Positivism is a philosophical theory stating that certain knowledge is based on natural phenomena and their properties and relations. Thus, information derived from sensory experience, interpreted through reason and logic, forms the exclusive source of all certain knowledge. Positivism holds. Verified data received from the senses are known as empirical evidence. Positivism holds that society, like the physical world, operates according to general laws. Introspective and intuitive knowledge is rejected, as are metaphysics and theology because metaphysical and theological claims cannot be verified by sense experience. Although the positivist approach has been a recurrent theme in the history of western thought, the modern approach was formulated by the philosopher Auguste Comte in the early 19th century. Comte argued that, much as the physical world operates according to gravity and other absolute laws, so does society, further developed positivism into a Religion of Humanity; the English noun positivism was re-imported in the 19th century from the French word positivisme, derived from positif in its philosophical sense of'imposed on the mind by experience'.
The corresponding adjective has been used in a similar sense to discuss law since the time of Chaucer. Positivism is part of a more general ancient quarrel between philosophy and poetry, notably laid out by Plato and reformulated as a quarrel between the sciences and the humanities, Plato elaborates a critique of poetry from the point of view of philosophy in his dialogues Phaedrus 245a, Symposium 209a, Republic 398a, Laws 817 b-d and Ion. Wilhelm Dilthey popularized the distinction between Geisteswissenschaft and Naturwissenschaften; the consideration that laws in physics may not be absolute but relative, and, if so, this might be more true of social sciences, was stated, in different terms, by G. B. Vico in 1725. Vico, in contrast to the positivist movement, asserted the superiority of the science of the human mind, on the grounds that natural sciences tell us nothing about the inward aspects of things. Positivism asserts that all authentic knowledge allows verification and that all authentic knowledge assumes that the only valid knowledge is scientific.
Thinkers such as Henri de Saint-Simon, Pierre-Simon Laplace and Auguste Comte believed the scientific method, the circular dependence of theory and observation, must replace metaphysics in the history of thought. Émile Durkheim reformulated sociological positivism as a foundation of social research. Wilhelm Dilthey, in contrast, fought strenuously against the assumption that only explanations derived from science are valid, he reprised the argument found in Vico, that scientific explanations do not reach the inner nature of phenomena and it is humanistic knowledge that gives us insight into thoughts and desires. Dilthey was in part influenced by the historicism of Leopold von Ranke. At the turn of the 20th century the first wave of German sociologists, including Max Weber and Georg Simmel, rejected the doctrine, thus founding the antipositivist tradition in sociology. Antipositivists and critical theorists have associated positivism with "scientism". In his career, German theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg, Nobel laureate for pioneering work in quantum mechanics, distanced himself from positivism by saying: The positivists have a simple solution: the world must be divided into that which we can say and the rest, which we had better pass over in silence.
But can any one conceive of a more pointless philosophy, seeing that what we can say amounts to next to nothing? If we omitted all, unclear we would be left with uninteresting and trivial tautologies. In the early 20th century, logical positivism—a descendant of Comte's basic thesis but an independent movement—sprang up in Vienna and grew to become one of the dominant schools in Anglo-American philosophy and the analytic tradition. Logical positivists rejected metaphysical speculation and attempted to reduce statements and propositions to pure logic. Strong critiques of this approach by philosophers such as Karl Popper, Willard Van Orman Quine and Thomas Kuhn have been influential, led to the development of postpositivism. In historiography the debate on positivism has been characterized by the quarrel between positivism and historicism. Arguments against positivist approaches in historiography include that history differs from sciences like physics and ethology in subject matter and method.
