Daily Archives: January 1, 2019

Die Zeit, die Tag und Jahre macht, BWV 134a – Wikipedia


The libretto by Christian Friedrich Hunold , an academic at the University of Halle , takes the form of a dialogue between two allegorical figures, Time and Divine Providence, representing the past and future, respectively. Bach set the words in eight movements consisting of alternating recitatives and arias, culminating in a choral finale. Most movements are duets of solo voices, an alto as Divine Providence and a tenor as Time. Even the closing movement features long duet passages, leading to parts for four voices. The singers are supported by a baroque instrumental ensemble of two oboes, two violins, viola and continuo . The character of the music is close to baroque opera , including French dances.
Later, in Leipzig , Bach used the secular cantata as the basis for a church cantata for the Third Day of Easter 1724, Ein Herz, das seinen Jesum lebend weiß. In the initial version of the Easter cantata, he made no changes to the 1719 music other than to omit two movements and replace the text with words for the occasion, written by an unknown author. In an adaptation for performances in the 1730s, he composed new recitatives for the Easter texts and made further changes to the music.
The cantata, written for a specific occasion, has been performed and recorded rarely compared with other Bach cantatas . It has been used for congratulatory events such as the 80th birthday of Bach scholar Alfred Dürr , when the cantata title was chosen as that of an international conference about chronology in Bach’s music, on which Dürr had focused.
History and words
Bach composed Die Zeit, die Tag und Jahre macht in Köthen , where he served at the court of
Leopold, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen , between 1717 and 1723. [3][4] Bach had earlier been employed at the subordinate position of concert master at the Weimar court, now was Kapellmeister in Köthen, directing a qualified musical ensemble. [5]
Leopold, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen
The prince was enthusiastic about music, was a good bass singer, and played violin, viola da gamba and harpsichord. [5] The court adhered to the Reformed Church ; therefore, Bach had no obligation to compose church music as he had in his earlier posts and later as Thomaskantor in
Leipzig . In Köthen, he had to write cantatas only for the court’s two secular feast days: the prince’s birthday and New Year’s Day. He wrote Die Zeit, die Tag und Jahre macht as a congratulatory cantata for New Year’s Day of 1719. [6]
Only few cantatas survived of the twelve that Bach is thought to have composed in his six years while in Köthen”, including Durchlauchtster Leopold, composed for the prince’s birthday, probably in 1722. [6] The homage cantatas were performed as serenatas or evening serenades. Their style is similar to opera of the period and includes dance-like music. [7]
Die Zeit, die Tag und Jahre macht is based on words by Christian Friedrich Hunold , whose pen name was Menantes. [2][8] A novelist as well as a
librettist , Hunold taught at the University of Halle , about 30 kilometres (19 mi) from Köthen. Bach collaborated with him on several cantatas between 1718 and 1720. Hunold published the text in the collection Auserlesene und theils noch nie gedruckte Gedichte unterschiedener Berühmten und geschickten Männer (Selected and partly never printed poems of different notable and skillful men) in Halle in 1719. Other texts published by Hunold include that of Bach’s cantata Der Himmel dacht auf Anhalts Ruhm und Glück , BWV 66a
, written for the prince’s birthday on 10 December 1718. [9][10] Literally “Heaven thought of Anhalt’s glory and fortune”, it has also been translated in a singable version as “Since Heaven Cared for Anhalt’s Fame and Bliss”. [11]
The text of the serenata Die Zeit, die Tag und Jahre macht, for most of the movements, recounts a dialogue between two allegorical figures: Time , representing the past, and Divine Providence, representing the future. [1][7] The music remained in manuscript and, like most of Bach’s works, was not printed in his lifetime . Bach led the first performance of the cantata on 1 January 1719. [2][6][12]
Easter cantata
Bach later used the secular cantata in Leipzig as a basis for the Easter cantata Ein Herz, das seinen Jesum lebend weiß, BWV 134, which was first performed in the Nikolaikirche on 11 April 1724.
[13] In the first version of this Easter cantata, Bach made no significant changes to the music other than omitting the fifth and sixth movements. [14] The new text, by an unknown poet, did not require musical adaptation. Bach had the parts for the singers of the retained movements copied without text and added the new text himself, with minor changes to the music. The instrumental parts were usable without changes but were duplicated for more performers. Perhaps for lack of time, Bach managed only the first page of a score with the new text and probably conducted from the Köthen score. [15]
For another performance of the Easter cantata on 27 March 1731, Bach made changes to the music, including the composition of new recitatives for the 1724 text. [14] He probably used this revised version again on 12 April 1735[16] and likely wrote a new score for this occasion. [15]
With the revival of interest in Bach’s music in the 19th century, Philipp Spitta , the author of a three-volume biography of Bach, discovered the printed text, making reconstruction of the entire work possible. The editors of the Bach-Gesellschaft-Ausgabe , the first complete edition of the composer’s works, were aware of the cantata and observed its relationship to BWV 134. However, the Bach-Gesellschaft-Ausgabe printed Die Zeit, die Tag und Jahre macht in 1881 only as a fragment edited by Paul Waldersee. It is titled Mit Gnade bekröne der Himmel die Zeiten , which is a line from the first tenor aria. [2][17] In 1963, the cantata was published in the Neue Bach-Ausgabe (NBA), the second complete edition of Bach’s works, edited by Alfred Dürr , with a critical report the following year. [2]
Structure and scoring
The cantata is structured in eight movements, with alternating recitatives and arias including mostly duets, culminating in a final choral movement. [18] Bach scored the work for two soloists, alto as Divine Providence and tenor as
Time, a four-part choir ( SATB ), and a baroque instrumental ensemble of two oboes (Ob), two
violins (Vl), viola (Va) and basso continuo . [2] The duration is given as 41 minutes. [19]
In the following table, the scoring follows the
Neue Bach-Ausgabe ( New Bach Edition ). The
keys and time signatures are from Alfred Dürr and use the symbol for common time. [18][20] The continuo, played throughout, is not shown.
Movements of Die Zeit, die Tag und Jahre macht
“Die Zeit, die Tag und Jahre macht”
tenor alto
B-flat major
“Auf, Sterbliche, lasset ein Jauchzen ertönen”
2Vl Va
B-flat major
“So bald, als dir die Sternen hold”
tenor alto
G minor
“Es streiten, es siegen, die künftigen Zeite

