General Helvetic, Federal, or Swiss Lexicon

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The General Helvetic, Eydgenössische, or Schweitzerische Lexicon is the main work of the Zurich polymath, banker and later mayor Johann Jacob Leu (1689–1768).

From 1747 Leu published a new quarto volume with Denzler in Zurich every year . He financed everything out of his own pocket and in 1765 his topographical-biographical-historical reference work with 20 volumes was completed. The work could be completed relatively quickly because Leu had given preference to an efficient approach over a perfectionist approach .

On 11,368 pages in an estimated 20,000 headwords, pretty much everything was dealt with that was of interest to Leu and its subscribers , including the Confederation at the time , its subject areas and the surrounding areas .

«Leus Werk […] primarily names Swiss places, family names and individual persons, as well as dioceses, common lordships (= subject areas), monasteries, monasteries, castles, mountains, valleys, lakes or baths. Terms from the law of the time, from politics and trade or from ethnology are much less common .

Between 1786 and 1795, also in the Leus working style, the pharmacist Hans Jakob Holzhalb (1720–1807) created six supplementary volumes with a total of 3,826 pages, printed by Blunschi in Zug.

A microfiche edition of the main work and supplements has been published in the Archives of European Lexicography: Section 1, Encyclopedias, Part 8 . It comprises all 15,347 pages.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Catherine Santschi: Lexica. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  2. Review by Mario von Moos