Frederick the Great project

. . . those true Heroes; such as Julius Cæsar, Titus, Trajan, and the present King of Prussia; who cultivated and encouraged arts and sciences; whose animal courage was accompanied by the tender and social sentiments of humanity; and who had more pleasure in improving than in destroying their fellow-creatures.

— Philip Stanhope to Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th earl of Chesterfield
Wednesday, 4 October 1752;
EE letter ID: voltfrVF0970203b1c

Frederick II, King of Prussia (1712–1786) was an extraordinarily multi-faceted monarch and a key figure of the European Enlightenment. He gained fame throughout Europe not only on account of his high-profile military campaigns but also as the “Philosopher King” and correspondent of Voltaire (1694–1778).

Frederick wrote the treatise Anti-Machiavel and a series of historiographical works as well as poetry; he attracted scholars from France to the re-established the Berlin Academy, and was a patron of the arts as well as an accomplished flautist.

Katrin Kohl
Fellow and Tutor in German,
Professor of German Literature,
Faculty of Modern Languages
University of Oxford

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