today’s birthday: Gilman, Charlotte Perkins

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins,

1860–1935, American feminist and reformer, b. Hartford, Conn.; great-granddaughter of Lyman Beecher

. Prominent as a lecturer and writer on the labor movement and feminism, she edited the Forerunner, a liberal journal. She wrote many works on social and economic problems, the most important of which is Women and Economics (1898). She is perhaps best known for her semi-autobiographical short story The Yellow Wallpaper (1890), which describes a woman’s nervous breakdown. Incurably ill, she committed suicide.


See her autobiography (1935); study by H. L. Horowitz (2010).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

this day in History: Ottawa


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Encyclopedia.

Related to Ottawa: Toronto
City (single-tier)
City of Ottawa
Ville d’Ottawa
Centre Block on Parliament Hill, the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Rideau Canal and Château Laurier.

Flag of Ottawa
Coat of arms of Ottawa
Coat of arms

Motto: “Advance-Ottawa-En Avant”
Written in the two official languages.[2]
Location of Ottawa in the Province of Ontario
Location of Ottawa in the Province of Ontario
Ottawa is located in Ontario

Ottawa is located in Canada

Ottawa is located in North America


Location in Ontario, Canada & North America

Coordinates: 45°25′N 75°41′W / 45.417°N 75.683°W
Country Canada
Province Ontario
Region National Capital Region
Established 1826 as Bytown[3]
Incorporated 1855 as City of Ottawa[3]
Amalgamated 1 January 2001
 • Mayor Jim Watson
 • City Council Ottawa City Council
 • MPs
 • MPPs
 • City (single-tier) 2,778.13 km2 (1,072.9 sq mi)
 • Urban 501.92 km2 (193.79 sq mi)
 • Metro 5,716.00 km2 (2,206.96 sq mi)
Elevation 70 m (230 ft)
Population (2016)[4][6]
 • City (single-tier) 934,243 (4th)
 • Density 334.8/km2 (867/sq mi)
 • Urban 933,596
 • Urban density 1,860.1/km2 (4,818/sq mi)
 • Metro 1,323,783 (5th)
 • Metro density 196.6/km2 (509/sq mi)
 • Demonym[7][8] Ottawan
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal code span K1A-K4A[2]
Area code(s) 613, 343
GDP US$ 58.2 billion[9]
GDP per capita US$ 44,149[9]
Website www.ottawa.ca

