Heinrich August Pierer

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Heinrich August Pierer, around 1850 (lithograph by A. Schieferdecker)

Heinrich August Pierer (born February 26, 1794 in Altenburg ; † May 12, 1850 ibid) was a German officer , publisher and lexicographer . He was the editor of the Universal Lexicon of the Present and Past .


Pierer is the son of the Altenburg doctor and publisher Johann Friedrich Pierer . He was first educated by a clergyman together with the later General Joseph von Radowitz , then attended the Pforta state school and studied medicine at the University of Jena from 1811 to 1813 . In the Wars of Liberation he was a member of the Prussian volunteer unit Lützowsches Freikorps from 1813 until its dissolution in 1814. After that he fought in the Yorck 's Corps in the Prussian army . In 1813 he took part in the Battle of the Nations near Leipzig (where he was seriously wounded in the storming of Wachau ), in 1815 in the Battle of Waterloo .

After the end of the war he worked for several years as a teacher at the division school in Poznan . As Major adopted , he joined in 1820 as a partner in his father's printing business. The father had sold his former publishing house "Literarisches Comptoir" in 1816 to Friedrich Arnold Brockhaus , but from 1823 he founded a publishing house again with the "Literatur-Comptoir". Heinrich August Pierer's name is primarily associated with the conversation lexicon he edited from 1824 onwards , founded by August Daniel von Binzer and initially edited by his father. The Universal Lexicon of the Present and the Past or the latest encyclopedic dictionary of the sciences, arts and crafts appeared in 26 volumes under the editorship of HA Pierers and AD von Binzers from 1824-1837. In 1832 Heinrich August Pierer took over his father's business entirely, which from then on operated under HA Pierer .

During his lifetime, Pierer published the scientifically important 2nd edition of the encyclopedia in 32 volumes (1840–1846, with a total of around 17,000 pages), for which he wrote numerous, particularly military-historical articles. The third edition in 17 volumes (1849-1852), the beginning of which he was still experiencing, was already being looked after by his son Eugen Pierer (1823-1890). Heinrich August Pierer died in 1850 and was buried in the "Catholic Cemetery" in Altenburg (his grave can no longer be found today). His sons Eugen Pierer and Victor Pierer (1826–1855) took over the business. After his death, four more editions of the lexicon appeared until 1888.


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