Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian playwright and short-story writer, considered to be among the greatest writers of short fiction in history. His career as a playwright produced four classics, his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics. Along with Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg, Chekhov is referred to as one of the three seminal figures in the birth of early modernism in the theatre. Chekhov practiced as a medical doctor throughout most of his literary career: "Medicine is my lawful wife", he once said, "and literature is my mistress."Chekhov renounced the theatre after the reception of The Seagull in 1896, but the play was revived to acclaim in 1898 by Konstantin Stanislavski's Moscow Art Theatre, which subsequently produced Chekhov's Uncle Vanya and premiered his last two plays, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard. These four works present a challenge to the acting ensemble as well as to audiences, because in place of conventional action Chekhov offers a "theatre of mood" and a "submerged life in the text".
Chekhov had at first written stories to earn money, but as his artistic ambition grew, he made formal innovations which have influenced the evolution of the modern short story. He made no apologies for the difficulties this posed to readers, insisting that the role of an artist was to ask questions, not to answer them. Anton Chekhov was born on the feast day of St. Anthony the Great 29 January 1860 in Taganrog, a port on the Sea of Azov in southern Russia, he was the third of six surviving children. His father, Pavel Yegorovich Chekhov, the son of a former serf and his Ukrainian wife, was from the village Olhovatka and ran a grocery store. A director of the parish choir, devout Orthodox Christian, physically abusive father, Pavel Chekhov has been seen by some historians as the model for his son's many portraits of hypocrisy. Chekhov's mother, was an excellent storyteller who entertained the children with tales of her travels with her cloth-merchant father all over Russia. "Our talents we got from our father," Chekhov remembered, "but our soul from our mother."
In adulthood, Chekhov criticised his brother Alexander's treatment of his wife and children by reminding him of Pavel's tyranny: "Let me ask you to recall that it was despotism and lying that ruined your mother's youth. Despotism and lying so mutilated our childhood that it's sickening and frightening to think about it. Remember the horror and disgust we felt in those times when Father threw a tantrum at dinner over too much salt in the soup and called Mother a fool."Chekhov attended the Greek School in Taganrog and the Taganrog Gymnasium, where he was kept down for a year at fifteen for failing an examination in Ancient Greek. He sang at the Greek Orthodox monastery in his father's choirs. In a letter of 1892, he used the word "suffering" to describe his childhood and recalled: When my brothers and I used to stand in the middle of the church and sing the trio "May my prayer be exalted", or "The Archangel's Voice", everyone looked at us with emotion and envied our parents, but we at that moment felt like little convicts.
In 1876, Chekhov's father was declared bankrupt after overextending his finances building a new house, having been cheated by a contractor named Mironov. To avoid debtor's prison he fled to Moscow, where his two eldest sons and Nikolay, were attending university; the family lived in poverty in Moscow. Chekhov was left behind to finish his education. Chekhov remained in Taganrog for three more years, boarding with a man by the name of Selivanov who, like Lopakhin in The Cherry Orchard, had bailed out the family for the price of their house. Chekhov had to pay for his own education, which he managed by private tutoring and selling goldfinches, selling short sketches to the newspapers, among other jobs, he sent every ruble he could spare to his family in Moscow, along with humorous letters to cheer them up. During this time, he read and analytically, including the works of Cervantes, Turgenev and Schopenhauer, wrote a full-length comic drama, which his brother Alexander dismissed as "an inexcusable though innocent fabrication."
Chekhov experienced a series of love affairs, one with the wife of a teacher. In 1879, Chekhov completed his schooling and joined his family in Moscow, having gained admission to the medical school at I. M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University. Chekhov now assumed responsibility for the whole family. To support them and to pay his tuition fees, he wrote daily short, humorous sketches and vignettes of contemporary Russian life, many under pseudonyms such as "Antosha Chekhonte" and "Man without a Spleen", his prodigious output earned him a reputation as a satirical chronicler of Russian street life, by 1882 he was writing for Oskolki, owned by Nikolai Leykin, one of the leading publishers of the time. Chekhov's tone at this stage was harsher than that familiar from his mature fiction. In 1884, Chekhov qualified as a physician, which he considered his principal profession though he made little money from it and treated the poor free of charge. In 1884 and 1885, Chekhov found himself coughing blood, in 1886 the attacks worsened, but he would not admit his tuberculosis to his family or his friends.