Ottawa (/ˈɒtəwə/ or /ˈɒtəwɑː/; French pronunciation: ​[ɔtawa]) is the capital city of Canada. It stands on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of southern Ontario. Ottawa borders Gatineau, Quebec; the two form the core of the Ottawa–Gatineau census metropolitan area (CMA) and the National Capital Region (NCR).[10] The 2016 census reported a population of 934,243, making it the fourth-largest city in Canada; and 1,323,783 within the CMA, making it the fifth-largest CMA in Canada. The City of Ottawa reported that the city had an estimated population of 960,754 as of December 2015.[11]

Founded in 1826 as Bytown, and incorporated as “Ottawa” in 1855, the city has evolved into a political and technological centre of Canada. Its original boundaries were expanded through numerous minor annexations and were ultimately replaced by a new city incorporation and major amalgamation in 2001 which significantly increased its land area. The city name “Ottawa” was chosen in reference to the Ottawa River nearby, the name of which is derived from the Algonquin Odawa, meaning “to trade”.[12]

The city is the most educated in Canada,[13] and is home to a number of post-secondary, research, and cultural institutions, including the National Arts Centre and the National Gallery. Ottawa also has the highest standard of living in the nation and low unemployment. It ranked 24th out of 150[14] worldwide in the Numbeo quality of life index 2014–2015, and it contains a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2016, MoneySense rated Ottawa as the best place to live in Canada.[15]


With the draining of the Champlain Sea around ten thousand years ago the Ottawa Valley became habitable.[16] The area was used for wild edible harvesting, hunting, fishing, trade, travel, and camps for over 6500 years by local populations. The Ottawa river valley has archaeological sites with arrow heads, pottery, and stone tools. The area has three major rivers that meet, making it an important trade and travel area for thousands of years.[17] The Algonquins called the Ottawa River Kichi Sibi or Kichissippi meaning “Great River” or “Grand River”.[18][19][20][21]

Étienne Brûlé, the first European to travel up the Ottawa River, passed by Ottawa in 1610 on his way to the Great Lakes.[19] Three years later, Samuel de Champlain wrote about the waterfalls of the area and about his encounters with the Algonquins, who had been using the Ottawa River for centuries.[22] The early explorers and traders were later followed by many missionaries. The first maps of the area used the word Ottawa to name the river.

Article of the Day

Article of the Day


The Battle of Carrhae

Fought in 53 BCE, the Battle of Carrhae stopped the Roman invasion of Parthian Mesopotamia. The Romans were led by Marcus Licinius Crassus, who wanted a victory to balance those of his fellow triumvirs Pompey and Julius Caesar. With seven legions—about 44,000 men—but little cavalry, he was defeated in the desert by 10,000 mounted Parthian archers and was killed. His death gave impetus to Caesar’s quest for power. The defeat also damaged Roman prestige, especially because of the capture of what? More… Discuss

Daily Grammar Lesson: Adjectives after the Noun

Daily Grammar Lesson


Adjectives after the Noun

While attributive adjectives are generally found before the noun they modify, especially in simple sentences, there are also many cases in which they are placed immediately after the noun. What are these adjectives called? More… Discuss

Word of the Day: dissemble

Word of the Day



Definition: (verb) Hide under a false appearance.
Synonyms: cloak, mask
Usage: So artfully can this people dissemble their sentiments that we had not been able hitherto to distinguish our real from our pretended favorers. Discuss. Play

Language: it’s the way we communicate that wins the world over!

The Free Dictionary for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Ce inseamna comunismul pentru Romania? 75 de ani pierduti, trei GENERATII de sacrificiu, mahnire, si deznadejde!

Bilanțul nostru personal, al fiecăruia dintre noi, poate fi frumos, trist, plin de succes sau de momente în care am ratat. În lăsăm doar în gândurile noastre sau îl scriem aici, mai sincer sau mai trunchiat, dar e numai treaba noastră.

