages to this year.

For more information on this year, please refer to our background page, which will feature Ferdinand Ries' possibly not entirely 'accurate' but nevetheless lively account of the "Bonaparte dedication matter".

To the Beethoven Background Page for the Year 1804

On January 30th, Schiller's stage version of Racine's 'Phaedra' was staged.

On February 8th, 9th and 11th, Schiller suffered from severe fever attacks.

In March, he continued to work on his new play 'Demetrius'.

His last letter to Goethe was that of April 25th.

On May 1st, Schiller, together with Karoline von Wolzogen, attended the Weimar Theater and, on his way there, met Goethe for the last time. During the performance, Schiller was already shaken by fever again. During the following night, pneumonia developed.

In this feverish state, Schiller still continued, for the next couple of days, to work on his 'Demetrius'.

On May 7th, Schiller became delirious, while, on May 8th, he described his status to Karoline von Wolzogen as 'Immer besser, immer heiterer' (ever better, ever more tranquil). He passed away in the late afternoon of May 9th.

According to Weimar custom, Schiller was interred during the night of May 11th to May 12th in a tomb for court officials at the Jakobsfriedhof. Goethe, himself ill, was not able to attend.

For more information on this year, please refer to our background page.

To the Schiller Background Page for the Year 1805


Is it not "fitting" that, in the year of Schiler's death, Beethoven would complete his opera "Fidelo" in the closing text of which was incorporated the line, "wer ein holdes Weib errungen"?

For more information on this year, please refer to our background page.

To the Beethoven Background Page for the Year 1805