He confessed to Leykin, "I am afraid to submit myself to be sounded by my colleagues." He continued writing for weekly periodicals, earning enough mon
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
MusicBrainz is a project that aims to create an open data music database, similar to the freedb project. MusicBrainz was founded in response to the restrictions placed on the Compact Disc Database, a database for software applications to look up audio CD information on the Internet. MusicBrainz has expanded its goals to reach beyond a compact disc metadata storehouse to become a structured open online database for music. MusicBrainz captures information about artists, their recorded works, the relationships between them. Recorded works entries capture at a minimum the album title, track titles, the length of each track; these entries are maintained by volunteer editors. Recorded works can store information about the release date and country, the CD ID, cover art, acoustic fingerprint, free-form annotation text and other metadata; as of 21 September 2018, MusicBrainz contained information about 1.4 million artists, 2 million releases, 19 million recordings. End-users can use software that communicates with MusicBrainz to add metadata tags to their digital media files, such as FLAC, MP3, Ogg Vorbis or AAC.
MusicBrainz allows contributors to upload cover art images of releases to the database. Internet Archive provides the bandwidth and legal protection for hosting the images, while MusicBrainz stores metadata and provides public access through the web and via an API for third parties to use; as with other contributions, the MusicBrainz community is in charge of maintaining and reviewing the data. Cover art is provided for items on sale at Amazon.com and some other online resources, but CAA is now preferred because it gives the community more control and flexibility for managing the images. Besides collecting metadata about music, MusicBrainz allows looking up recordings by their acoustic fingerprint. A separate application, such as MusicBrainz Picard, must be used for this. In 2000, MusicBrainz started using Relatable's patented TRM for acoustic fingerprint matching; this feature allowed the database to grow quickly. However, by 2005 TRM was showing scalability issues as the number of tracks in the database had reached into the millions.
This issue was resolved in May 2006 when MusicBrainz partnered with MusicIP, replacing TRM with MusicDNS. TRMs were phased out and replaced by MusicDNS in November 2008. In October 2009 MusicIP was acquired by AmpliFIND; some time after the acquisition, the MusicDNS service began having intermittent problems. Since the future of the free identification service was uncertain, a replacement for it was sought; the Chromaprint acoustic fingerprinting algorithm, the basis for AcoustID identification service, was started in February 2010 by a long-time MusicBrainz contributor Lukáš Lalinský. While AcoustID and Chromaprint are not MusicBrainz projects, they are tied with each other and both are open source. Chromaprint works by analyzing the first two minutes of a track, detecting the strength in each of 12 pitch classes, storing these 8 times per second. Additional post-processing is applied to compress this fingerprint while retaining patterns; the AcoustID search server searches from the database of fingerprints by similarity and returns the AcoustID identifier along with MusicBrainz recording identifiers if known.
Since 2003, MusicBrainz's core data are in the public domain, additional content, including moderation data, is placed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 license. The relational database management system is PostgreSQL; the server software is covered by the GNU General Public License. The MusicBrainz client software library, libmusicbrainz, is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License, which allows use of the code by proprietary software products. In December 2004, the MusicBrainz project was turned over to the MetaBrainz Foundation, a non-profit group, by its creator Robert Kaye. On 20 January 2006, the first commercial venture to use MusicBrainz data was the Barcelona, Spain-based Linkara in their Linkara Música service. On 28 June 2007, BBC announced that it has licensed MusicBrainz's live data feed to augment their music Web pages; the BBC online music editors will join the MusicBrainz community to contribute their knowledge to the database. On 28 July 2008, the beta of the new BBC Music site was launched, which publishes a page for each MusicBrainz artist.