Bilanțul României în 2018 este, însă, catastrofal. Și factura lui va fi plătită de noi și de ăștia mici care mișună pe lângă noi, fără să știe cât o să-i coste acest an pe care părinții lor se pregătesc să îl încheie cu șampanie și artificii.
Pentru țara asta, 2018 a fost un dezastru. Un dezastru adevărat și deja palpabil. Dar niciun politician care a contribuit la el nu are onestitatea să recunoască asta. Iar vina e atât de difuză încât autorii catastrofei nu au nici cel mai mic motiv să se teamă că vor plăti pentru ce au făcut anul ăsta. Se vor uita la artificii și vor ciocni șampanie, la fel ca noi. Călăi și victime, uniți de beculețe, petarde și bule de alcool.

Oana Dobre Dimofte

De pe la Breaza Fagarasului: Bună dimineața un An Nou fericit!

Bună dimineața un An Nou fericit!

2018 Sunda Strait tsunami – Wikipedia


2018 Sunda Strait tsunami

On 22 December 2018, a tsunami that followed an eruption and partial collapse of the Anak Krakatau volcano in the Sunda Straitstruck several coastal regions of BantenProvince (Java) and Lampung Province (Sumatra), Indonesia. At least 437 people were killed and 14,059 were injured.[1] The tsunami was caused by an undersea landslidethat followed an eruption of Anak Krakatau, the “Child of Krakatoa”.[4] On 23 December, it was found that much of the island of Anak Krakatau had collapsed into the sea.[5]
2018 Sunda Strait tsunami

A map of the region, with areas affected in blue.

Date22 December 2018Timearound 21:38WIB
(14:27 UTC)LocationSunda Strait, IndonesiaCoordinates6.103°S 105.423°EDeath(s)437[1]Non-fatal injuries14,059[1]Missing24[2]Property damage2,752 houses and 510 ships[3]


Anak Krakatau in 2013

Lying on the Ring of Fire, Indonesia experiences a high frequency of earthquakes and is home to 127 active volcanoes. One of these volcanoes is Anak Krakatau (literally “child of Krakatau”), an active volcano in the Sunda Strait. Anak Krakatau emerged from the sea in 1927, some time after the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, one of the most violent eruptions in recorded history. Via tsunamis and ash fall, the 1883 eruption of Krakatua killed more than 36,000 people, many of whom lived then in the same regions where the 2018 tsunami struck.[6][7]
In the months leading up to the 2018 tsunami, Anak Krakatau had seen increased activity, with an eruption on 21 December lasting more than two minutes, and producing an ash cloud 400 metres (1,300 ft) high.[6]
A catastrophic tsunami in 2004 happened around the same time of year, occurring on 26 December after a sub-sea earthquake near the other end of Sumatra. That tsunami caused more widespread damage throughout the rim of the Indian Ocean, with countries such as Thailand and Sri Lanka being affected.[8]


On 22 December 2018, at 21:03 local time(14:03 UTC), Anak Krakatau erupted and damaged local seismographic equipment, though a nearby seismographic station detected continuous tremors.[9]
The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) detected a tsunami event around 21:27 local time (14:27 UTC) at the western coast of Banten, but the agency had not detected any preceding tectonic events.[10] The Indonesian National Agency for Disaster Countermeasure (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said “Dozens of buildings were destroyed by the wave, which hit beaches in Lampung and Banten about 21:30 local time (14:30 UTC) on Saturday”.[7] According to The Jakarta Post, authorities said the tsunami “may have been triggered by an abnormal tidal surge due to a full moon and an underwater landslide following the eruption of Anak Krakatau”.[7]According to The Guardian, “the tsunami is believed to have been caused by undersea landslides that followed an eruption of the Anak Krakatau volcano”.[4]
Previously, BMKG had issued a high wave warning for the waters surrounding the strait.[11] Tide gauge for the tsunami measured around 90 centimetres (35 in) in Serang and 30 centimetres (12 in) in Lampung,[12] on top of the two-metre (6 ft 7 in) high tides.[13] While Indonesia possessed a tsunami warning system for tsunamis caused by earthquakes, there were none in place for volcanic tsunamis, and hence there were no early warnings.[14] On 23 December, it was confirmed via satellite data and helicopter footage that the southwest sector of the volcano had collapsed, which triggered the tsunami, and the main conduit was erupting from underwater producing Surtseyan-style activity.[15]
The freak waves attacked 312.75 km of coastline.[3]


