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Alles Zu Nutzen—The Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft (1617–1680) As A German Renaissance Academy

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Chapter Summary

The Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft was founded in 1617 in the tradition of the Italian academies, some twenty years before the Académie Française (1635) in France and 45 years before the Royal Society (1662) in England. The academy quickly developed into the most important society of seventeenth-century Germany, and thus became a role model for other societies. It soon was regarded an honour to be a member of the Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft. Its name Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft (Fruit-Bearing Society), motto Alles zu Nutzen (Let everything be of use) and emblem (the coconut palm) - all form the impresa or device and are linked in the poem "Reimgesetz" (Stanza) - are closely connected with the notion of society and sociability. This chapter briefly describes the history of the society, especially as it concerns the presidents and archivists (Erzschreinhalter) in order to outline a few noticeable differences among the three periods.

Keywords: Académie Française; Alles zu Nutzen; Erzschreinhalter; Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft; Italian academies; seventeenth-century Germany

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