Amarok – KDE audio player Banshee – multi-platform audio player Beets – automatic CLI music tagger/organiser for Unix-like systems Clementine – multi-platform audio player CDex – Microsoft Windows CD ripper Demlo – a dynamic and extensible music manager using a CLI iEatBrainz – Mac OS X deprecated foo_musicbrainz component for foobar2000 – Music Library/Audio Player Jaikoz – Java mass tag editor Max – Mac OS X CD ripper and audio transcoder Mp3tag – Windows metadata editor and music organizer MusicBrainz Picard – cross-platform album-oriented tag editor MusicBrainz Tagger – deprecated Microsoft Windows tag editor puddletag – a tag editor for PyQt under the GPLv3 Rhythmbox music player – an audio player for Unix-like systems Sound Juicer – GNOME CD ripper Zortam Mp3 Media Studio – Windows music organizer and ID3 Tag Editor. Freedb clients can access MusicBrainz data through the freedb protocol by using the MusicBrainz to FreeDB gateway service, mb2freedb. List of online music databases Making Metadata: The Case of Mus
Greece the Hellenic Republic, self-identified and known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of 11 million as of 2016. Athens is largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, Turkey to the northeast; the Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a large number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres; the country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace and the Ionian Islands.
Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilisation, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, Western drama and notably the Olympic Games. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as poleis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Philip of Macedon united most of the Greek mainland in the fourth century BC, with his son Alexander the Great conquering much of the ancient world, from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, in which Greek language and culture were dominant. Rooted in the first century A. D. the Greek Orthodox Church helped shape modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World. Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence.
Greece's rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The sovereign state of Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, a high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001, it is a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. Greece's unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power, it is the largest economy in the Balkans. The names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The Greek name of the country is Hellas or Ellada, its official name is the Hellenic Republic. In English, the country is called Greece, which comes from Latin Graecia and means'the land of the Greeks'; the earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, in the Greek province of Macedonia. All three stages of the stone age are represented for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries, as Greece lies on the route via which farming spread from the Near East to Europe. Greece is home to the first advanced civilizations in Europe and is considered the birthplace of Western civilisation, beginning with the Cycladic civilization on the islands of the Aegean Sea at around 3200 BC, the Minoan civilization in Crete, the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland; these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek.
The Mycenaeans absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC, during a time of regional upheaval known as the Bronze Age collapse. This ushered from which written records are absent. Though the unearthed Linear B texts are too fragmentary for the reconstruction of the political landscape and can't support the existence of a larger state contemporary Hittite and Egyptian records suggest the presence of a single state under a "Great King" based in mainland Greece; the end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to the year of the first Olympic Games. The Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, which spread to the shores of the Black Sea, So
Arcadia is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the administrative region of Peloponnese, it is situated in the eastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula. It takes its name from the mythological figure Arcas. In Greek mythology, it was the home of the god Pan. In European Renaissance arts, Arcadia was celebrated as an harmonious wilderness. Arcadia has its present-day capital at Tripoli, it covers about 18% of the Peloponnese peninsula, making it the largest regional unit on the peninsula. Arcadia has a ski resort on Mount Mainalo, located about 20 km NW of Tripoli. Other mountains of Arcadia are the Lykaion in the west; the climate consists of hot summers and mild winters in the eastern part, the southern part, the low-lying areas and the central area at altitudes lower than 1,000 m. The area receives rain during fall and winter months in the rest of Arcadia. Winter snow occurs in the mountainous areas for much of the west and the northern part, the Taygetus area, the Mainalon. After the collapse of the Roman power in the west, Arcadia remained as part of the Greek-speaking Byzantine Empire.