The aftermath of the tsunami at the venue of Seventeen’s beachfront concert

The Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) initially reported 20 deaths and 165 injuries.[7] By the following day, the figure had been revised to 43 deaths – 33 in Pandeglang, seven in South Lampung, and three in Serang Regencies, with 584 injured, and two missing; most of the injuries recorded (491) also occurred in Pandeglang. The areas of Pandeglang Regency struck by the wave included beaches which are popular tourist destinations, such as Tanjung Lesung.[9][16] The death toll was further updated to 62 with 20 missing persons later that day.[17] Missing persons were also reported from small islands which are part of Pandeglang Regency.[18] By 13:00 local time on 23 December, BNPB had confirmed 168 fatalities and 745 injuries with 30 having been reported as missing,[6] and the figure was further increased to 281 dead and 1,016 injured.[19] As of 31 December, the death toll was 437, with 14,059 reported injured and 24 missing.[2][1][20]
Among the victims were Aa Jimmy, an Indonesian actor and comedian,[21] and several members of the Indonesian band Seventeen: Bassist M. Awal “Bani” Purbani, guitarist Herman Sikumbang, road manager Oki Wijaya, and crewmember Ujang. After a few hours, drummer Windu Andi Darmawanand actress and TV presenter Dylan Sahara(the wife of Seventeen’s lead singer) were reported to have been found dead.[22] A video circulated online showing the band’s stage being struck by the tsunami in the middle of their show at Tanjung Lesung, causing it to collapse and the audience to flee.[23] Tour groups from state owned company PLN and the Sports and Youth Ministry were also affected by the tsunami, with some of the members dead, missing or injured.[24][25]


Around 400 houses in Pandeglang located near the coast collapsed or were heavily damaged due to the wave, in addition to nine hotels. Thirty other houses in South Lampungwere also heavily damaged.[9][26] The road connecting Serang and Pandeglang was cut off.[27]

New Horizons – Wikipedia


New Horizons is an interplanetary space probe that was launched as a part of NASA‘s New Frontiers program.[3] Engineered by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), with a team led by S. Alan Stern,[4] the spacecraft was launched in 2006 with the primary mission to perform a flybystudy of the Pluto system in 2015, and a secondary mission to fly by and study one or more other Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) in the decade to follow.[5][6][7][8][9] It is the fifth space probe to achieve the escape velocity needed to leave the Solar System.

New Horizons
New Horizons Transparent.png

New Horizons space probe

Mission type Flyby (Jupiter · Pluto ·2014 MU69)
Operator NASA
COSPAR ID 2006-001A
SATCAT no. 28928
Website pluto.jhuapl.edu
Mission duration Primary mission: 9.5 years
Elapsed: 12 years, 11 months, 12 days
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer APL / SwRI
Launch mass 478 kg (1,054 lb)
Dry mass 401 kg (884 lb)
Payload mass 30.4 kg (67 lb)
Dimensions 2.2 × 2.1 × 2.7 m (7.2 × 6.9 × 8.9 ft)
Power 228 watts
Start of mission
Launch date January 19, 2006, 19:00 UTC
Rocket Atlas V (551) AV-010
Launch site Cape Canaveral SLC-41
Contractor International Launch Services[1]
Orbital parameters
Eccentricity 1.41905
Inclination 2.23014°
RAAN 225.016°
Argument of periapsis 293.445°
Epoch January 1, 2017 (JD2457754.5)[2]
Flyby of (132524) APL (incidental)
Closest approach June 13, 2006, 04:05 UTC
Distance 101,867 km (63,297 mi)
Flyby of Jupiter (gravity assist)
Closest approach February 28, 2007, 05:43:40 UTC
Distance 2,300,000 km (1,400,000 mi)
Flyby of Pluto
Closest approach July 14, 2015, 11:49:57 UTC
Distance 12,500 km (7,800 mi)
Flyby of (486958) 2014 MU69
Closest approach January 1, 2019, 05:33:00 UTC
Distance 3,500 km (2,200 mi) (planned)
New Horizons - Logo2 big.png


