Alfred Graff´s portrait of Friedrich II (1781) Alfred Graff´s portrait of Friedrich II (1781)

Born on this day in 1712 Prussian king Friedrich II went down in history as Friedrich der Große, or Frederick the Great. Many of his deeds were memorable, some of them certainly merit being described as impressive but where does “the Great” in his name really come from?

The answer to this and many other questions about der Alte Fritz (Friedrich II´s common name) – some of them you did not even know you actually had – can be found in a brilliant BBC Radio 4 podcast “In Our Time” where the show´s host, Melvyn Bragg, discusses Friedrich´s story with some of the best British experts in the field. Apparently, it was the King himself who ordered Berlin press to refer to him as “der Große” in their reports from the Silesian front: he had the local newspapers and bulletins call him “the…

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By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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