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Justi, Johann Heinrich Gottlob (* 1717.12.25 † 1771.07.21)

Basic Overview Data

1717.12.25, Brücken[In the secondary literature 25. December 1720 is often given as Justi's date of birth. However, he was baptized 28. December 1717. It seems likely that the records according to which he was born on Christmas are correct, but the year was 1717.]
1771.07.21, Küstrin
Protestant, Lutheran, Catholic[It is a matter of debate whether Justi's appointment to Theresian Academy in Vienna in 1750 was followed by his conversion to Catholic religion.]
Institutional Affiliation
Theresian Knight Academy (Vienna),
University of Göttingen
Keyword Filters
Cameral sciences, history of international relations, Schmaussianism
Important Family Relations:
Father, Georg Heinrich (? - 1720.11.24), excise inspector
Stepfather, Delius, Landcommissar
Stepbrother, Christoph Traugott Delius (1728.xx.xx - 1779.01.21), professor of Bergbaukunst
Daughter, Amalia Holst née Justi (1758.02.10 - 1829.01.06), Writer, intellectual(Amalia Holst is consider as an early feminist. She is the author of Bemerkungen über die Fehler unserer modernen Erziehung 1791 and of Über die Bestimmung des Weibes zu höherer Geistesbildung 1802.)
Canonical URL:


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Comment on main natural law works:

Under Review!

Comment on profile’s conception of natural law:

Under Review!

Academic Data


... - .../1742, Gymnasium Quedlinburg
1742.10.19 - 1744.07.18, Law, University of Wittenberg[Augustin Leyser (1683-1752)] (According to several studies Justi should also have studied in Jena (under Zincke), Leipzig and Göttingen. There is, however, no evidence for this)


1744.07.18, Doctor of law, University of Wittenberg [Augustin Leyser] (Justi defended a thesis called De fuga militae. Leyser was most likely the author of the thesis)


1757 - 1758, Copenhagen ()
1738\.. - 1740, Netherlands () (Justi could have been in Holland between 1738 and 1740. He refers to have been in Holland in 1740 in his anonymously published book Leben und Character des Grafens Brühl, 1760)
1757\.. - 1758, Sweden () (In his Neue Wahrheiten zum Vortheil der Naturkunde und des gesellschaftlichen Lebens der Menschen (Leipzig 1754–1758), Justi describes his visit to Scania, to Helsingborg. One thing that, according to Justi, proved how lazy the man in the Nordic countries was, was the wildness of nature. Almost all provinces in Sweden, especially Finland, consisted of nothing more than a disordered "Mengel" of lakes, moraine, and some dry soil. According to Justi, the uncultivated land affected the climate. If you had properly controlled rivers and dried lakes, the climate would also have been warmer. For Justi, Germany was an example of such a development)


1750\.. - ../1753: Rhetoric (Eloquentia germanica), lecture courses, Theresian Knight Academy (Taught for students of law)
1752\.. - ../1753: Cameral sciences (Commercium und Oeconomia publica), lecture courses, Theresian Knight Academy (Taught for students of law)
1755\.. - ../1757: Cameral sciences (Oeconomische und Cameral-Wissenschaften and Policey-Wissenschaften), lecture courses, University of Göttingen, Faculty of Law

Professional Data


1741 - 1742.07.28, Soldier, Electorate of Saxony, Regiment of Prince Xaver (Soldier in the Saxon army)
1742 - 1745.06.04, Private Secretary, Lieutenant Colonel Wigand Gottlob von Gersdorff
1747 - 1750, Councillor, Duchy of Saxony-Eisenach (Justi acted as a Councillor (Rat, Advocat) to Duchess Anna Sophie von Sachsen-Eisenach 1706-1751)
1750 - 1752, Professor of German eloquence, Theresian Knight Academy (Theresianum)
1752 - 1753, Professor of German eloquence and praxis, Theresian Knight Academy (Theresianum)
1755 - 1757, Director of Police, the Town of Göttingen
1755 - 1757, Royal Mining Official, Hanover
1755 - 1757, Docentus, University of Göttingen, Faculty of Law
1757 - 1758, Inspector for the cultivation of Jutland, the Danish Court (Justi was invited to the Kingdom of Denmark by Count Bernstorff, from whom Justi obtained a commission to inspect the Jutland heath region and to write a proposal for its cultivation. In 1758 Justi was assigned Norwegian superintendent of mines, but he turned this appointment down)
1765 - 1768, Inspectorate of Mines, Glass- and Steelworks (Berghauptmann), Prussia

Titles, Memberships and Other Relevant Roles

1747, Prize essay competition winner, Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin (Justi won a prize essay competition with his anti-Wolffian essay on the monads)
1755 - 1757, Member, Academy of Sciences, Göttingen
1755, Mining councillor (Bergrat), Kingdom of Great Britain
1762, Member, Bavarian Academy of Sciences, Munich

Printed Sources


Abhandlung von den Mitteln die Erkenntniß in den Oeconomischen und Cameral-Wissenschaften dem gemeinen Wesen recht nützlich zu machen; wobey zugleich zu seinen in diesen Wissenschaften auf den [16]ten des Heumonats anzufangenden Vorlesungen ergebenst einladet Johann Heinrich Gottlob von Justi (Göttingen: 1755): Digital version

Der Grundriß einer guten Regierung (Frankfurt and Leipzig: Johann Gottlieb Garbe, 1759): Digital version

Die Natur und das Wesen der Staaten (Berlin, Stettin & Leipzig: Johann Heinrich Rüdiger, 1760): Digital version
     - Edition 1771 (Mitau: Steidel und Compagnie): Digital version


De fuga militae (Wittenberg: 1744), [Praeses: Augustin Leyser, Respondent: Johann Heinrich Gottlob Justi]: Digital version

Manuscript Sources


Two letters to Johann Christoph Gottsched (1700-1766). The letters are from 1747 and 1751 and printed in Gottsched Briefwechsel

Direct Personal Connections:

1755\.., Johann Jakob Schmauss, Göttingen [Colleague at the University of Göttingen]
1755\.., Gottfried Achenwall, Göttingen [Colleague at the University of Göttingen]
1756.06.21, Peter Forsskål, Göttingen [This is the date Justi wrote with "Honoris et amicitiae" to Forsskål's album amicorum a citation from Juvenalis: "Justitia utilibus rectum praeponere suadet." It is a comment on Forsskål's Göttingen dissertation defended 12 June 1756. Justi supported Forsskål's thesis arguing that justice becomes before utility.]
Mikkel Munthe Jensen, Last Update:  21.07.2022