That much of what history studies is nonquantifiable, therefore to quantify is to lose in precision. Experimental methods and mathematical models do not apply to history, it is not possible to formulate general laws in history. Positivism in the social sciences is characterized by quantitative approaches and the proposition of quasi-absolute laws. A significant exception to this trend is represented by cultural anthropology, which tends toward qualitative approaches. In psychology the positivist movement was influential in the development of operationalism; the 1927 philosophy of science book The Logic of Modern Physics in particular, intended for physicists, coined the term operational definition, which went on to dominate psychological method for the whole century. In economics, practising researc
Joseph Herman Hertz was a Jewish Hungarian-born rabbi and biblical scholar. He held the position of Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom from 1913 until his death in 1946, in a period encompassing both world wars and the Holocaust. Hertz was born in Rebrín/Rebrény, Kingdom of Hungary, emigrated to New York City in 1884, he was educated at New York City College, Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. His first ministerial post was at New York. In 1898, he moved to Transvaal, South Africa, to the Witwatersrand Old Hebrew Congregation in Johannesburg, he stayed there until 1911, despite attempts by President Paul Kruger in 1899 to expel him for his pro-British sympathies and for advocating the removal of religious disabilities of Jews and Catholics in South Africa. He was Professor of Philosophy at Transvaal University College, 1906-8. In 1911, he returned to New York to the Orach Chayim Congregation. In 1913, Hertz was elected Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Empire.
His rival candidates had included Lewis Daly, Bernard Drachman. Hertz held the post until his death, his period in office was marked by many arguments with a wide variety of people within the Jewish community. It was said that he was in favour of resolving disagreements by calm discussion – when all other methods had failed. Despite his title, he was not universally recognised as the final rabbinical authority in Britain. While he was Chief Rabbi of the group of synagogues known as the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Empire, led by the United Synagogue, some new immigrants who had arrived since the 1880s regarded it as insufficiently orthodox. Hertz tried such force as he could muster to influence them. Hertz antagonised others by his strong support for Zionism in the 1920s and 1930s, when many prominent Jews were against it, fearing that it would lead to accusations against the Jewish community of divided loyalty. Hertz was opposed to Reform and Liberal Judaism, though he did not allow this to create personal animosities, had no objection in principle to attending the funerals of Reform Jews.
However, despite all this, his eloquent oratory, lucid writing and sincerity earned him the respect of the majority of British Jews and many outside the Jewish community. His commentary on the Torah is still to be found in most Orthodox synagogues and Jewish homes in Great Britain. Despite there being some Ultra-Orthodox Jews who do not look up to Hertz, prominent Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi Nosson Scherman maintained that Hertz "was a great man," a courageous Rabbi, that although he was affiliated with the Jewish Theological Seminary Hertz "was Orthodox, without any question."Although Hertz vigorously denounced the horror of the Holocaust, Hertz was opposed to the Kindertransport if it meant Jewish refugee children would be raised in gentile homes. Hertz saw the British war effort in the noblest of terms, wishing Prime Minister Churchill a happy 70th birthday in late 1944 with the message, "But for your wisdom and courage there would have been a Vichy England lying prostrate before an all-powerful Satanism that spelled slavery to the western peoples, death to Israel, night to the sacred heritage of man."He was ex officio President of Jews' College, Acting Principal, 1939–45.
He was President of the Jewish Historical Society of England, 1922-3, of the Conference of Anglo-Jewish Preachers. He was on the Board of Governors of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Chairman of the Governing Body of its Institute of Jewish Studies, he was Vice-President of a wide variety of Jewish and non-Jewish bodies, including the Anglo-Jewish Association, the London Hospital, the League of Nations Union, the National Council of Public Morals and King George's Fund for Sailors. In 1942, with the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple, Hertz founded the Council of Christians and Jews to combat anti-Jewish bigotry, his daughter Judith married Rabbi Solomon Schonfeld. His great granddaughter is the economist Noreena Hertz. In the 1920s, Hertz organised international opposition to a proposed calendar reform; the League of Nations was considering a calendar amendment, The World Calendar, such that a given date would fall on the same day of the week every year. This requires that one day every year is not any day of the week but a "world day".
