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Puchta, Georg Friedrich

PUCHTA, GEORG FRIEDRICH (1798-1846), German jurist, born at Kadolzburg in Bavaria on the 3151 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 writerand 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 (Staatsrat) 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 Kir die (Leipzig, 1840).

Puchta's Kleine zivilistische Schriften (posthumously published in 1851 by Professor A. A. Friedrich Rudorff), is a collection of thirtyeight masterly essays on various branches of Roman law, and the preface contains a sympathetic biographical sketch of the jurist. See also Zeher, t)ber die von Puchta der Darsiellung des romischen Rechts zu Grunde gelegten rechtsphilosophischen Ansichten (1853).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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