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Born at Ettenheim, Baden, 17 July, 1820; died at Graz, 8 March, 1899. After completing his high-school studies he attended the universities of Freiburg, Tübingen, Heidelberg, and Munich, where he devoted himself to the study of modern languages and history. His first position was that of teacher of French and English at the high-school for the sciences at Freiburg ; in 1848 he was appointed by the Government of Baden lecturer on history at the University of Freiburg. In 1848, the year of revolution, he was a strong adherent of the Catholic party. In 1850 he became editor of the "Freiburger Zeitung"; in 1852 he became involved in a quarrel with the Government of Baden and, on this account, accepted a call as professor of Austrian history from the University of Graz , where he laboured during the years 1853-91. For a time he was tutor in history to Archduke Charles Louis and the archduke's travelling companion in journeys to France and Constantinople. In 1899 Weiss was ennobled and made a knight on the Order of the Iron Crown. In 1892 he was appointed a life-member of the House of Lords and in 1893 he received the title of court councillor. Weiss wrote the "Geschichte Alfreds des Grossen" (Schaffhausen, 1852), a carefully prepared work but one that offers nothing new; he also issued "Maria Theresa und der österreichische Erbfolgekrieg" (Vienna, 1863). His chief work is his summary of the history of the world in thirty-two volumes (last edition, Graz, 1900-06). It extends to the close of the Congress of Vienna and gives special attention to the eighteenth century and the French Revolution, both of which it treats exhaustively on the basis of contemporary literature. The work is written from a distinctly Catholic point of view and is not always objective enough in its account of the conflict between the empire and the papacy in the medieval era, of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, and of the Rationalism of the eighteenth century. Weiss also edited Gfrörer's "Geschichte des XVIII. Jahrhunderts" (Schaffhausen, 1862-74), and "Byzantinische Geschichten" (Graz, 1872-74).

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The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

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Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

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