Thus, once or twice a year there would be eight days rather than seven between consecutive Saturdays. Thus the Jewish Sabbath, which must occur every seventh day, would be on a different weekday each year; the same applies to the Christian Sabbath. Hertz realised that this would cause problems for Jews and Christians alike in observing their Sabbaths, mobilised worldwide religious opposition to defeat the proposal, he was made a Companion of Honour in 1943. He was Commander of the Order of Léopold II of Belgium and had a Columbia University medal. A memorial plaque on his forme
Religion of Humanity
Religion of Humanity is a secular religion created by Auguste Comte, the founder of positivist philosophy. Adherents of this religion have built chapels of Humanity in Brazil. In the United States and Europe, Comte's ideas influenced others, contributed to the emergence of ethical societies and "ethical churches", which led to the development of Ethical culture, congregational humanist, secular humanist organisations. Comte developed the religion of humanity for positivist societies in order to fulfill the cohesive function once held by traditional worship; the religion was developed after Comte's passionate platonic relationship with Clotilde de Vaux, whom he idealised after her death. He became convinced that feminine values embodied the triumph of morality. In a future science-based Positivist society there should be a religion that would have power by virtue of moral force alone. In 1849, he proposed a calendar reform called the "positivist calendar", in which months were named after history's greatest leaders and artists, arranged in chronological order.
Each day was dedicated to a thinker. According to Tony Davies, Comte's secular and positive religion was "a complete system of belief and ritual, with liturgy and sacraments and pontiff, all organized around the public veneration of Humanity", referred to as the Nouveau Grand-Être Suprême. "This was to be supplemented in a positivist trinity by the Grand Fétish and the Grand Milieu". In Système de politique positive Comte stated that the pillars of the religion are: altruism, leading to generosity and selfless dedication to others. Order: Comte thought that after the French Revolution, society needed restoration of order. Progress: the consequences of industrial and technical breakthroughs for human societies. In Catéchisme positiviste, Comte defined the Church of Humanity's seven sacraments: Introduction; the Religion of Humanity was described by Thomas Huxley as "Catholicism minus Christianity". In addition to a holy trinity of Humanity, the Earth and Destiny, it had a priesthood. Priests were required to be married, because of the ennobling influence of womanhood.
They would conduct services, including Positivist prayer, "a solemn out-pouring, whether in private or in public, of men's nobler feelings, inspiring them with larger and more comprehensive thoughts." The purpose of the religion was to increase altruism, so that believers acted always in the best interests of humanity as a whole. The priests would be international ambassadors of altruism, arbitrating in industrial and political disputes, directing public opinion, they should be scholars, physicians and artists. Indeed all the arts, including dancing and singing should be practiced by them, like bards in ancient societies; this required long training. They began training from the age of twenty-eight. From thirty-five to forty-two a priest served in an apprentice position as ritualist. Only at the age of forty-two could he become a full priest, they could not hold offices outside the priesthood. In this way their influence was purely moral; the High Priest of Humanity was to live in Paris, which would replace Rome as the centre of religion.
Davies argues that Comte's austere and "slightly dispiriting" philosophy of humanity - viewed as alone in an indifferent universe - "was more influential in Victorian England than the theories of Charles Darwin or Karl Marx". The system was unsuccessful but, along with Darwin's On the Origin of Species, it influenced the proliferation of various Secular Humanist organizations in the 19th century through the work of secularists such as George Holyoake and Richard Congreve. Although Comte's English followers, including George Eliot and Harriet Martineau, for the most part rejected the full panoply of his system, they liked the idea of a religion of humanity and his injunction to "vivre pour altrui". Profound criticism came from John Stuart Mill who advocated Comte but dismissed his Religion of Humanity in a move towards a differentiation between the early Comte, the author of The Course in Positive Philosophy and the late Comte, who authored the Religion of Humanity. While sympathising with the need for a secular religion, appreciating Comte’s respect for “the Human Race, conceived as a continuous whole, including the past, the present and the future”, Mill thought that the details of Comte’s ritualism were not only illiberal but “could have been written by no man who had laughed”.
