Friedrich Merzbacher

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Friedrich Merzbacher (born May 5, 1923 in Würzburg ; † April 22, 1982 ibid) was a German law scholar and university professor .


Merzbacher was the son of a cartographer and painter and the nephew of the wood sculptor Philipp Merzbacher (1887–1969). He graduated from high school in 1942 and then did military service before being a Soviet prisoner of war from March 1944 to October 1945 . After the war he studied at the University of Frankfurt am Main Legal and Historical Sciences and was Siegfried Reicke with the dissertation The Witch Trials in Franken (Bishopric of Würzburg and Bishopric of Bamberg) for Dr. iur. PhD . He returned to Würzburg in 1950 and began the preparatory service for the higher Bavarian archival service. In 1953 he passed the employment test and then became an assessor at the Bavarian State Archives in Munich. There he also accepted a position as a research assistant to Hans Erich Feine at the Ludwig Maximilians University . 1955 took place at both the University of Wuerzburg in Karl Bosl its graduation to the Dr. phil. with the dissertation Johann von Allendorf - Provost of St. Burkard and Episcopal Chancellor (1400–1496) as well as his habilitation for German and Bavarian legal history at the University of Munich . He then worked as a private lecturer , at times as a dietician , at the University of Munich and the University of Tübingen . In 1957 he also received the Venia legendi for civil law .

Merzbacher was appointed associate professor for canon law and German civil law at the University of Innsbruck in 1959 and was promoted to full professor in 1962 . In 1965 he followed a call back to Germany, to the University of Erlangen . Just one year later he returned to Würzburg again. There he became a full professor at the university there and director of the Institute for German and Bavarian Legal History . At the Würzburg University he was dean of the law faculty four times . From 1973 until his death he was also director of studies at the Administration and Business Academy in Würzburg .

Merzbacher was from 1971 or 1972 to 1982 chairman of the conference of the deans of the law faculties in the Federal Republic and West Berlin . He was also a member of the Commission for Bavarian State History at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and the Collegium Carolinum . In 1978 he was awarded the Bavarian Order of Merit for his services .

Publications (selection)

Merzbacher wrote various articles for the New German Biography . He was also interested in heraldry . He drew several municipal coats of arms in Bavaria .

  • The episcopal city. Development and importance of a Mediterranean-occidental city type , Westdeutscher Verlag, Cologne 1961.
  • Iudicium provinciale ducatus Franconiae: the imperial district court of the Duchy of Franconia-Würzburg in the late Middle Ages , Beck, Munich 1956.
  • The witch trials in Franconia. 1957 (= series of publications on Bavarian national history. Volume 56); 2nd, extended edition: CH Beck, Munich 1970, ISBN 3-406-01982-X .
  • as editor: Julius Echter und seine Zeit , Echter, Würzburg 1973.
  • The Juliusspital in Würzburg. Volume II: Legal and Property History. Published by the Oberpflegamt of the Foundation Juliusspital Würzburg, Würzburg 1979.
  • Law, State, Church: Selected Articles , Böhlau, Vienna 1989.


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