Arcadia remained a beautiful, secluded area, its inhabitants became proverbial as herdsmen leading simple pastoral unsophisticated yet happy lives, to the point that Arcadia may refer to some imaginary idyllic paradise, immortalized by Virgil's Eclogues, by Jacopo Sannazaro in his pastoral masterpiece, Arcadia. After the Fourth Crusade, the area became a part of the Principality of Achaea, but was progressively recovered by the Byzantine Greeks of the Despotate of the Morea from the 1260s on, a process, completed in 1320; the region fell into the hands of the Ottoman Turks in 1460. With the exception of a period of Venetian rule in 1687–1715, the region remained under Turkish control until 1821; the Latin phrase Et in Arcadia ego, interpreted to mean "Even in Arcadia there am I", is an example of memento mori, a cautionary reminder of the transitory nature of life and the inevitability of death. The phrase is most associated with a 1647 painting by Nicolas Poussin known as "The Arcadian Shepherds".
In the painting the phrase appears as an inscription on a tomb discovered by youthful figures in classical garb. Arcadia was one of the centres of the Greek War of Independence which saw victories in their battles including one in Tripoli. After a victorious revolutionary war, Arcadia was incorporated into the newly created Greek state. Arcadia saw small emigration. In the 20th century, Arcadia experienced extensive population loss through emigration to the Americas. Many Arcadian villages lost half their inhabitants, fears arose that they would turn into ghost towns. Arcadia now has a smaller population than Corinthia. Demographers expected that its population would halve between the early 21st century; the population has fallen to 87,000 in 2011. An earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter magnitude scale shook Megalopoli and the surrounding area in 1965. Large numbers of buildings were destroyed. Within a couple of years, the buildings were rebuilt anti-seismically; this earthquake revealed an underground source of lignite in the area, in 1967 construction began on the Megalopoli Power Plant, which began operating in 1970.
The mining area south of the plant is the largest mining area in the peninsula and continues to the present day with one settlement moved. In July and August 2007 forest fires caused damage in Arcadia, notably in the mountains. In 2008, a theory proposed by classicist Christos Mergoupis suggested that the mummified remains of Alexander the Great, may in fact be located in Gortynia-Arkadia, in the Peloponnese of Greece. Since 2008, this research is ongoing and being conducted in Greece; the research was first mentioned on CNN International in May 2008. When, during the Greek Dark Ages, Doric Greek was introduced to the Peloponnese, the older Arcadocypriot Greek language survived in Arcadia. Arcadocypriot never became a literary dialect. Tsan is a letter of the Greek alphabet occurring only in Arcadia, shaped like Cyrillic И; the Tsakonian language, still spoken on the coast of modern Arcadia, is a descendant of Doric Greek, as such is an extraordinary example of a surviving regional dialect of Greek.
The principal cities of Tsakonia are the Arcadian coastal towns of Tyros. The regional unit Arcadia is subdivided into 5 municipalities; these are: Gortynia Megalopoli North Kynouria South Kynouria Tripoli As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the regional unit Arcadia was created out of the former prefecture Arcadia. The prefecture had the same territory as the present regional unit. At the same time, the municipalities were reorganised, according to the table below. Arcadia was divided into four provinces: Province of Gortynia—Dimitsana Province of Kynouria—Leonidio Province of Mantineia—Tripolis Province of Megalopoli—MegalopolisNote: Provinces no longer hold any legal status in Greece; the main towns in modern Arcadia are Tripoli, Vytina, Lagkadia, Leonidio, Levidi and Stemnitsa. Ancient cities include Acacesium, Astros, Daseae, Gortys, Heraia, Lykaio, Lycos
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens referred to as the University of Athens, is a public university in Zografou, Greece. It has been in continuous operation since its establishment in 1837 and is the oldest higher education institution of the modern Greek state and the first contemporary university in the Eastern Mediterranean. Today it is one of the largest universities by enrollment in Europe, with over 100,000 registered students; the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens is an integral part of the modern Greek academic and intellectual tradition. The University of Athens was founded on May 3, 1837, by King Otto of Greece and was named in his honour Othonian University, it was the first university in the liberated Greek state and in the surrounding area of Southeast Europe as well. It was the second academic institution after the Ionian Academy; this fledgling university consisted of four faculties. During its first year of operation, the institution was staffed by 33 professors, while courses were attended by 52 students and 75 non-matriculated "auditors".