Comtean Positivism was popular in Brazil. In 1881 Miguel Lemos and Raimundo Teixeira Mendes organized the "Positivist Church of Brazil." In 1897 the "Temple of Humanity" was created. The services at the Temple could go on for up to four hours and that, combined with a certain moral strictness, led to some decline during the Republican period, it had appeal with the military class as Benjamin Constant joined the group before breaking with it because he deemed Mendes and Lemos as too fanatical. Cândido Rondon's conversion proved more solid as he remained an orthodox Positivist and a member of the faith long after the church's importance waned. Although declined, the church still survives in Brazil; the national flag of Brazil bears the "Ordem e Pro
Paul the Apostle
Paul the Apostle known as Saint Paul and known by his Jewish name Saul of Tarsus, was an apostle who taught the gospel of Christ to the first-century world. Paul is considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age and in the mid-30s to the mid-50s AD he founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe, he took advantage of his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen to minister to both Jewish and Roman audiences. According to writings in the New Testament and prior to his conversion, Paul was dedicated to persecuting the early disciples of Jesus in the area of Jerusalem. In the narrative of the Acts of the Apostles, Paul was traveling on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus on a mission to "arrest them and bring them back to Jerusalem" when the resurrected Jesus appeared to him in a great light, he was struck blind, but after three days his sight was restored by Ananias of Damascus and Paul began to preach that Jesus of Nazareth is the Jewish Messiah and the Son of God. Half of the book of Acts deals with Paul's life and works.
Thirteen of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament have traditionally been attributed to Paul. Seven of the Pauline epistles are undisputed by scholars as being authentic, with varying degrees of argument about the remainder. Pauline authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews is not asserted in the Epistle itself and was doubted in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, it was unquestioningly accepted from the 5th to the 16th centuries that Paul was the author of Hebrews, but that view is now universally rejected by scholars. The other six are believed by some scholars to have come from followers writing in his name, using material from Paul's surviving letters and letters written by him that no longer survive. Other scholars argue that the idea of a pseudonymous author for the disputed epistles raises many problems. Today, Paul's epistles continue to be vital roots of the theology and pastoral life in the Catholic and Protestant traditions of the West, as well as the Orthodox traditions of the East.
Paul's influence on Christian thought and practice has been characterized as being as "profound as it is pervasive", among that of many other apostles and missionaries involved in the spread of the Christian faith. Martin Luther's interpretation of Paul's writings influenced Luther's doctrine of sola fide, it has been popularly assumed that Saul's name was changed when he became a follower of Jesus Christ, but, not the case. His Jewish name was "Saul" after the biblical King Saul, a fellow Benjamite and the first king of Israel. According to the Book of Acts, he was a Roman citizen; as a Roman citizen, he bore the Latin name of "Paul"—in biblical Greek: Παῦλος, in Latin: Paulus. It was typical for the Jews of that time to have one Hebrew, the other Latin or Greek. Jesus called him "Saul, Saul" in "the Hebrew tongue" in the book of Acts, when he had the vision which led to his conversion on the Road to Damascus. In a vision to Ananias of Damascus, "the Lord" referred to him as "Saul, of Tarsus".
When Ananias came to restore his sight, he called him "Brother Saul". In Acts 13:9, Saul is called "Paul" for the first time on the island of Cyprus—much than the time of his conversion; the author indicates that the names were interchangeable: "Saul, called Paul." He thereafter refers to him as Paul Paul's preference since he is called Paul in all other Bible books where he is mentioned, including those that he authored. Adopting his Roman name was typical of Paul's missionary style, his method was to put people at their ease and to approach them with his message in a language and style to which they could relate, as in 1 Cor 9:19–23. The main source for information about Paul's life is the material found in Acts. However, the epistles contain little information about Paul's pre-conversion past; the book of Acts recounts more information but leaves several parts of Paul's life out of its narrative, such as his probable but undocumented execution in Rome. Some scholars believe Acts contradicts Paul's epistles on multiple accounts, in particular concerning the frequency of Paul's visits to the church in Jerusalem.
Sources outside the New Testament that mention Paul include: Clement of Rome's epistle to the Corinthians. Paul was born between the years of 5 BC and 5 AD; the Book of Acts indicates that Paul was a Roman citizen by birth, but Helmut Koester takes issue with the evidence presented by the text. He was from a devout Jewish family in the city of Tarsus, one of the largest trade centers on the Mediterranean coast, it had been in existence several hundred years prior to his birth. It was renowned for its university. During the time of Alexander the Great, who died in 323 BC, Tarsus was the most influential city in Asia Minor. Paul referred to himself as being "of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; the Bible reveals little abou
A calendar is a system of organizing days for social, commercial or administrative purposes. This is done by giving names to periods of time days, weeks and years. A date is the designation of a specific day within such a system. A calendar is a physical record of such a system. A calendar can mean a list of planned events, such as a court calendar or a or chronological list of documents, such as a calendar of wills. Periods in a calendar are though not synchronised with the cycle of the sun or the moon; the most common type of pre-modern calendar was the lunisolar calendar, a lunar calendar that adds one intercalary month to remain synchronised with the solar year over the long term. The term calendar is taken from calendae, the term for the first day of the month in the Roman calendar, related to the verb calare "to call out", referring to the "calling" of the new moon when it was first seen. Latin calendarium meant "account book, register"; the Latin term was adopted in Old French as calendier and from there in Middle English as calender by the 13th century.
