Johann Carl Schott

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Johann Carl Schott (* 1672 in Heidelberg ; † December 12, 1717 in Berlin ) was a German antiquarian, numismatist, librarian and representative of an early form of archaeological art history .

Johann Carl Schott was the nephew of Lorenz Beger , who was one of the first Germans to deal with archaeological topics. He already contributed carefully made drawings to his uncle's main work, the Thesaurus Brandenburgicus selectus , which appeared between 1696 and 1701. In 1705 Schott succeeded his uncle as head of the Berlin antiquities cabinet . He had been ill since 1708, and with the death of King Friedrich I in 1713, the collection of antiquities came to a head, as the new King Friedrich Wilhelm I was not interested in the collection of antiquities and later sold most of the pieces. Schott died in 1717 at the age of only 45.

Schott's most important achievement was a catalog of the Berlin Collection of Antiquities, which he compiled in German, but not printed, with the title Description of the im royal prussia. Antiques and Medals cabinet (I. Gemach) existing histor. Things to do to study ancient history . Since it was written in German, the guide addressed an interested broad public beyond the academic class, which at the time mostly published in Latin . As the first author, Schott describes the collection, contrary to what was customary up to then, according to subject groups and not according to material groups and, in particular for the Egyptian pieces, based himself on the preparatory work of Athanasius Kircher . Schott not only compiled the ancient finds, but also tried to give explanations, for example regarding the custom of cremation among the Romans, which seemed unusual for the time, and was one of the first researchers to address such questions. Most of the hastily written text was written between 1703 and 1705, an addendum to the Berlin cameo was added after 1713. Due to the lack of interest from the new king, there was never any pressure. The manuscript was lost for more than 200 years and was rediscovered in the estate of Johann Carl Conrad Oelrichs and published in 1987. It was not until 1830 that Christian Friedrich Tieck attempted a new catalog of Berlin antiques. Schott was a member of the Royal Prussian Society of Sciences in Berlin .


  • Gerald Heres : Johann Carl Schott's description of the Berlin Antique Cabinet. In: State Museums in Berlin. Research and Reports. Vol. 26, 1987, ISSN  0067-6004 , pp. 7-28, JSTOR 3881002 , ( Description of the historical objects in the royal Prussian antiques and medals cabinet (1st chamber) for research into ancient history. German State Library Berlin, Manuscript Department, Oelrich's estate, box 86 No. 739 [annotated publication]).
  • Gerald Heres: Beginnings of archaeological questions in Johann Carl Schott's unprinted description of the Berlin Cabinet of Antiquities. In: State Museums in Berlin. Research and Reports. Vol. 27, 1989, pp. 239-241, JSTOR 3881049 .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ According to Jöcher on December 12, 1718.