It was first housed in the residence of architects Stamatios Kleanthis and Eduard Schaubert, on the north slope of the Acropolis, in Plaka, which now houses the Museum of the University. In November 1841 the university relocated on the Central Building of the University of Athens, a building designed by Danish architect Christian Hansen, he followed a neoclassical approach, "combining the monument's magnificence with a human scale simplicity" and gave the building its H-shape. The building was decorated by painter Carl Rahl, forming the famous "architectural trilogy of Athens", together with the building of the National Library of Greece and the building of the Athens Academy. Construction began in 1839 in a location to the north of the Acropolis, its front wing known as the Propylaea, was completed in 1842–1843. The rest of the wings' construction, supervised at first by Greek architect Lysandros Kaftantzoglou and by his colleague Anastasios Theofilas, was completed in 1864; the building is nowadays part of what is called the "Athenian Neoclassical Trilogy".
The Othonian University was renamed to National University in 1862, following events that forced King Otto to leave the country. It was renamed to "National and Kapodistrian University of Athens" to honour Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first head of state of the independent modern Greek state. A major change in the structure of the University came about in 1904, when the faculty of Arts was divided into two separate faculties: that of Arts and that of Sciences, the latter consisting of the departments of Physics and Mathematics and the School of Pharmacy. In 1919, a department of chemistry was added, in 1922 the School of Pharmacy was renamed a Department. A further change came about. Between 1895 and 1911, an average of 1,000 new students matriculated each year, a number which increased to 2,000 at the end of World War I; this resulted in the decision to introduce entrance examinations for all the faculties, beginning for the academic year 1927–28. Since 1954 the number of students admitted each year has been fixed by the Ministry of Education and Religion, by proposal of the faculties.
From 1911 until 1932 the university was separated into the Kapodistrian University and the National University. In 1932, the two separate legal entities were merged into the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. During the 1960s construction work began on the University Campus in the suburb of Ilissia, which houses the Schools of Philosophy and Sciences. In 2013, the University Senate made the decision to suspend all operations in the wake of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs cutting 1,655 administrative jobs from universities around the country. In a statement, the University Senate said that "any educational and administrative operation of the University of Athens is objectively impossible"; the University of Athens is divided into schools and departments as follows. The naming is nοt consistent in English for historical reasons, but in Greek the largest divisions are named "σχολές" and are divided in "τμήματα", furthermore subdivided in "τομείς". In 2015 the external evaluation of the institution cited University of Athens as Worthy of merit.
An external evaluation of all academic departments in Greek universities will be conducted by the Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency in the following years. School of Theology Department of Theology Department of Social Theology School of Philosophy Department of History and Archaeology Department of Philology Department of Philosophy and Psychology Department of English Language and Literature Department of French Language and Literature Department of German Language and Literature Department of Spanish Language and Literature Department of Italian Language and Literature Department of Theatre Studies Department of Music Studies School of Law Department of Law School of Sciences Department of Mathematics Department of Physics Department of Chemistry Department of Biology Department of Geology and Geoenvironment D
Henrik Johan Ibsen was a Norwegian playwright, theatre director, poet. As one of the founders of modernism in theatre, Ibsen is referred to as "the father of realism" and one of the most influential playwrights of his time, his major works include Brand, Peer Gynt, An Enemy of the People and Galilean, A Doll's House, Hedda Gabler, The Wild Duck, When We Dead Awaken, Pillars of Society, The Lady from the Sea, The Master Builder, John Gabriel Borkman. He is the most performed dramatist in the world after Shakespeare, by the early 20th century A Doll's House became the world's most performed play. Several of his dramas were considered scandalous to many of his era, when European theatre was expected to model strict morals of family life and propriety. Ibsen's work examined the realities that lay behind the façades, revealing much, disquieting to a number of his contemporaries, he had a critical eye and conducted a free inquiry into the conditions of life and issues of morality. His early poetic and cinematic play Peer Gynt, has strong surreal elements.
