Heinrich Luden (1778-1847)



The history professor Heinrich Luden is one of the impressive personalities of the Alma Mater Jenensis.

 His grave on the south-east side of the St. John's Church in Jena, the gravestone inscribed "Erbbegräbnis der Familie Luden" (hereditary burial of the Luden family) embedded in the wall.


Heinrich Luden was born on April 10, 1778 in Loxstedt in the former Duchy of Bremen, the youngest child of five children in the family.

Heinrich Luden's parents were Claus Luden, a tree man, and his wife Catrine, née Luden. The parents were cousins. The occupational title "Baumann" identifies him as a prosperous farmer.

His father died of pleurisy on May 3, 1780, when Heinrich was only two years old. After one year the mother marries Heinrich's godfather, the Baumann Hinrich Schmidt.

Heinrich Luden writes his curriculum vitae in Latin in 1803. It provides information about his educational background. After elementary school, he transferred to the Dom-Gymnasium in Bremen in 1796. After only three years he obtained the university entrance qualification and in 1799 moved to the University of Göttingen to study theology.


Other subjects he studied were the languages and culture of classical antiquity, philosophy and philology, as well as various history and even mathematical lectures. As early as Easter 1802, he completed his theology studies by passing the candidate examination.

As was customary at the time, he accepted a position as a tutor in the family of a noble lady in the Duchy of Bremen. There he also met his future wife Johanna Sophie Catharina Köhler from Celle, who was employed as a tutor for the daughters of the house. Since the position as a house teacher did not satisfy him very much, he decided to move to Berlin. Even before the change of residence, he married Johanna Köhler in Achim near Celle on October 4, 1803.

The position in Berlin was also a house teacher position with the well-known medicine professor Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland (1762-1836). Despite heavy demands, Luden also tried to work scientifically and the biography "Christian Thomasius, nach seinen Schicksalen und Schriften" was written. For this he received a doctorate from the University of Jena. In 1806 he went to Göttingen to complete a biography of Hugo Grotius (1583-1645).

In Göttingen he received the Jena doctoral diploma and a letter from Professor Heinrich Karl Abraham Eichstädt (1772-1848) informing him that there was a prospect of an associate professorship for him in Jena.


On August 5, 1806, he was sworn in at the University of Jena and rented an apartment. In October 1806, after the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt, he returned to Jena with his wife and daughter Dorothea, the apartment was ransacked. The marriage produced 10 children.

Due to the war, there was a lack of students and professors in Jena and thus there were few fees. The annual income was also low. This changed in 18108 when he was appointed to the full professorship of history and at the same time was appointed Hofrath. He founded the political monthly "Nemesis" and was close friends with the publisher and printer Friedrich Alexander Bran, an enemy of the French.

He died after several strokes on May 23, 1847.


© Traugott Keßler, gekürzt: Ch.Apfel