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Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
Sponsorship Foundation under public law
at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
place Lutherstadt Wittenberg
state Saxony-Anhalt
country Germany
Board Ernst-Joachim Waschke
Michael Germann
Max Kunze
Website www.leucorea.de

The Leucorea is the Wittenberg university location of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg , which emerged from the University of Wittenberg .


King Maximilian's founding document for the University of Wittenberg, issued in Ulm on July 6th 1502, parchment with an attached seal

Founded in 1502

At the instigation of the Elector Friedrich III. (called the Wise ) of Saxony the Roman-German King and later Emperor Maximilian I granted the royal founding privilege on July 6, 1502 for the Alma Mater Leucorea, which on October 18, 1502 became the first university in the Ernestine Electorate after the partition of Leipzig Saxony was opened. It was intended to train lawyers, theologians and doctors for the Saxon Ernestine state administration. The papal confirmation was given on February 2, 1503 by the papal legate Raimund Peraudi .

The first rector was Martin Pollich , the first dean of the theological faculty Johann von Staupitz , the first chancellor Goswin von Orsoy . Because of their reputation, they were able to attract many university lecturers and students to the newly founded university. The Wittenberg University was given the Greek name Leucorea by the humanists working here ( ancient Greek λευκός and ὄρος , i.e. 'white mountain'). This was a translation of the city name, which comes either from the Low German Witten or the Slavic root Vite ('life') and bec ('bank'), i.e. from the white sand of the Elbe bank.

The first statutes of the university were closely based on those of the University of Tübingen . In terms of content and structure, the university was thus aligned with the existing universities in Germany. The philosophy faculty laid the foundation upon which the law, medical and theological faculties were built. In order to finance the university, Elector Friedrich connected the new university in 1507 with the Allerheiligen Abbey and other foundations in his territory. The transfer of the rights of Frederick the Wise gave the university a special status with its own jurisdiction in the 16th century .

University of Wittenberg, 19th century

Because the Wittenberg academics turned to humanism, the young university gained a good reputation. Well-known scholars such as Christoph von Scheurl , Andreas Bodenstein and Hieronymus Schurff taught at the university in the early years. Staupitz arranged for the then little-known Augustinian monk Martin Luther to be appointed to a chair in 1508 . Later Nikolaus von Amsdorf and for the Greek language Philipp Melanchthon were appointed. In the time after Luther, Wittenberg was considered a center of Lutheran orthodoxy .

For the Sorbian population of Lausitz , the University of Wittenberg was the second most important university after Leipzig, especially for students of Protestant theology . In 1749 they founded the Wendische Predigergesellschaft zu Wittenberg at the university .

Closing in 1814

The University of Wittenberg was closed on December 5, 1814. With the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the Saxon areas around Wittenberg became part of Prussia . As a result, the University of Wittenberg was moved to Halle, where the United Friedrichs University Halle-Wittenberg was founded on April 12, 1817. As a replacement, Wittenberg became the location of the evangelical seminary, which today has its seat in the rooms of the Augusteum . The Fridericianum was converted into a barracks and later used as living space. Wittenberg had lost its most important institution and developed into a garrison and industrial city.

Founded in 1994

Initiatives to re-establish the university have long been unsuccessful. Only after the reunification of Germany in 1990, in cooperation with the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg , was the Leucorea Foundation established as a foundation under public law as part of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg ins Called to life. The aim of the foundation is to support the maintenance and development of the sciences in research, teaching and study at the university itself and in the university facilities in Wittenberg. For this purpose, scientific and cultural events are planned and carried out at the Leucorea and the following sections and centers are located at the Fridericianum, which was renovated by 1998:

