Zacharias Werner

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Etching of Werner by Johann Ender The Poet WErner.jpg
Etching of Werner by Johann Ender

Friedrich Ludwig Zacharias Werner (November 18, 1768 – January 17, 1823) was a German poet, dramatist, and preacher. As a dramatist, he is known mainly for inaugurating the era of the so-called “tragedies of fate.”

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Poet person who writes and publishes poetry

A poet is a person who creates poetry. Poets may describe themselves as such or be described as such by others. A poet may simply be a writer of poetry, or may perform their art to an audience.



Werner was born at Königsberg in East Prussia. At the University of Königsberg, he studied law and attended Kant's lectures. Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Rousseau's German disciples were also influences that shaped his view of life. He lived an irregular life and entered a series of unsuccessful marriages. However his talent was soon recognized, and in 1793 he became chamber secretary in the Prussian service in Warsaw. In 1805 he obtained a government post in Berlin, but two years later he retired from the public service in order to travel.

Königsberg capital city in Prussia

Königsberg is the name for a former German city that is now Kaliningrad, Russia. Originally a Sambian or Old Prussian city, it later belonged to the State of the Teutonic Order, the Duchy of Prussia, the Kingdom of Prussia, the German Empire, the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany until 1945. After being largely destroyed in World War II by Allied bombing and Soviet forces and annexed by the Soviet Union thereafter, the city was renamed Kaliningrad. Few traces of the former Königsberg remain today.

University of Königsberg former university of Königsberg in Eastern Prussia (1544-1945)

The University of Königsberg was the university of Königsberg in East Prussia. It was founded in 1544 as the world's second Protestant academy by Duke Albert of Prussia, and was commonly known as the Albertina.

Law system of rules and guidelines, generally backed by governmental authority

Law is a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. It has been defined both as "the Science of Justice" and "the Art of Justice". Law is a system that regulates and ensures that individuals or a community adhere to the will of the state. State-enforced laws can be made by a collective legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes, by the executive through decrees and regulations, or established by judges through precedent, normally in common law jurisdictions. Private individuals can create legally binding contracts, including arbitration agreements that may elect to accept alternative arbitration to the normal court process. The formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution, written or tacit, and the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics, history and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people.

In the course of his travels, and by correspondence, Werner became acquainted with many eminent literary figures of the time, for example Goethe at Weimar and Madame de Staël at Coppet. At Rome, he joined the Roman Catholic Church in 1811. He was consecrated a priest in 1814 at Aschaffenburg, and, exchanging the pen for the pulpit, became a popular preacher in Vienna, where, during a congress in 1814, his eloquent sermons were listened to by crowded congregations. He was later appointed head of the chapter of the cathedral of Kaminiec.

Weimar Place in Thuringia, Germany

Weimar is a city in the federal state of Thuringia, Germany. It is located in Central Germany between Erfurt in the west and Jena in the east, approximately 80 kilometres southwest of Leipzig, 170 kilometres north of Nuremberg and 170 kilometres west of Dresden. Together with the neighbour-cities Erfurt and Jena it forms the central metropolitan area of Thuringia with approximately 500,000 inhabitants, whereas the city itself counts a population of 65,000. Weimar is well known because of its large cultural heritage and its importance in German history.

Coppet Place in Vaud, Switzerland

Coppet is a municipality in the district of Nyon in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland.

Rome Capital city and comune in Italy

Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth-most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.

Werner died in Vienna.


He succeeded in having his plays put on the stage, where they met with much success. Verdi's opera Attila is based on Werner's drama of the same name. Werner's Der 24. Februar, thus titled because his mother and an intimate friend died on that day, introduced the era of the so-called “tragedies of fate.” Several of his dramatic poems were designed to evangelize freemasonry. Among his titles were:

<i>Attila</i> (opera) opera by Giuseppe Verdi

Attila is an opera in a prologue and three acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera, based on the 1809 play Attila, König der Hunnen by Zacharias Werner. The opera received its first performance at La Fenice in Venice on 17 March 1846.

Freemasonry group of fraternal organizations

Freemasonry or Masonry consists of fraternal organisations that trace their origins to the local fraternities of stonemasons, which from the end of the fourteenth century regulated the qualifications of stonemasons and their interaction with authorities and clients. The degrees of Freemasonry retain the three grades of medieval craft guilds, those of Apprentice, Journeyman or fellow, and Master Mason. The candidate of these three degrees is progressively taught the meanings of the symbols of Freemasonry, and entrusted with grips, signs and words to signify to other members that he has been so initiated. The initiations are part allegorical morality play and part lecture. The three degrees are offered by Craft Freemasonry. Members of these organisations are known as Freemasons or Masons. There are additional degrees, which vary with locality and jurisdiction, and are usually administered by their own bodies.

Zacharias Werner's Theater, a collection (without the author's consent) of Werner's work in 6 volumes, appeared in 1816-1818. Ausgewählte Schriften (Selected writings with a biography by K. J. Schütz) in 15 volumes appeared 1840-1841.


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