A calendar can be on paper or electronic device. The course of the sun and the moon are the most salient natural recurring events useful for timekeeping, thus in pre-modern societies worldwide lunation and the year were most used as time units; the Roman calendar contained remnants of a ancient pre-Etruscan 10-month solar year. The first recorded physical calendars, dependent on the development of writing in the Ancient Near East, are the Bronze Age Egyptian and Sumerian calendars. A large number of Ancient Near East calendar systems based on the Babylonian calendar date from the Iron Age, among them the calendar system of the Persian Empire, which in turn gave rise to the Zoroastrian calendar and the Hebrew calendar. A great number of Hellenic calendars developed in Classical Greece, in the Hellenistic period gave rise to both the ancient Roman calendar and to various Hindu calendars. Calendars in antiquity were lunisolar, depending on the introduction of intercalary months to align the solar and the lunar years.
This was based on observation, but there may have been early attempts to model the pattern of intercalation algorithmically, as evidenced in the fragmentary 2nd-century Coligny calendar. The Roman calendar was reformed by Julius Caesar in 45 BC; the Julian calendar was no longer dependent on the observation of the new moon but followed an algorithm of introducing a leap day every four years. This created a dissociation of the calendar month from the lunation; the Islamic calendar is based on the prohibition of intercalation by Muhammad, in Islamic tradition dated to a sermon held on 9 Dhu al-Hijjah AH 10. This resulted in an observation-based lunar calendar that shifts relative to the seasons of the solar year; the first calendar reform of the early modern era was the Gregorian calendar, introduced in 1582 based on the observation of a long-term shift between the Julian calendar and the solar year. There have been a number of modern proposals for reform of the calendar, such as the World Calendar, International Fixed Calendar, Holocene calendar, the Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar.
Such ideas are mooted from time to time but have failed to gain traction because of the loss of continuity, massive upheaval in implementation, religious objections. A full calendar system has a different calendar date for every day, thus the week cycle is by itself not a full calendar system. The simplest calendar system just counts time periods from a reference date; this applies for Unix Time. The only possible variation is using a different reference date, in particular, one less distant in the past to make the numbers smaller. Computations in these systems are just a matter of subtraction. Other calendars have one larger units of time. Calendars that contain one level of cycles: week and weekday – this system is not common year and ordinal date within the year, e.g. the ISO 8601 ordinal date systemCalendars with two levels of cycles: year and day – most systems, including the Gregorian calendar, the Islamic calendar, the Solar Hijri calendar and the Hebrew calendar year and weekday – e.g. the ISO week dateCycles can be synchronized with periodic phenomena: Lunar calendars are synchronized to the motion of the Moon.
Solar calendars are based on perceived seasonal changes synchronized to the apparent motion of the Sun. Lunisolar calendars are based on a combination of both solar and lunar reckonings; the week cycle is an example of one, not synchronized to any external phenomenon. A calendar includes more than one type of cycle, or has both cyclic and non-cyclic elements. Most calendars incorporate more complex cycles. For example, the vast majority of them track years, months and days; the seven-day week is universal, though its use varies. It has run uninterrupted for millennia. Solar calendars assign a date to each solar day. A day may consist of the period between sunrise and sunset, with
A week is a time unit equal to seven days. It is the standard time period used for cycles of rest days in most parts of the world alongside—although not part of—the Gregorian calendar. In many languages, the days of the week are named after classical gods of a pantheon. In English, the names are Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. ISO 8601 includes the ISO week date system, a numbering system for weeks within a given year – each week begins on a Monday and is associated with the year that contains that week's Thursday. ISO 8601 assigns numbers to the days of the week; the term "week" is sometimes expanded to refer to other time units comprising a few days, such as the nundinal cycle of the ancient Roman calendar, the "work week", or "school week" referring only to the days spent on those activities. The English word week comes from the Old English wice from a Common Germanic *wikōn-, from a root *wik- "turn, change"; the Germanic word had a wider meaning prior to the adoption of the Roman calendar "succession series", as suggested by Gothic wikō translating taxis "order" in Luke 1:8.