On January 19, 2006, New Horizons was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station by an Atlas V rocket directly into an Earth-and-solar escape trajectory with a speed of about 16.26 kilometers per second (10.10 mi/s; 58,500 km/h; 36,400 mph). At launch, it was the fastest probe ever launched from Earth.[10] After a brief encounter with asteroid 132524 APL, New Horizonsproceeded to Jupiter, making its closest approach on February 28, 2007, at a distance of 2.3 million kilometers (1.4 million miles). The Jupiter flyby provided a gravity assist that increased New Horizons speed; the flyby also enabled a general test of New Horizonsscientific capabilities, returning data about the planet’s atmosphere, moons, and magnetosphere.

Most of the post-Jupiter voyage was spent in hibernation mode to preserve on-board systems, except for brief annual checkouts.[11] On December 6, 2014, New Horizons was brought back online for the Pluto encounter, and instrument check-out began.[12] On January 15, 2015, the spacecraft began its approach phase to Pluto.

On July 14, 2015, at 11:49 UTC, it flew 12,500 km (7,800 mi) above the surface of Pluto,[13][14] making it the first spacecraft to explore the dwarf planet.[8][15] On October 25, 2016, at 21:48 UTC, the last of the recorded data from the Pluto flyby was received from New Horizons.[16] Having completed its flyby of Pluto,[17] New Horizons has maneuvered for a flyby of Kuiper belt object (486958) 2014 MU69,[18][19][20] which happened on January 1, 2019,[21][22] when it was 43.4 AU from the Sun.[18][19] In August 2018, NASA cited results by Alice on New Horizons to confirm the existence of a “hydrogen wall” at the outer edges of the Solar System. This “wall” was first detected in 1992 by the two Voyager spacecraft.[23][24]

Édouard Schuré – Wikipedia

Édouard Schuré

Eduard (Édouard) Schuré (January 21, 1841 in Strasbourg – April 7, 1929 in Paris) was a French philosopher, poet, playwright, novelist, music critic, and publicist of esotericliterature.


Schuré was the son of a doctor in the Alsatian town of Strasbourg, who died when Édouard was fourteen years old. Schuré mastered French as well as German, and was influenced by German and French culture in his formative years. He received his degree in law at the University of Strasbourg, but he never entered into practice. Schuré called the three most significant of his friendships those with Richard Wagner, Marguerita Albana Mignatyand Rudolf Steiner.[1]
Schuré’s interest and studies led to an extensive knowledge of German literature. The discovery of Wagner’s “music drama” Tristan and Isolde impressed him sufficiently to seek—and obtain—Wagner’s personal acquaintance.
In France, he published his first work Histoire du Lied—a history of the German folk song, which earned him some recognition in the country of his family. With the publication of the essay Richard Wagner et le Drame Musical, he established himself as a major French Wagner expert and advocate of the time.
When the Franco-German war of 1870-71 poisoned the German arts for many French, it would seem that Schuré was not immune from this influence. His nationalism is reflected in his remarks of this time—and later in his life—in a comparison of glorified Celtism (France) and a negatively viewed “Teutonism” (Germany).
On a trip to Italy during this time he met, twenty years his senior, a Greek woman, Marguerita Albana Mignaty, whom he subsequently described as his “muse”, although he himself was married.
After the tide of war had ebbed, Schuré reestablished his relationship with Wagner. In 1873, he met the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche; with frequent contact they shared enthusiasm for Wagner. The cultist veneration of Wagner, however, seeded Schuré’s alienation from the composer.
Schuré now turned increasingly to the esoteric and the occult, his major influence being the famous French occultist-scholar Fabre d’Olivet.[citation needed] In 1884, he met the founder of the Theosophical Society Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. Although unwelcome in the Theosophical Society, he nevertheless entered. In 1889, he published, after some smaller works on similar topics, his major work Les Grands Initiés (The Great Initiates).
In 1900, the actress Marie von Sivers came into contact with him because she intended to translate his works into German (The Great Initiates, The Sacred Drama of Eleusis and The Children of Lucifer). At the German Section of the Theosophical Society, he met the Austrian philosopher and later founder of Anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner. In 1906, Sivers brought about a meeting between Schuré and Steiner. Schuré was deeply impressed and thought of Steiner as an authentic ‘initiate’ in line with his The Great Initiates. After hearing Steiner lecture in Paris for the first time in 1906, Schuré in an ecstatic state ran home and wrote down the entirety of the lecture from memory. This first lecture, and the other lectures in the series (which Schuré wrote down) were published as Esoteric Cosmology.[2] Subsequently, Steiner and von Sivers staged Schuré’s esoteric dramas at the following Theosophical Congresses in Berlin and Munich. Schuré’s The Children of Lucifer, served as a precursor of Rudolf Steiner’s own esoteric dramas.
In 1908 Schuré brought out Le Mystère Chrétien et les Mystères Antiques,[3] a French translation of Steiner’s work Christianity as Mystical Fact and the Mysteries of Antiquity.[4]With the outbreak of World War I, Schuré’s relationship with Steiner and his wife became strained. Schuré threw in the two secret intentions about Germanic and Pan and stepped out of Steiner’s Anthroposophical Society. Four years after the war, Schuré re-consolidated his friendship with Steiner.
In subsequent years, Schuré published his autobiography.

