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GEORG FRIEDRICH PUCHTA (1798—1846)

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Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 632 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GEORG FRIEDRICH PUCHTA (1798—1846), German jurist, born at Kadolzburg in Bavaria on the 31st of August 1798, came of an old Bohemian Protestant family which had immigrated into Germany to avoid religious persecution. His father, Wolfgang Heinrich Puchta (1769—1845), a legal writer and district judge, imbued his son with legal conceptions and principles. From 1811 to 1816 young Puchta attended the gymnasium at Nuremberg, where he acquired a taste for Hegelianism. In 1816 he went to the university of Erlangen, where, in addition to being initiated by his father into legal practice, he fell under the influence of the writings of Savigny and Niebuhr. Taking his doctor's degree at Erlangen, he established himself here in 1820 as privatdozent, and in 1823 was made professor extraordinary of law. In 1828 he was appointed ordinary professor of Roman law at Munich. In 1835 he was appointed to the chair of Roman and ecclesiastical law at Marburg, but he left this for Leipzig in 1837, and in 1842 he succeeded Savigny at Berlin. In 1845 Puchta was made a member of the council of state (Staalsrat) and of the legislative commission (Gesetzgebungskommission). He died at Berlin on the 8th of January 1846. His chief merit as a jurist lay in breaking with past unscientific methods in the teaching of Roman law and in making its spirit intelligible to students. Among his writings must be especially mentioned Lehrbuch der Pandekten (Leipzig, 1838, and many later editions), in which he elucidated the dogmatic essence of Roman law in a manner never before attempted; and the Kursus der Institutionen (Leipzig, 1841—1847, and later editions), which gives a clear picture of the organic development of law among the Romans. Among his other writings are Das Gewohnheitsrecht (Erlangen, 1828—1837); and Einleitung in das Recht der Kirche (Leipzig, 1840). Puchta's Kleine zivilistische Schriflen (posthumously published in 1851 by Professor A. A. Friedrich Rudorff), is a collection of thirty-eight masterly essays on various branches of Roman law, and the preface contains a sympathetic biographical sketch of the jurist. See also Zeher, Uber die von Puchta der Darsiellung des romischen Rechts zu Grunde gelegten rechtsphilosophischen Ansichten (1853). PUCKLER-MUSKAU, HERMANN LUDWIG HEINRICH, FURST VON (1785—1871), German author, was born at Muskau in Lusatia on the 3oth of October 1785. He served for some time in the bodyguard at Dresden, and afterwards travelled in France and Italy. In 1811, after the death of his father, he inherited the barony of Muskau and a considerable fortune. As an officer under the duke of Saxe-Weimar he distinguished himself in the war of liberation and was made military and civil governor of Bruges. After the war he retired from the army and visited England, where he remained about a year. In 1822, in compensation for certain privileges which he resigned, he was raised to the rank of Furst by the king of Prussia. Some years earlier he had married the Grafin von Pappenheim, daughter of Furst von Hardenberg; in 1826 the marriage was legally dissolved though the parties did not separate. He again visited England and travelled in America and Asia Minor, living after hisreturn at Muskau, which he spent much time in cultivating and improving. In 1845 he sold this estate to Prince Frederick of the Netherlands, and, although he afterwards lived from time to time at various places in Germany and Italy, his principal residence was his seat, Schloss Branitz near Kottbus, where he laid out splendid gardens as he had already done at Muskau. In 1863 he was made an hereditary member of the Prussian Herrenhaus, and in 1866 he attended the Prussian general staff in the war with Austria. He died at Branitz on the 4th of February 1871, and, in accordance with instructions in his will, his body was cremated. As a writer of books of travel he held a high position, his power of observation being keen and his style lucid and animated. His first work was Briefe eines Verstorbenen (4 vols., 1830—1831), in which he expressed many independent judgments about England and other countries he had visited and about prominent persons whom he had met. Among his later books of travel were Semilassos vorletzter Weltgang (3 vols., 1835), Semilasso in A frik a (5 vols., 1836), A us Mehemed- A lisReich (3 vols., 1844) and Die Riickkehr (3 vols., 1846—1848). He was also the author of Andeutungen fiber Landschaftsgartnerei (1834). See Ludmilla Assing, Puckler-Muskaus Briefwechsel and Tagebucher (9 vols., 1873—1876) ; Furst Hermann von Puckler-Muskau (1873) ; and Petzold, Furst Hermann von Puckler-Muskau in seiner Bedeutung fur die bildende Gartenkunst (1874).
End of Article: GEORG FRIEDRICH PUCHTA (1798—1846)
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