Schiller, Johann Christoph Friedrich von. One of the greatest of German national poets. Born in Marbach, 1759. After completing his studies, he early adopted the medical profession and, while serving as an army surgeon, produced, in 1781, his tragedy of "The Robbers," a work which established his reputation as a dramatist. After quitting the army in 1783, he assumed literature for a means of livelihood, and became writer to the theater at Mannheim, in which capacity he produced his tragedy of "Fiesco." Two years afterwards, Schiller took up residence in Leipzig, and wrote his "Ode to Joy." In 1789, upon the recommendation of his friend Goethe, Schiller entered upon the professorship of history at Jena University and, three years later, published his "History of the Thirty Years' War and, in 1799, his masterpiece, the tragedy of "Wallenstein." In 1799 he took up his abode in Weimar, where he composed his dramas of "Mary Stuart," "The Maid of Orleans," and "The Bride of Messina," as well as his exquisite poem, "The Song of the Bell." Finally, in 1804, appeared one of the most popular of his dramas, "William Tell." Died 1805.