Peter Villaume

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Peter Villaume (born July 16, 1746 in Berlin , † June 11, 1825 in Fyrendal on Funen in Fuirendal ) was a German theologian and educator of Huguenot descent.


Villaume comes from a Berlin Huguenot family. His grandfather, the baker Daniel Villaume was after the abolition of the Edict of Nantes from Semécourt fled to Prussia. His father was the stocking manufacturer Pierre Villaume (born May 27, 1718 Berlin; † June 28, 1752 Berlin), who married Marie Duplan (July 3, 1710 Berlin; † May 6, 1794 Berlin) on July 11, 1745.


Villaume was "employed as a teacher" since 1763. He later studied theology in Berlin and, after successfully completing his studies, became a preacher in the French Reformed community of Schwedt / Oder in 1771 and in Halberstadt in 1776 .

On June 4, 1771, he married Susanne Marre († April 9, 1815). At the turn of the year 1779/80 he and his wife founded the educational institute for women from the civilized class and the nobility in Halberstadt .

In 1787 Villaume accepted a call to the Joachimsthalsches Gymnasium in Berlin as a professor of philosophy in the successor to Professor Johann Jakob Engel (1741-1802), who had given up the position to become director of the Royal Theater in Berlin. Until 1793 he taught morality and the fine arts there. His withdrawal from office was his reaction to the Wöllner religious edict . In fact, in order to avoid all difficulties, Villaume had only given health reasons in his request for release on March 14, 1793. The Dansk Biografisk Leksikon (volume 15, p. 545) writes: "Ved sin radical rationalisme kom V. imidlertid i den grad paa kant med det reactionaere Wöllnerske styre at han 1793 bestemte sig til at opgive sin stilling og drage til Danmark." "With his radical rationalism, however, V. came into such a contrast to the reactionary rule of Wöllner that he decided in 1793 to give up his position and go to Denmark."

In Berlin he also made the acquaintance of Joachim Heinrich Campe . From 1787 he helped Campe with contributions to his encyclopedia General revision of the entire school and education system . These articles prepared Villaume the basis for physical education in general and in particular, while his colleague Johann Friedrich Oest the sex education worked.

Later educators like Johann Christoph Guts Muths and Friedrich Ludwig Jahn were greatly influenced by this.

Villaume was also a pioneer of gender instruction and education. In his work "On the fornicate sins in youth", which appeared as part 7 of Campe's "Revisionswerk", he gave suggestions for the treatment of gender issues in school and in the home.

After his office, Villaume went to Fyrendal on Fyn with his family , where he soon found a job at a teaching institution. In 1790 Peter Villaume met the Danish nobleman Johann Ludwig Reventlow (1751–1801) from Brahetrolleborg (Funen) (brother of Christian Detlev von Reventlow ) in Berlin . He moved to his estate in 1793 to privatize, although he taught French there. Reventlow planned to establish a seminary and an international interdenominational school; when this plan was realized in 1794, Villaume worked there again as a teacher in a " philanthropist set up for children of higher classes ". During this time he wrote a number of theoretical writings, which were only partially printed, which clearly show the influence of philanthropinism; In it the author emphasized the physical fitness of the students and the practical work e.g. B. in agriculture. Agriculture was particularly important to Villaume, so he bought his own farm near Brahetrolleborg and ran it between 1795 and 1807. In 1807 he gave Count Frederik Adolf Holstein (1784-1836) in Holsteinborg (Zealand), who had married Reventlow's daughter, his strength to raise the material and intellectual level of the county.

Villaume wrote in both German and French. He wrote important things in both languages ​​(cf. Hamberger / Meusel: Das schehre Teutschland . 5th edition. Volume 8 (1800), Volume 10 (1803), Volume 11 (1805), Volume 16 (1812), Volume 21 (1827) ), especially educational and moral writings. He also took part in answering numerous questions that various academies had advertised; so z. B. at the academies in Padua, Metz, Copenhagen and Berlin, where he received an award in 1788 for answering a question about parental authority. In 1784 he also took part in answering the prize question about the universality of French, which had been awarded by the Berlin Academy of Sciences. Jürgen Storost discovered this text, assigned it to its author and published it.

Peter Villaume died at the age of 79 on June 11, 1825 in Fyrendal on Funen.

Works (selection)

  • Lecture amusante pour la jeunesse des deux sexes (Leipzig 1788)
  • Practical manual for teachers in community and rural schools (1781)
  • Human History (1783)
  • Education for human love (1784)
  • On the Origin and Intentions of Evil , 3 vols. (1784–87)
  • Method of helping young people to express their thoughts in writing (1786)
  • Practical logic for young people who do not want to study (1787)
  • About the fornicate sins in youth . In: Joachim Heinrich Campe (Ed.): General revision of the entire school and education system . 7th part. Wolfenbüttel 1787.
  • Attempts on some psychological questions (1791)
  • On the Relationship of Religion to Morality and the State (1791)
  • Lettres de Mde Worthley Montague (Berlin ³1793; "Troisieme Edition revue sur l'original, et augmentée d'une quatrième partie de Lettres par Villaume")
  • Treatise on the interests of mankind and states (1794)


  1. ^ After Carl EulerVillaume, Peter . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 39, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1895, p. 706 f. 1806
  2. cf. Koneffke 1994, p. 81.
  3. cf. Koneffke 1994, p. 81f.
  4. cf. Koneffke 1994, p. 82.
  5. cf. Koneffke 1994, p. 82.


  • Rosemarie Wothke, A forgotten educator of the Enlightenment in Scientific Journal: Society and Linguistic Series, Volume 6, pp. 447ff
  • Gernot Koneffke: The 'History of Man' and the 'Treatises Concerning the Interest of Mankind': Peter Villaume and the dilemma of pedagogy at the end of the manufacturing period. In: ders .: Pedagogy in the transition to the bourgeois ruling society. Studies in the social history and philosophy of education. Wetzlar 1994, ISBN 3-88178-082-3 , pp. 79-121.
  • Friedrich Koch : Sexuality, Education and Society. From gender instruction to emancipatory sex education. Lang, Frankfurt a. M. 2000, ISBN 3-631-36525-X .
  • Jürgen Storost: Langue francaise - langue universal? The discussion on the universality of French at the Berlin Academy of Sciences. On the validity of German and French in the 18th century. 2nd Edition. Kovac, Hamburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-8300-3563-3 , pp. 325–338.
  • Joakim Larsen: Villaume, Peter . In: Carl Frederik Bricka (Ed.): Dansk biografisk Lexikon. Tillige omfattende Norge for Tidsrummet 1537-1814. 1st edition. tape 18 : Ubbe – Wimpffen . Gyldendalske Boghandels Forlag, Copenhagen 1904, p. 602-603 (Danish, ).

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