Facilities of the Leucorea Foundation

Leucorea building, street facade
Leucorea building, inner courtyard

Former institutions

  • Center for USA Studies (Abbreviation ZUSAS) ZUSAS,
    which was founded on October 31, 1995 under the direction of Hans-Jürgen Grabbe and supported by the Leucorea Foundation, was concerned with imparting knowledge about social processes in the USA . The center on the Leucorea had specialized in research into the culture, society, politics and history of the United States. ZUSAS had an extensive collection of specialist literature in the foundation's library, which was also intended to serve teachers of American cultural studies and the English language for further training and the development of methodological concepts. From 2006 to 2013 it was continued as the Center for USA Studies of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg as an institution of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg . 2014 ZUSAS in the of was Erik Redling newly established Muhlenberg Center for American Studies and Muhlenberg Center for American Studies ( MCAS ) into hall.
  • Center for the History of the Reformation and Lutheran Orthodoxy of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
    The institution, which has existed since October 31, 1996, dealt with research into the history of the Reformation and the historical context during the time of Lutheran Orthodoxy . In close cooperation with the University of Leipzig and the Institute for European History , the theological, philosophical, piety and mentality historical developments were examined. The sources of the library of the evangelical seminary, the sources of the Luther memorials, the archives of the city and the parishes were available in Wittenberg for the research focus.
  • Science Center Saxony-Anhalt (WZW)
    The Science Center Saxony-Anhalt existed from 2005 to 2014.

Currently active facilities

  • Institute for German Language and Culture V. at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
    The facility is dedicated to the German language and offers intercultural participants to develop communicative, cultural and social skills in the didactics of German linguistics. New methods are used in language teaching that develop and complement communicative skills.
  • Institute for University Research at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (HoF)
  • Wittenberg - Center for Global Ethics e. V. (WZGE)
  • Mesrop Center for Armenian Studies (formerly: Mesrop Center for Armenian Studies )
    The Mesrop Center for Armenian Studies, founded in 1998 as part of the Leucorea Foundation, has been continued as an interdisciplinary work center at the University of Halle since 2006.
  • Research Center for Hebrew Studies (Head: Stefan Schorch )
  • Research Unit Septuagint (Head: Frank Ueberschaer )

See also


  • Walter Friedensburg : Document book of the University of Wittenberg. Published by the Historical Commission for the Province of Saxony and for Anhalt. 2 volumes. Self-published by the Historical Commission of the Province of Saxony and Anhalt Magdeburg. E. Holtermann, Magdeburg 1926–1927, DNB 560486685 :
    • Volume 1: 1502–1611 (= historical sources of the Province of Saxony and the Free State of Anhalt. New Series, Volume 3, ZDB -ID 985360-1 ). 1926, DNB 365864390 ;
    • Volume 2: 1611–1813 (= historical sources of the Province of Saxony and the Free State of Anhalt. New Series, Volume 4). 1927, DNB 365864404 .
  • Gottfried Suevus : Academia Wittebergensis From Anno Fundationis MDII. Festo Divi Lucae the XIIX. Mens. Octobr. usque ad annum MDCLV. / Quo ipso, supra seculi sui secundi dimidium, annos tres complevit / Continens Privilegium Imperatoris, Bullam Papalem, Conservatoria, Nomina Rectorum, Illustrium, Nobilium, aliorumque egregiorum una cum Numero Inscriptorum. Catalogo Professorum & Promotorum in omnibus Facultatibus & Epistolarum, aliarumq [ue] rerum memorabilium annotatione / Accesserunt Inscriptiones Wittebergenses, usq [ue] ad d. annum MDCLV. Michael Wendt, Wittenberg 1655, urn : nbn: de: gbv: 3: 1-76399 (Latin; sources on university history 1502–1655; digitized version of the University and State Library of Saxony-Anhalt, Halle, Saale 2009; limited preview in Google Book search).
  • Karl Eduard Förstemann , Gotthold Naetebus: Album Academiae Vitebergensis. Anno 1502 usque ad anno 1560. [Older series.] In three volumes. ISBN 3-511-05220-3 ( digitized version ):
  • Bernhard Weissenborn: Album Academiae Vitebergensis. Younger series, part 1:
    • 1602-1660. Text volume (= historical sources of the Province of Saxony and the Free State of Anhalt. N. R., Volume 14). Univ.- und Landesbibl., Halle, p. 1934; DNB 36484759X ;
    • 1602-1660. Register volume (= historical sources of the Province of Saxony and the Free State of Anhalt. N. R., Volume 15). Univ.- und Landesbibl., Halle, p. 1934; DNB 364847603 .
  • Fritz Juntke : Album Academiae Vitebergensis. Younger series, part 2: 1660–1710 (= works from the University and State Library of Saxony-Anhalt in Halle a. D. Saale. Volume 1). Univ.- und Landesbibl., Halle (Saale) 1952, DNB 458471119 .
  • Fritz Juntke: Album Academiae Vitebergensis. Younger series, part 3: 1710–1812 (= works from the University and State Library of Saxony-Anhalt in Halle a. D. Saale. Volume 5). Univ.- und Landesbibl., Halle (Saale) 1966, DNB 458471127 .
  • Julius Köstlin : The Baccalaurei and Magistri of the Wittenberg philosophical faculty 1503–1560. From the faculty register. Max Niemeyer, Halle 1887–1891, OCLC 603437428 (4 volumes in 1 volume).


