GOTTFREID WILHELM LEIBNIZ (1646-1716)
Leibniz Time Line
1646 July 1, born in Leipzig to Friedrich Leibniz a Professor
of Moral Philosophy at the University of Leipzig.
1652 Friedrich Leibniz dies.
1654 At the age of eight teaches himself Latin in order to
read Livy and Calvisius and is permitted into his late
father's extensive library. The next seven years devoted
to study of the Latin Classics and the Church Fathers.
1661 Enters the University of Leipzig where he studies first
science and scholastic philosophy and then law.
1666 Applies for doctor of law at Leipzig but is denied on the
grounds that he is too young. Goes to University of
Altdorf where it is immediately conferred.
1667 Is offered a professorship at Altdorf which he declines
in order to enter the service of his patron the Baron
Johann Christian von Boyneburg and the Elector of Mainz.
1672 Goes to Paris on a diplomatic mission for Boyneburg.
Boyneburg dies the same year and Leibniz stays in Paris
four years and is heavily influenced by his first
extensive exposure to modern philosophy, meeting Arnauld
and Malbranche, and by the
mathematical and scientific genius of the physicist, Christiaan
Huygens. By the time he leaves Paris he has layed the foundations for
his differential calculus.
1673 While in Paris, enters the service of the Duke John
Frederick of Brunswick.
1676 Is asked by John Frederick to return to Germany. On his
way to Hanover he visits England and stops in Holland
where he meets Spinoza. He spends
the next fourty years in the service of three successive dukes of the
Brunswick family in Hanover.
1679 John Frederick dies, succeded by Ernst August. This succession
leads to a friendship between Leibniz and
Sophie and her daughter Sophie Charlotte.
1685 Ernst August assigns Leibniz the task of writing the
history of the house of Brunswick.
1686 Composes Systema theologicum, a work which
sought to bring Protestants and Catholics together on the
basis of their creeds, religious unity being one of
Leibniz's primary concerns. He also composes "Discourse
1687 Travels to Italy to do research for his history of the
house of Brunswick and shows an important connection
between the house of Brunswick and the house of Este, one
of the most important families of the Italian
1690 Returns to Hanover and is appointed librarian at
Wolfenbuttel. Over the next several years, through his
close friendship to Sophie, wife of Ernst August, and
their daughter Sophie Charlotte, who became queen of
Prussia, he visits Berlin often.
1695 Publishes "New System of Nature" and "A Specimen of
1697 Writes "On the Ultimate Origination of Things."
1698 Writes "On Nature Itself."
1700 Berlin Society of Sciences founded with Leibniz elected
president for life. Made a foreign member of the French
1704 Finishes New Essays on Human Understanding, a
response to Locke's Essays Concerning Human
Understanding, which he refrains from publishing
upon the death of Locke in the same year.
1710 Writes Theodicy, his only complete philosophical
work published in his life-time.
1714 Ernst August dies, succeeded by George Ludwig who also
became king of Great Britain. Writes "Monadology" and
"Principles of Nature and Grace."
1716 Dies in Hanover after a prolonged case of arthritise and
gout. The only one to attend his funeral is his
Leibniz Time Line Sources
"Of an Organum"
"Of universal Synthesis and Analysis"
"Discourse on Metaphysics"
"A Specimen of Discoveries"
"The Nature of Truth"
"Necessary and Contingent Truths"
"New System, and Explanation of the New System"
"On the Principle of INdiscernibles"
"On the Ultimate Origination of Things"
New Essays on Human Understanding
"Metaphysical Consequences of the Principle of Reason"
"Principles of Nature and Grace"
Correspondence with Arnauld
Correspondence with Clarke
You can access an electronic text version of Leibniz' Monadology by
clicking on the name of the text in this sentence.