The seven-day week is named in many languages by a word derived from "seven". The archaism sennight preserves the old Germanic practice of reckoning time by nights, as in the more common fortnight. Hebdomad and hebdomadal week both derive from the Greek hebdomás; the obsolete septimane is cognate with the Romance terms derived from Latin septimana. Slavic has a formation *tъdьnь, from *tъ "this" + *dьnь "day". Chinese has 星期, as it were "planetary time unit". A week is defined as an interval of seven days, so that technically, except at daylight saving time transitions or leap seconds, 1 week = 7 days = 168 hours = 10,080 minutes = 604,800 seconds. With respect to the Gregorian calendar: 1 Gregorian calendar year = 52 weeks + 1 day 1 week = 1600⁄6957 ≈ 22.9984% of an average Gregorian monthIn a Gregorian mean year, there are 365.2425 days, thus 52 71⁄400 or 52.1775 weeks. There are 20,871 weeks in 400 Gregorian years, so 11 April 1619 was a Thursday just as was 11 April 2019. Relative to the path of the Moon, a week is 23.659% of an average lunation or 94.637% of an average quarter lunation.
The system of dominical letters has been used to facilitate calculation of the day of week. The day of the week can be calculated given a date's Julian day number: Adding one to the remainder after dividing the Julian day number by seven yields that date's ISO 8601 day of the week; the days of the week were named for the classical planets. This naming system persisted alongside an "ecclesiastical" tradition of numbering the days, in ecclesiastical Latin beginning with dominica as the first day; the Greco-Roman gods associated with the classical planets were rendered in their interpretatio germanica at some point during the late Roman Empire, yielding the Germanic tradition of names based on indigenous deities. The ordering of the weekday names is not the classical order of the planets. Instead, the planetary hours systems resulted in succeeding days being named for planets that are three places apart in their traditional listing; this characteristic was discussed in Plutarch in a treatise written in c.
AD 100, reported to have addressed the question of Why are the days named after the planets reckoned in a different order from the actual order?. An ecclesiastical, non-astrological, system of numbering the days of the week was adopted in Late Antiquity; this model seems to have influenced the designation of Wednesday as "mid-week" in Old High German and Old Church Slavonic. Old Church Slavonic may have modeled the name of Monday, понєдѣльникъ, after the Latin feria secunda; the ecclesiastical system became prevalent in Eastern Christianity, but in the Latin West it remains extant only in modern Icelandic and Portuguese. A continuous seven-day cycle that runs throughout history paying no attention whatsoever to the phases of the moon was first practised in Judaism, dated to the 6th century BC at the latest. There are several hypotheses concerning the origin of the biblical seven-day cycle. Friedrich Delitzsch and others suggested that the seven-day week being a quarter of a lunation is the implicit astronomical origin of the seven-day week, indeed the Babylonian calendar used intercalary days to synchronize the last week of a month with the new moon.
According to this theory, the Jewish week was adopted from the Babylonians while removing the moon-dependency. However, Niels-Erik Andreasen, Jeffrey H. Tigay, others claimed that the Biblical Sabbath is mentioned as a day of rest in some of the earliest layers of the Pentateuch dated to the 9th century BC at the latest, centuries before Judea's Babylonian exile, they find the resemblance between the Biblical Sabbat
Frederick the Great
Frederick II ruled the Kingdom of Prussia from 1740 until 1786, the longest reign of any Hohenzollern king. His most significant accomplishments during his reign included his military victories, his reorganization of Prussian armies, his patronage of the arts and the Enlightenment and his final success against great odds in the Seven Years' War. Frederick was the last Hohenzollern monarch titled King in Prussia and declared himself King of Prussia after achieving sovereignty over most Prussian lands in 1772. Prussia had increased its territories and became a leading military power in Europe under his rule, he became known as Frederick the Great and was nicknamed Der Alte Fritz by the Prussian people and the rest of Germany. In his youth, Frederick was more interested in philosophy than the art of war. Nonetheless, upon ascending to the Prussian throne he attacked Austria and claimed Silesia during the Silesian Wars, winning military acclaim for himself and Prussia. Toward the end of his reign, Frederick physically connected most of his realm by acquiring Polish territories in the First Partition of Poland.
