Anton Friedrich Justus Thibaut

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Anton Friedrich Justus Thibaut

Anton Friedrich Justus Thibaut (born January 4, 1772 in Hameln , † March 28, 1840 in Heidelberg ) was a German legal scholar . His brother, Bernhard Friedrich Thibaut , was a professor of mathematics in Göttingen .


After studying at the Georg-August University in Göttingen , the Christian Albrechts University in Kiel and the Albertus University in Königsberg , Thibaut was initially a private lecturer in 1796, then an extraordinary professor in Kiel in 1798, and finally a full professor in 1801. After a short period at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena , Anton Friedrich Justus Thibaut was appointed full professor of Roman law at the Ruprecht Karls University in Heidelberg in 1805 . He was also a judge at a higher court in Frankfurt.

The main subject of his scientific activity was pandect science , which he endeavored to develop from the Roman legal situation to a scientific legal system. In the scientific dispute over the question of whether it would be advisable to codify civil law in Germany, i.e. to summarize and regulate it in a code of law - the so-called codification dispute - his supportive view contradicted the view of Friedrich Carl von Savigny , who saw his time as not yet capable of creating such a code of law and instead pleaded for an organic advance in jurisprudence (in: “ Vom Beruf der Zeit für Gesetzgebung und Rechtswwissenschaft”, 1814). The demand formulated in his work “On the Necessity of a General Civil Law for Germany” initially failed in a time characterized by conservative particularism, but especially because of Savigny's dominance. Thibaut was Baden's Privy Councilor of State and an honorary citizen of Heidelberg. From 1805 to 1807 and again in 1821 he was rector of Heidelberg University. In 1819 he became a member of the First Chamber of the Baden Estates Assembly as a representative of Heidelberg University .

Choir rehearsal with Anton Friedrich Thibaut, the singers are accompanied on a harpsichord
Honorary grave of Anton Friedrich Justus Thibaut, in the so-called Professor row , the (Div. D) on the Heidelberg mountain cemetery located

In his work “On purity of music”, published in 1824, he turned against alleged abuses in church music and called for a return to “classical” composers such as Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina , Tomás Luis de Victoria and Orlando di Lasso . This work was widely accepted and can be considered a root of Cecilianism .

On March 28, 1840, Anton Friedrich Justus Thibaut died in Heidelberg, and on April 1, his funeral was celebrated with an academic ceremony in the St. Anna churchyard in Heidelberg .

After the St. Anna churchyard had to be closed for hygienic reasons, Thibaut's bones were reburied in the Heidelberg mountain cemetery. Thibaut's grave has been there since 1875, in Department D, in the so-called row of professors . The tomb is adorned with a tracery decorated cross, which is erected on an inscription pedestal.

Works (selection)

  • System of Pandect Law , Volume 1, Jena, by Johann Michael Mauke. 1803 digitized
  • On the necessity of a general civil law in Germany , Heidelberg, bey Mohr and Zimmer. 1814 digitized
  • About settlements against final judgments. In: Archive for civilist practice , Volume 9, pp. 301 ff.
  • Ueber Reinheit der Tonkunst , Heidelberg, published by JCB Mohr. 1825 digitized
  • About the purity of the art of music. Second, increased edition. Heidelberg, published by JCB Mohr. 1826.


Web links

Wikisource: Anton Friedrich Justus Thibaut  - Sources and full texts
Commons : Anton Friedrich Justus Thibaut  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Uwe Wesel : History of the law. From the early forms to the present . 3rd revised and expanded edition. Beck, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-406-47543-4 . Marg. 281.
  2. Entry in the Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911 (accessed on August 18, 2011)
  3. ^ Frankfurter Konversationsblatt: Belletristic supplement. Frankfurt am Main 1840, p. 388.
  4. L. Ruuskanen: The Heidelberg Bergfriedhof through the ages , Verlag Regionalkultur, 2008, p. 127