  • Kurt Aland : The theological faculty Wittenberg and its position in the overall context of Leucorea during the 17th century. In: Leo Stern u. a .: 450 years of Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. Volume 1. Halle 1952, pp. 180–203.
  • Anton Blaschka : "Wittenberg Nightingale". Great moments of a topos. In: Scientific journal of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. Social and Linguistic Series. 10, 1961, pp. 897-908.
  • Irene Dingel , Günther Wartenberg (ed.): The Theological Faculty Wittenberg 1502 to 1602. Contributions to the 500th anniversary of the founding year of Leucorea (= Leucorea, foundation of public law at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg: Leucorea studies for History of the Reformation and Lutheran Orthodoxy, Volume 5). Ed .: Michael Beyer. Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, Leipzig 2002, ISBN 3-374-02019-4 .
  • Walter Friedensburg : History of the University of Wittenberg. Max Niemeyer Verlag, Halle (Saale) 1917, DNB 579414760 , urn : nbn: de: hbz: 061: 1-18655 (digitized edition of the University and State Library Düsseldorf ).
  • Hildegart Herricht: Selected bibliography on the history of the University of Wittenberg. Reporting period 1900–1977. In: Wilhelm Erman, Ewald Horn: Bibliography on the history of the University of Wittenberg. Reprint (= writings on the library system in Saxony-Anhalt. Volume 49). Univ.- u. Saxony-Anhalt State Library, Halle (Saale) 1980, DNB 800860594 , Appendix pp. 1095–1158.
  • Heinz Kathe : The Wittenberg Philosophical Faculty 1502–1817 (= Central German Research. Volume 117). Böhlau, Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 2002, ISBN 3-412-04402-4 .
  • Martin Luther and his university. Lectures on the occasion of the 450th anniversary of the death of the reformer, ed. on behalf of the LEUCOREA Foundation at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg by Heiner Lück . Böhlau Verlag, Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 1998, ISBN 3-412-14696-X .
  • Martin Treu , Ralf Torsten Speler, Alfred Schellenberger : Leucorea. Pictures of the history of the university. Developed on behalf of the board of the Leucorea Foundation at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. With a foreword by Gunnar Berg . Edition Hans Lufft, Lutherstadt Wittenberg 1999, ISBN 3-9804492-6-2 .
  • Arina Völker, Wolfram Kaiser: Ars medica Vitebergensis (= scientific contributions from the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. Tl. 34). Dept. of science journalism at Martin Luther University, Halle 1980, DNB 840090161 .
  • Ralf Frassek : Marriage law and jurisdiction during the Reformation. The establishment of new legal structures in the Saxon area with special consideration of the history of the Wittenberg consistory (= Jus Ecclesiasticum. Volume 78). Verlag Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2005, ISBN 3-16-148685-4 ( limited preview in the Google book search) (Zugl .: Halle (Saale), Univ., Habil.-Schr., 2004).
  • Andreas Gößner: The students at the University of Wittenberg. Studies on the cultural history of everyday student life and the scholarship system in the second half of the 16th century (= work on the history of the church and theology. Volume 9). Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, Leipzig 2003, ISBN 3-374-02075-5 (Zugl .: Leipzig, Univ., Diss., 2002).
  • Kenneth G. Appold: Orthodoxy as Consensus Building. The theological disputation system at the University of Wittenberg between 1570 and 1710 (= contributions to historical theology. Volume 127). Verlag Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2004, ISBN 978-3-16-148215-1 ( limited preview in the Google book search) (Zugl .: Halle, Wittenberg, Univ., Habil.-Schr., 2002 and T .: Kenneth G Appold: Our spiritual church baw ).
  • Helmar Junghans : Directory of the rectors, vice-rectors, deans, professors and castle church preachers of Leucorea from the summer semester 1536 to the winter semester 1574/75. In: Irene Dingel, Günther Wartenberg: Georg Major (1502–1574). A theologian of the Wittenberg Reformation (= Leucorea, Foundation of Public Law at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg: Leucorea Studies on the History of the Reformation and Lutheran Orthodoxy. Volume 7). Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, Leipzig 2005, ISBN 3-374-02332-0 .
  • Hans Theodor Koch: The Wittenberg Medical Faculty (1502–1652). A biobibliographical overview. In: Stefan Oehmig: Medicine and social affairs in Central Germany during the Reformation. Wolfgang Böhmer on his 70th birthday (= Foundation Luther Memorials in Saxony-Anhalt: Writings of the Foundation Luther Memorials in Saxony-Anhalt. Volume 6). Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, Leipzig 2007, ISBN 978-3-374-02437-7 .
  • Linda Wenke Bönisch: Universities and Princely Schools between War and Peace. A matriculation study on the Central German educational landscape in the denominational age (1563–1650). Verlag epubli GmbH, Berlin 2013, ISBN 978-3-8442-7505-6 ( limited preview in Google book search) (The universities of Alma mater Lipsiensis in Leipzig, Leucorea in Wittenberg, Salana in Jena, Alma mater Erffordensis in Erfurt are examined as well as the princely schools of St. Afra in Meißen, St. Marien in Schulpforta and St. Augustin in Grimma).
  • Armin Koehnle, Beate Kusche: Book of Professors of the Theological Faculty of the University of Wittenberg 1502 to 1815/17. Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, Leipzig 2016, ISBN 978-3-374-04302-6 .
  • Daniel Bohnert: Wittenberg university theology in the early 17th century. A case study on Friedrich Balduin (1575–1627). Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2017, ISBN 978-3-16-155474-2 .