He was an influential military theorist whose analysis emerged from his extensive personal battlefield experience and covered issues of strategy, tactics and logistics. Considering himself "the first servant of the state", Frederick was a proponent of enlightened absolutism, he modernized the Prussian bureaucracy and civil service and pursued religious policies throughout his realm that ranged from tolerance to segregation. He reformed the judicial system and made it possible for men not of noble status to become judges and senior bureaucrats. Frederick encouraged immigrants of various nationalities and faiths to come to Prussia, although he enacted oppressive measures against Polish Catholic subjects in West Prussia. Frederick supported arts and philosophers he favored as well as allowing complete freedom of the press and literature. Frederick is buried at Sanssouci in Potsdam; because he died childless, Frederick was succeeded by his nephew, Frederick William II, son of his brother, Augustus William.
Nearly all 19th-century German historians made Frederick into a romantic model of a glorified warrior, praising his leadership, administrative efficiency, devotion to duty and success in building up Prussia to a great power in Europe. Historian Leopold von Ranke was unstinting in his praise of Frederick's "heroic life, inspired by great ideas, filled with feats of arms... immortalized by the raising of the Prussian state to the rank of a power". Johann Gustav Droysen was more extolling. Frederick remained an admired historical figure through the German Empire's defeat in World War I; the Nazis glorified him as a great German leader pre-figuring Adolf Hitler, who idolized him. Associations with him became far less favorable after the fall of the Nazis due to his status as one of their symbols. However, by the 21st century a re-evaluation of his legacy as a great general and enlightened monarch returned opinion of him to favour. Frederick, the son of Frederick William I and his wife, Sophia Dorothea of Hanover, was born in Berlin on 24 January 1712.
He was baptised with only one name and was not given any other names. The birth of Frederick was welcomed by his grandfather, Frederick I, with more than usual pleasure, as his two previous grandsons had both died in infancy. With the death of his father in 1713, Frederick William became King in Prussia, thus making young Frederick the crown prince; the new king wished for his daughters to be educated not as royalty, but as simple folk. He had been educated by a Frenchwoman, Madame de Montbail, who became Madame de Rocoulle, he wished that she educate his children. Frederick William I, popularly dubbed as the Soldier-King, had created a large and powerful army led by his famous "Potsdam Giants" managed his treasury finances and developed a strong, centralized government. However, he possessed a violent temper and ruled Brandenburg-Prussia with absolute authority; as Frederick grew, his preference for music and French culture clashed with his father's militarism, resulting in Frederick William beating and humiliating him.
In contrast, Frederick's mother Sophia was polite and learned. Her father, George Louis of Brunswick-Lüneburg, succeeded to the British throne as King George I in 1714. Frederick was brought up by Huguenot governesses and tutors and learned French and German simultaneously. In spite of his father's desire that his education be religious and pragmatic, the young Frederick, with the help of his tutor Jacques Duhan, procured for himself a three thousand volume secret library of poetry and Roman classics, French philosophy to supplement his official lessons. Although Frederick William I was raised a Calvinist, he feared. To avoid the possibility of Frederick being motivated by the same concerns, the king ordered that his heir not be taught about predestination. Although Frederick was irreligious, he to some extent appeared to adopt this tenet of Calvinism; some scholars have speculated. In the mid-1720s, a double marriage was proposed. Queen Sophia Dorothea attempted to arrange Frederick and his sister Wilhelmine with Amelia and Frederick, the children of her brother, King George II of Great Britain.
Fearing an alliance between Prussia and Great Britain, Field Marshal von Seckendorff, the Austrian ambassador in Berlin, bribed the Prussian Minister of War, Field Marshal von Grumbkow, the Prussian ambassador in Lon