Haeckel

My interest in Natural History brought to my attention the interesting fact that an Armenian priest who inhabited the monastary of Armash some twenty miles from where I lived, had been the pupil of he famous Haeckel of Germany. Haeckel was to Germany what Huxley was to England, in furthering and popularizing Darwin's theory of the Origin of the Species.

There was nothing for me to do but to visit this priest and to learn from him about Haeckel. The trip was taken on horseback over an old stone road, through picturesque mountains which lay between N_____ and the Black Sea. We finally arrived at the gate of the monastery which was an ancient edifice, that stood alone on the peak of a mountain, surrounded by flowers and foliage, cultivated by the priests. There was a high wall built around the monastery, a stone-paved court with an ancient wall and doorway leading into it, giving the structure the appearance of an old-time fortress.

The library contained leather covered tomes, which dated back to the Middle Ages. The Father Abbot was most gracious in inviting us in and we spent two memorable days with him. Their dining room looked over the peaks of the neighboring hills and we could see, far off in the distance, glimpses of the Black Sea.

The erudition and learning of these priests is amazing. They have all travelled a bit too. The priest that I was especially interested in had spent three years in Jena with E_____ and also had attended lectures given by Haeckel at that marvelous seat of reformed learning, for you remember that the Duke of _______ protected Luther during the Reformation, an much later in our day when Haeckel's teaching of organic revolution was frowned upon by the Imperial family of Germany it was again _______ who served as host for the new reformer, Haeckel.

It is interesting to note that an asylum was founded at Jena in memory of Haeckel and the Duke of ________.

Haeckel, the scientific iconoclast, and E_______, the great religious Theologian, were boon companions and could be seen any day walking along the banks of the Saar River, talking and discussing one thing after another.

Haeckel, because of his scientific attainments, would have been called to a Chair in the University of Berlin if it had not been for his radical views on religion. So, here in this ancient monastery, in the interior of Asia Minor among many ancient facts and things, it was a wonderful experience for me to talk with a man who had studied at the feet of E_____ and Haeckel.

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