1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Heineccius, Johann Gottlieb

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HEINECCIUS, JOHANN GOTTLIEB (1681–1741), German jurist, was born on the 11th of September 1681 at Eisenberg, Altenburg. He studied theology at Leipzig, and law at Halle; and at the latter university he was appointed in 1713 professor of philosophy, and in 1718 professor of jurisprudence. He subsequently filled legal chairs at Franeker in Holland and at Frankfort, but finally returned to Halle in 1733 as professor of philosophy and jurisprudence. He died there on the 31st of August 1741. Heineccius belonged to the school of philosophical jurists. He endeavoured to treat law as a rational science, and not merely as an empirical art whose rules had no deeper source than expediency. Thus he continually refers to first principles, and he develops his legal doctrines as a system of philosophy.

His chief works were Antiquitatum Romanarum jurisprudentiam illustrantium syntagma (1718), Historia juris civilis Romani ac Germanici (1733), Elementa juris Germanici (1735), Elementa juris naturae et gentium (1737; Eng. trans. by Turnbull, 2 vols., London, 1763). Besides these works he wrote on purely philosophical subjects, and edited the works of several of the classical jurists. His Opera omnia (9 vols., Geneva, 1771, &c.) were edited by his son Johann Christian Gottlieb Heineccius (1718–1791).

Heineccius’s brother, Johann Michael Heineccius (1674–1722), was a well-known preacher and theologian, but is remembered more from the fact that he was the first to make a systematic study of seals, concerning which he left a book, De veteribus Germanorum aliarumque nationum sigillis (Leipzig, 1710; 2nd ed., 1719).