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 
        on Metaphysics."
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 
        secretary, Eckhart.

Leibniz Time Line Sources


"Of an Organum" "Of universal Synthesis and Analysis" "Discourse on Metaphysics" "A Specimen of Discoveries" "Primary Truths" "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 Theodicy "Metaphysical Consequences of the Principle of Reason" "Monadology" "Principles of Nature and Grace" Correspondence with Arnauld Correspondence with Clarke Misc. Correspondence

You can access an electronic text version of Leibniz' Monadology by clicking on the name of the text in this sentence.