Two publications to mark Kiel University's 350th anniversary: it all started with 18 professors...

"Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel: 350 Jahre Wirken in Stadt, Land und Welt" (Kiel University: 350 years of impact on the city, region and world)
Cover: Wachholtz Verlag, Cover image: University Library. Kröger/Dorfmüller

It is a great tradition to honour an anniversary with a worthy publication. This tradition is to be upheld twice for Kiel University's 350th anniversary. From today (Thursday, 1 October) two publications will tell the story of the foundation of what was once the Fürstenschule zu Bordesholm (Bordesholm Latin school) and its development into a modern state university. Together at Kiel City Hall, Kiel University, the City of Kiel and the publishing house Wachholtz Verlag (Kiel) presented the commemorative publication "350 Jahre Wirken in Stadt, Land und Welt" (350 years of impact on the city, region and world) as well as the annotated first translation of the Latin brochure "Chilonium. Novus Holsatiae Parnassus" (Kiel, Holstein's new Parnassus), which dates from the university's foundation year 1665.

Kiel city and Kiel University belong together. It is not only Kiel's Lord Mayor Dr Ulf Kämpfer who is convinced of this. The commemorative publication for Kiel University's Jubilee and the work by one of the university's first professors, Caeso Gramm, are evidence of the historic association of the two old companions: "The university makes Kiel younger, cleverer, more varied and diverse. Kiel and Kiel University have a lively relationship with many positive effects in both directions."

Together with Wachholtz Verlag, around 100 of the university's professors, students, assistants and staff worked on the over 1,000 page commemorative publication and the time-consuming translation and annotation of Caeso Gramm's brochure. "I would like to thank you all very much on behalf of Kiel University. You have filled a great hole in the documenting of the university's history caused by wars, crises and other political upheavals", stressed Kiel University's Vice-President, Professor Anja Pistor-Hatam.

Also included in the commemorative publication is the history of the university's past jubilee celebrations, the creation of the faculties, the university during the National Socialist era, a typological description of the Kiel University professor and impressions by witnesses of the student protests in 1968, reported publisher and regional historian Professor Oliver Auge. "Finished and ready to read", he presented Kiel University's new definitive work, full of black and white and colour images, which was begun in 2011: "What makes this publication special is the wide variety of its contributions and our aim to gather as many readers as possible and to take them along with us on an exciting journey of discovery. The individual essays deal equally with the past, the present and the future of the university in its impact on the city of Kiel, the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein and the world. Their authors are professors, regional and municipal politicians, academic and administrative staff, and students. They focus on the university's people and institutions, on its collections, its excellence, and its international relations."

The university's first brochure is as old as the university itself, published in Latin in 1665 by Kiel professor Caeso Gramm, one of the university's 18 founding professors. Entitled "Chilonium. Novus Holsatiae Parnassus" (Kiel, Holstein's new Parnassus), it praised the merits of the region, the city of Kiel and its alma mater in with the most vibrant descriptions designed to attract students and professors to Kiel. Published and translated by Latin professor Thorsten Burkard and Classical Philology student Marvin Harms, the annotated brochure is now available for the first time in German. "The text challenged us and gave us new insight into the region and its people, though regrettably it kept many secrets to itself", said Burkard, describing the work on Parnassus which he began with particularly committed students in 2011. "Through the brochure we discover how important the foundation of Kiel University was at that time. Compared with other universities, its facilities offered outstanding working conditions for professors and students alike. Gramm praised the university's special location by the sea and the Schleswig-Holstein landscape in great detail: Then as now, it was clearly an important factor in deciding where to study and work." Burkard added that his team could only guess the significance of some phrases, however, such as those regarding the staple right (Stapelrecht), which Kiel was supposed to have been granted in the 14th Century (cf. Parnassus p.82).

Both publications appeared in print at Kiel's Wachholtz Verlag for Kiel University's Jubilee. It was with great pleasure that Burkard and his team took on this work, said Olaf Irlenkäuser, Managing Director of Wachholtz Verlag, and the projects were tackled with great creative ambition: "We wanted to publish works that also properly represent the modern Kiel University. For this reason, our work has focussed on the colourful diversity of the commemorative publication as well as the cheerful statements at the heart of the serious content of this bilingual, extensively annotated brochure. The result is there to be seen", said a convinced Irlenkäuser. "They are both readable and worth reading. With historic images and generous text layout, the story of Kiel University is readily accessible and, for this reason, probably one of a kind in this form."

Information sheet for the commemorative publication (in German):

The contents of the commemorative publication will be presented to the public in the form of a lecture series. The first lecture will be held on Thursday, 8 October, in the Ratssaal (council chamber) at Kiel City Hall. All the lecture dates are listed at: (in German)

Information sheet for the brochure, including selected quotes (in German):