Ibsen is ranked as one of the most distinguished playwrights in the European tradition. Richard Hornby describes him as "a profound poetic dramatist—the best since Shakespeare", he is regarded as the most important playwright since Shakespeare. He influenced other playwrights and novelists such as George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Arthur Miller, James Joyce, Eugene O'Neill, Miroslav Krleža. Ibsen was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1902, 1903, 1904. Ibsen wrote his plays in Danish and they were published by the Danish publisher Gyldendal. Although most of his plays are set in Norway—often in places reminiscent of Skien, the port town where he grew up—Ibsen lived for 27 years in Italy and Germany, visited Norway during his most productive years. Born into a merchant family connected to the patriciate of Skien, Ibsen shaped his dramas according to his family background, he was the father of Prime Minister Sigurd Ibsen. Ibsen's dramas have a strong influence upon contemporary culture.
Ibsen was born to Knud Ibsen and Marichen Altenburg, into a well-to-do merchant family, in the small port town of Skien in Telemark county, a city, noted for shipping timber. As he wrote in an 1882 letter to critic and scholar Georg Brandes, "my parents were members on both sides of the most respected families in Skien", explaining that he was related with "just about all the patrician families who dominated the place and its surroundings", mentioning the families Paus, von der Lippe and Blom. Ibsen's grandfather, ship captain Henrich Ibsen, had died at sea in 1797, Knud Ibsen was raised on the estate of ship-owner Ole Paus, after his mother Johanne, née Plesner, remarried. Knud Ibsen's half-brothers included lawyer and politician Christian Cornelius Paus and ship-owner Christopher Blom Paus, lawyer Henrik Johan Paus, who grew up with Ibsen's mother in the Altenburg home and after whom Henrik Ibsen was named. Knud Ibsen's paternal ancestors were ship captains of Danish origin, but he decided to become a merchant, had some initial success.
His marriage to Marichen Altenburg, a daughter of ship-owner Johan Andreas Altenburg and Hedevig Christine Paus, was a successful match. Theodore Jorgenson points out that "Henrik's ancestry reached back into the important Telemark family of Paus both on the father's and on the mother's side. Hedvig Paus must have been well known to the young dramatist, for she lived until 1848." Henrik Ibsen was fascinated by his parents' "strange incestuous marriage," and would treat the subject of incestuous relationships in several plays, notably his masterpiece Rosmersholm. When Henrik Ibsen was around seven years old, his father's fortunes took a significant turn for the worse, the family was forced to sell the major Altenburg building in central Skien and move permanently to their small summer house, Venstøp, outside of the city. Henrik's sister Hedvig would write about their mother: "She was a quiet, lovable woman, the soul of the house, everything to her husband and children, she sacrificed herself time again.
There was no bitterness or reproach in her." The Ibsen family moved to a city house, owned by Knud Ibsen's half-brother, wealthy banker and ship-owner Christopher Blom Paus. His father's financial ruin would have a strong influence on Ibsen's work. Ibsen would both name characters in his plays after his own family. A central theme in Ibsen's plays is the portrayal of suffering women, echoing his mother Marichen Altenburg. At fifteen, Ibsen was forced to leave school, he began writing plays. In 1846, when Ibsen was 18, he had a liaison with Else Sophie Jensdatter Birkedalen which produced a son, Hans Jacob Hendrichsen Birkdalen, whose upbringing Ibsen paid for until the boy was fourteen, though Ibsen never saw Hans Jacob. Ibsen went to Christiania intending to matriculate at the university, he soon rejected the idea (his earlier attempts at entering university were blocked as he did not pass all