For a generation, Weimar was the center of intellectual life in Germany. A new time had come from here since Goethe had chosen it as his residence. He had found Wieland there, dragged Herder with him, and Schiller was going to be in the same place. Seldom have more important forces been united in a narrower space; In fact, the greater talent seemed to follow the larger one. What a rich life was not in this cooperation! Rich in deep thoughts, in poetic creations, in reshaping folk influences! Little Weimar had become a classic soil; from here German poetry received its laws.
Next to Weimar was Jena. The old university had won new youth food. If Weimar had poetry for itself, then Jena belonged to science. Hardly any other big names shone here. Here the Kantian philosophy had its seat, then Fichte had followed, last Schelling had proclaimed the new philosophy of the nature. Beside them stood many other important authority. Griesbach the theologian, Eichstädt the philologist, Woltmann the historian, A. W. Schlegel the critic and aesthetics. And what power could be more attractive than the mind? No sooner had there been an outstanding talent, which would not have been attracted to this world, and would at least have stayed in it for a short time, according to Jean Paul, Friedrich Schlegel, Novalis.