Jena, a town of Germany, in the grand duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, on the Saale, 12 m. S. E. of Weimar; pop. in 1871, 8,197. It is partly surrounded by steep barren mountains, and consists of the town proper, through which flows the little river Leutra, and several suburbs. It is the seat of a supreme court of appeals for the grand duchy, and for several neighboring duchies, and the principalities of Reuss, and contains a ducal palace, three Lutheran churches, a Roman Catholic church, three hospitals, a lunatic asylum, etc. The country around Jena is so beautiful that Charles V. is said to have placed it in that respect next to Florence. The foundation of its celebrated university was laid by the elector John Frederick the Magnanimous in 1547, when as a prisoner of Charles V. he was removed to Jena, where he was to meet his three sons. The university of Wittenberg having been wrested from him, his object was to establish in its stead a seat of learning at Jena which should become a nursery of science and of the doctrines of the reformation.
The institution was sanctioned by the emperor Ferdinand I. in 1557, and inaugurated Feb. 2, 1558; and its 300th anniversary was celebrated Aug. 15-17, 1858. In connection with it are a philological and a theological seminary, a clinique, an anatomical theatre, an obstetric and pharmaceutical establishment, an institution for natural and mathematical sciences, one for agricultural science, and another founded in 1849 for political science, a botanical garden, an observatory, a museum of mineralogy, natural curiosities, archaeology, and oriental coins, and a library with more than 200,000 volumes. Jena holds a high position in German literature, particularly in philosophy. Reinhold, Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel were all connected with it. Among the eminent scholars and poets who have held office in the university were Voss and the brothers Schlegel; among naturalists, Oken; in chemistry, Gottling and Dobereiner; in theology, Danov, Griesbach, Eichhorn, and Pau-lus; in jurisprudence, Feuerbach and Thibaut. In the middle of the 18th century the attendance of students fluctuated between 2,000 and 3,000; at the end of that century there were still about 1,000. The student associations (Burschenschaften) and political agitations in 1815-'19, as well as the fact that the student Sand happened to be at Jena shortly before his assassination of Kotzebue, and the competition of the new universities, greatly injured the prosperity of Jena, and the attendance has since declined to 580, although the different duchies which support it have increased in their solicitude for its welfare.
The number of professors in 1874 was 65, among whom were some of the first scholars of Germany, as Hase and Hilgenfeld in the theological, and Kuno Fischer and Haeckel in the philosophical faculty. The first literary periodical in Germany was established in Jena in 1785. After its removal to Halle, it was followed from 1804 to 1842 by the Jenaische Literaturzeitung, and since by the Neue Jenaische Literaturzeitung, which after being discontinued for some time was revived in 1874. Jena has also several private educational institutions, a musical union, and a society for the study of Thuringian history and archaeology, founded in 1852. - A memorable battle was fought near Jena, Oct. 14, 1806, between the Prussian and Saxon army and the French. Napoleon's victory at Jena, says Schlosser, destroyed one half of the Prussian army, while Davoust gained on the same day a much more glorious victory over the other at Auerstiidt. Prince Hohenlohe commanded the Germans at Jena, and Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick at Auerstiidt, where he received a mortal wound shortly after the opening of the battle. • This double defeat brought about the complete prostration of Prussia.