Web links

Commons : Leucorea  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Heiner Lück : Wittenberg. In: Wolfgang Adam, Siegrid Westphal (Hrsg.): Handbook of cultural centers of the early modern age: Cities and residences in the German-speaking area. Volume 3: Nuremberg – Würzburg. De Gruyter, Berlin / Boston, Mass. 2012, ISBN 978-3-11-020703-3 , p. 2206.
  2. Siegmund Musiat: Sorbian, Wendish associations. 1716-1937 . A manual (=  publications of the Sorbian Institute . No. 26 ). 1st edition. Domowina-Verlag, Bautzen 2001, ISBN 3-7420-1835-3 , p. 34 f .
  3. Erik Redling: ZUSAS. Center for USA Studies. In: Homepage of the University of Halle. March 31, 2013, accessed January 4, 2020 .
  4. ^ Corinna Bertz: Mühlenberg Center: A New Look at America. In: campus halensis. January 29, 2014, accessed January 4, 2020 .
  5. WZW: 10 years of expertise for Saxony-Anhalt. In: hof.uni-halle.de. Retrieved January 4, 2020 .
  6. Homepage with a description of the history of the institute.
  7. homepage WZGE .
  8. See 1998–2008. 10 years of the MESROP Center for Armenian Studies ( mesrop.uni-halle.de ( Memento from December 15, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) [PDF; 1.8 MB; accessed on October 12, 2016]).
  9. See the homepage of MESROP Laboratory for Armenian Studies. In: mesrop.uni-halle.de, accessed on October 12, 2016.
  10. Homepage of the Hebraistics Research Center .
  11. ^ Homepage of the Septuagint Research Center .

Coordinates: 51 ° 51 ′ 53 ″  N , 12 ° 39 ′ 1 ″  E