Esoteric and literary meaning

Schuré’s The Great Initiates is described by some as a masterpiece. In it, he describes the path allegedly followed by some of the ancient philosophers in search of profound esoteric knowledge, often called the “initiation”, as describing the process of becoming a mystic master or spiritual healer.
Those familiar with Rama, Hermes Trismegistus, Socrates, Jesus, Orpheus will find frequent references in Schuré’s work. Although having no knowledge of the ‘druid’ Rama, Schuré pursued the notion that a secret esoteric knowledge was known to them all, that this group were among the pillars of civilization and represented the founders of spiritual and philosophical ways of being as well as in some cases—though contrary to their message—religions. Schuré recognized that the path to a harmonious world was not to be found through a bigoted denial of the value found by other civilizations by their own sages. He wanted people to recognize the value of democracy in spiritual, philosophical, and religious ways.
Schuré wrote a considerable number of books and plays. In his 1912 From Sphinx to Christ (Treatise on Occult History) he admires the racist basis of the hereditary caste system in India. He believed the Brahmans had to protect their pure Aryan blood from admixtures with the blood of the other – inferior – races of India after the ‘invasion’ of India by the Aryans.
His plays enjoyed relative fame in his days in Europe, and some of them were put on stage by Steiner. He also influenced Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev.

Works (selection)

Works available in English

The Great Initiates, A Study of the Secret History of Religions

The Children of Lucifer (Drama in 5 Acts)

The Genesis of Tragedy and The Sacred Drama of Eleusis (Treatise on Theatre, including a reconstruction of an ancient drama)

From Sphinx to Christ (Treatise on Occult History)

Hermes to Plato

Krishna and Orpheus

Jesus the Last Great Initiate

The Priestess of Isis (Novel)

Woman the Inspirer (Lecture/Treatise)

Ricardo Wagner – His Work and Ideas

History of Music Drama

Original editions

Histoire du Lied ou la chanson populaire en Allemagne, 1868

Le drame musical. Richard Wagner, son œuvre et son idée, 2 volumes, 1875

Les Grands Initiés. Esquisse de l’histoire secrète des religions, 1889

Le drame sacré d’Eleusis, 1890

Sanctuaires d’Orient, Paris 1898

Les grandes légendes de France, Paris, 1893

Les Enfants de Lucifer, 1900

Précurseurs et revolt, Paris, 1904

La Prêtresse d’Isis (Légende de Pompeii), 1907

Femmes et inspiratrices poètes annonciateurs, Paris, 1908

L’évolution du sphinx au divine Christ, 1912

Les prophètes de la renaissance, 1920

Celtique L’âme et le génie de la France à travers les Ages, Paris 1920

Merlin l’enchanteur, Paris, 1921

Le rêve d’une vie. Confession d’un poète(autobiography), 1922


Marie Steiner-von Sivers


Rudolf Steiner and the Theosophical Society

Rudolf Steiner’s Mystery Dramas


Featured image from Wikimedia Commons | Jan 1, 2019