Friedrich Carl von Savigny

Friedrich Carl von Savigny [ ˌ saviɲi ] ( born February 21, 1779 Frankfurt am Main, † October 25, 1861 in Berlin) was a German jurist and Kronsyndikus. He founded the Historical School.

  • 5.1 monographs
  • 5.2 Overviews of legal history, biographical reference books, magazines


Savigny came from an old Lorraine family, which derived its name from the castle Savigny near Charmes in the Mosel valley. His father, Christian Karl Ludwig von Savigny was a secret government of the Prince of Isenburg and lived in Frankfurt later. The mother was a daughter of the Privy Council of Zweibrücken and was already in 1792, a few months after her husband died.

After Savigny had become at the age of 13 years for orphans him his guardian Constantin von Neurath moved to Wetzlar, where he attended high school. In 1795 he enrolled at the University of Marburg to study law. Among his academic teachers were Anton Bauer (1772-1843) and Philip Frederick White ( 1766-1808 ). This expressed on September 1, 1797, Savigny:

"He has given so many proofs of his excellent talent, sharp force assessment and thorough knowledge of Roman law, that I declare him the most exquisite of all my listeners during my academic magisterium no hesitation. "

In the summer of 1799 spent Friedrich Carl von Savigny some time on one of the family of Leonhardi belonging Good in Lengfeld (Odenwald ). Friedrich von Leonhard was a fellow student from Marburg. There he met the 19- year-old Caroline of Günderrode who fell in love with him. After studies in Jena, Leipzig, Göttingen and Halle 1800 he returned back to Marburg, where he received his doctorate in the same year. His thesis dealt with by De concursu delictorum formalized. He then went traveling and met in Jena by his schoolmates Hans von Bostel know from Wetzlar Clemens Brentano and appreciate. In the spring of 1801 Brentano Savigny introduced into his family, and then traveled with him along the Rhine.

In Marburg he taught as a Privatdozent criminal law and the Pandects, his pupils included the brothers Grimm. In 1803 he published his famous study The right of ownership. In May 1803 he became engaged to Clemens ' older sister Cunegonde ( called Gundel ) and married her on 17 April 1804 in the Protestant church to the sea timber, although it was actually Catholic. In 1808 he was appointed to a full professorship in Roman Civil Law at the University of Landshut, where he taught only three semesters.

Wilhelm von Humboldt recommended Savigny King Frederick William III. of Prussia as one of the most distinguished German lawyers to be founded Berlin university and sent that same message: " You have to be when the university rather there." Even his friend and relative Clemens Brentano made ​​his life in the Prussian capital tasty, but Savigny was only on April 9, 1810 its firm commitment to a job in Berlin. The university was opened on 1 October 1810 and Savigny taught two hours a day "Institutions and Legal History " and weekly " lien ".

In addition to his teaching and research activities, he worked in the administration of the university as the third rector in which he created with the participation of the Law Faculty " award - Collegium ". This was an extraordinary dish that could be asked by the ordinary courts for his opinion. In addition, Savigny taught as a private tutor to the Prussian Crown Prince in the subjects Roman law, Prussian law and criminal law.

1814 appeared as a response to Thibaut's theses about the necessity of a general civil law of Germany for his polemic by profession of our time for legislation and jurisprudence. In the same year his son Karl Friedrich von Savigny came into the world, which should make talk later, as a diplomat from him. In 1815 he founded, together with Karl Friedrich Eichhorn, and Johann Friedrich Ludwig Göschen the magazine for historical jurisprudence as an organ of the historical school of law. 1815, the first volume appeared in his history of the Roman law in the Middle Ages, he was able to complete only in 1831.

In 1817 he was a member of the Prussian State Ministry of Justice, 1819 Member of the Upper Tribunal for the Rhine provinces, and in 1820 a member of the Commission for the Revision of the general land laws for the Prussian states. In 1835 he began the development of his work system of the present Roman law.

Savigny is also considered the founder of modern private international law, for which he developed the guiding principle in the eighth volume of his system of modern Roman law, for determining the law applicable to a given legal relationship the court must focus on where it says " its peculiar nature according to his seat " have.

His academic activity ended in 1842 with his appointment as Lord Chancellor by Frederick William IV of Prussia the same time he was so "Minister for revision of the legislation". At the outbreak of the revolution of 1848 he resigned. 1850 appeared the work of Miscellaneous Writings and 1853 as a supplement to the system of the present Roman law, the Code of Obligations. Savigny died on 25 October 1861 in Berlin. At his funeral appeared - it is reported - King William I with all the princes. His grave was located in Berlin-Mitte in the St. Hedwig's Cathedral. 1875, the coffin was led by the family estate in Trages free court at Hanau.


  • The right of ownership, 1803
  • From the profession of our time for Legislation and Jurisprudence, 1814 ( digitized and full text in German Text Archive )
  • History of Roman law in the Middle Ages. 1815-1831
  • System of modern Roman law, 8 volumes, 1840-1849 Vol 1 Veit, Berlin 1840. ( Digitized and full text in German Text Archive )
  • Vol 2 Veit, Berlin 1840. ( Digitized and full text in German Text Archive )
  • Vol 3 Veit, Berlin 1840. ( Digitized and full text in German Text Archive )
  • Vol 4 Veit, Berlin 1841. ( Digitized and full text in German Text Archive )
  • Vol 5 Veit, Berlin 1841. ( Digitized and full text in German Text Archive )
  • Vol 6 Veit, Berlin, 1847. ( Digitized and full text in German Text Archive )
  • Vol 7 Veit, Berlin, 1848. ( Digitized and full text in German Text Archive )
  • Vol 8 Veit, Berlin, 1849. ( Digitized and full text in German Text Archive )

Correspondence, editions

  • Hessian letters of the 19th century. Letters of the Brothers Grimm to Savigny. Ed from the Savigny 's legacy. in conjunction with Ingeborg Schnack by Wilhelm Schoof. Publications of the Historical Commission for Hesse Volume 23 /01, Berlin, 1953.
  • Hessian letters of the 19th century. Letters Friedrich Creuzer to Savigny ( 1799-1850 ). Assisted by Ingeborg Schnack ed. of Hellfried Dahlmann (in conjunction with the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences). Publications of the Historical Commission for Hesse Volume 23 /02, Berlin 1972, ISBN 3-503-00599-4.
  • Hessian letters of the 19th century. The correspondence between Friedrich Carl von Savigny and Stephan Winkelmann August (1800-1804) with documents and letters from friends. Collected, ed. and annotated by Ingeborg Schnack. Publications of the Historical Commission for Hesse Volume 23 /03, 1984, ISBN 3-7708-0800-2.
  • Had Hans Hauer ( eds.): Thibaut and Savigny. Your programmatic writings. 2nd edition, Verlag Franz Vahlen, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-8006-2783-3.


  • Contributions in the Journal of historical jurisprudence digitized all years


  • Since 23 March 1887, the Savigny Platz in Berlin -Charlottenburg is named after him. The Savigny Platz cut Grolmanstraße, Knesebeckstraße, Carmerstraße and Kant road.
  • The Legal Seminar in Marburg, where Professor Dean's Office Offices and are located is named after him Savigny house.
  • The Savigny- Stiftung was established in year of his death by his friends to life to continue his life's work. The Foundation organized contest ( the most important won Lenel with the Ediktum Perpetuum ) and contributed to the financing of the Journal of Legal History, which bears the name since 1861 Journal of Savigny Foundation for Legal History ( zrg ), although the Foundation has been suspended since 1923. This journal of the Savigny Foundation for Legal History was published in 2008 for the 125th time.