Born 13 months apart in hanau, germany. Father was jurist, mother was daughter of city councilman in kassel. Reduced to poverty when their father died in 1796. Jacob (11) and wilhelm (10) became heads of the family. Although they excelled in school, they were keenly aware of their lower social status. They went on to the small philipp university in marburg. Where they both had to obtain special permission to study law due to their low rank. Because of both their lack of status and their poverty, the grimms were virtually excluded from university social life. The grimms also adopted the idea, derived from herder, that folk culture was especially important because it preserved the specific genius of a cultural group. These ideas were revolutionary at the end of the 1700s because they democratically defined the core of such a group as the common people, das valk.