Sunday, December 14, 2008
Today is Beethoven's birthday, by the way. Did you know that? At least most experts believe Beethoven was born on the sixteenth of December. The only documentary evidence is the composer's baptismal record. Of course, documentary evidence can be deceiving -- even inauthentic. We do know that Beethoven was baptized on December seventeenth, at least so the record shows. Some biographers maintain that Beethoven was born on the seventeenth, citing the fact that in the locale of Beethoven's birth, Catholics were customarily baptized on the day they were born. In any event, what we are left with is a few pieces of evidence, and an inference. As they say in the law, the question of Beethoven's birth date is a matter upon which reasonable minds can differ.