Travels and Homecomings: German Philologists Meet
The change of air of an Italian journey was to ‘heal his chest’, and Jacob surrendered himself to the adventure of new people and new scenes. Visiting the hill-top monastery of Camaldoli, Jacob rode on a donkey, up steep mountain paths, shaded from the hot sun by the thickness of the trees. Art galleries and collections encouraged doubts. The Germanic scholar in Jacob noted the many barrows and rune stones, and took a vivid interest in the languages. In September 1846 Germanic philologists held their first conference. They were mainly to discuss problems concerning their own work, but these academic meetings had a much wider significance. Classical philologists, natural philosophers, doctors and lawyers had all met in recent years – the jurists demanding a unified code of law for all Germany. The Grimms were now important enough for leading artists to be anxious to portray them.