Heinrich Dernburg
Heinrich Dernburg was a German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

A jurist or jurisconsult is a professional who studies, develops, applies, or otherwise deals with the law. The term is widely used in American English, but in the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth countries it has only historical and specialist usage...

, professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

, and politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

. Born in Mainz
Mainz under the Holy Roman Empire, and previously was a Roman fort city which commanded the west bank of the Rhine and formed part of the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire...

, Grand Duchy of Hesse
Grand Duchy of Hesse
The Grand Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine , or, between 1806 and 1816, Grand Duchy of Hesse —as it was also known after 1816—was a member state of the German Confederation from 1806, when the Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt was elevated to a Grand Duchy, until 1918, when all the German...

, he was the brother of Friedrich Dernburg.

Of Jewish origin, Dernburg was baptized as a Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 together with his family in 1841. He was educated at the gymnasium
Gymnasium (school)
A gymnasium is a type of school providing secondary education in some parts of Europe, comparable to English grammar schools or sixth form colleges and U.S. college preparatory high schools. The word γυμνάσιον was used in Ancient Greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual...

 of Mainz and the universities of Gießen
Gießen, also spelt Giessen is a town in the German federal state of Hesse, capital of both the district of Gießen and the administrative region of Gießen...

 and Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

, graduating from the latter in 1851. In the same year he became Privat-docent of the juridical faculty of the University of Heidelberg. In 1852 he was called to Zürich
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is located in central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich...

 as assistant professor, and was appointed professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

 in 1855. In 1862 he accepted a similar position in the University of Halle, which he represented in the Prussian House of Lords
Prussian House of Lords
The Prussian House of Lords was the first chamber of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1850-1918. The second chamber was the Prussian House of Representatives . The House of Lords was created on January 31, 1850 with the adoption of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Prussia...

 from 1866 to 1873, when he became professor of Roman
Roman law
Roman law is the legal system of ancient Rome, and the legal developments which occurred before the 7th century AD — when the Roman–Byzantine state adopted Greek as the language of government. The development of Roman law comprises more than a thousand years of jurisprudence — from the Twelve...

 and Prussian law in the University of Berlin. He reentered the Herrenhaus in 1873. With Brinckmann and others he founded in 1851 the "Kritische Zeitschrift für die Gesammte Rechtswissenschaft".

Dernburg was one of the leading experts for Prussian civil law as codified in the ALR. His work sought to keep a balance between "mercantile interests" and "social utopias". Unlike other Pandect scholars of his time, Dernburg was never accused of advocating a doctrinary and reactionary form of legal positivism
Legal positivism
Legal positivism is a school of thought of philosophy of law and jurisprudence, largely developed by nineteenth-century legal thinkers such as Jeremy Bentham and John Austin. However, the most prominent figure in the history of legal positivism is H.L.A...



Among his works may be mentioned:
  • "Geschichte und Theorie der Kompensation," Heidelberg, 1854; 2d ed., 1868;
  • "Das Pfandrecht," Leipzig, 1860-64;
  • "Die Institutionen des Gaius, ein Kollegienheft aus dem Jahre 161 nach Christi Geburt," Halle, 1869;
  • "Lehrbuch des Preussischen Privatrechts und die Privatrechtnormen des Reiches," ib. 1871-80;
  • "Das Vormundschaftsrecht der Preussischen Monarchie," Berlin, 1875; 3d ed., edited by Schultzenstein, 1886;
  • "Das Preussische Hypothekenrecht" (with Hinrichs), Leipzig, 1877-91;
  • "Pandekten," ib. 1884-87; 6th ed., 1900-01;
  • "Die Königliche Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Berlin in Ihrem Personalbestande seit Ihrer Einrichtung bis 1885," ib. 1885;
  • "Das Bürgerliche Recht des Deutschen Reiches und Preussen," Halle, 1898-1900.


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