Waldkirch, Johann Rudolf von (* 1678.10.23 † 1757.06.10)
Basic Overview Data
University of Basel
Biographical and Intellectual Profile
Johann Rudolf von Waldkirch was born in Basel on 23 October 1677. He studied law at the University of Basel and obtained his doctoral degree on 27 February 1704. In 1711, he published a compendium on Pufendorf's De officio. This was no doubt the reason why the Bernese government offered him the chair in natural law at the Academy of Lausanne, which was then given to Barbeyrac. Instead, Waldkirch was appointed professor of law at the Academy of Berne in 1718. He returned to Basel in 1722, where he was professor of the Institutes and of public law until 1757. He was twelve times dean of the law faculty, and rector of the University 1727-28. In Basel, Waldkirch lectured publicly about Heinrich von Cocceji's Juris publici prudentia (1722-1727) and privately about Grotius (1726). He became known for his introduction to the history of the Swiss confederacy, Gründliche Einleitung zur Eydgenössischen Bunds- und Staats-Historie, first published in 1721. He died on 10 June 1757 in Basel.
Comment on main natural law works:
The 1711 Annotata atque exempla illustrantia in Samuelis L. B. de Pufendorf libros duos de officio hominis et civis adornata labore et studio consist of two parts: first, Pufendorf's De officio, and second, Waldkirch's detailed commentary, entitled "Compendium jurisprudentiae naturalis". This work is remarkable since it shows that Pufendorf's work got well known in the German speaking part of the old Swiss confederacy already before Barbeyrac began teaching natural law at the Academy of Lausanne. Waldkirch was no doubt initiated to the study of the law of nature and nations by his teachers at the University of Basel to whom he dedicates the compendium (Sebastian Faesch, 1647-1712, Johann Jacob Battier, 1669-1713), both professors of the Institutes at the law faculty who occasionally lectured on natural law or on Grotius. At the University of Basel, the law of nature and nations was then incorporated into the chair of ethics at the faculty of philosophy since 1706.
Titles, Memberships and Other Relevant Roles
Die gerechte Folter-Banck […] (Bern: Daniel Tschiffeli, 1709): Digital version
Annotata atque exempla illustrantia in Samuelis L. B. de Pufendorf libros duos de officio hominis et civis adornata labore et studio (Basel: fratres Thurneisen, 1711): Digital version
Compendium juridicum theoretico-practicum in usum studiosae juventutis compendiose ([Basel], 1739).
Dissertatio inauguralis iuridica de foenere nautico vulgò Bodmerey (Basel: Joh. Jac. Battier, 1704): Digital version
Schaufelberger, Christian, Dissertatio juridica inauguralis de Jure Emphyteutico (Basel: fratres Thurneisen, 1724), [Johann Rudolf von Waldkirch in the jury of the thesis?]: Digital version
Hey, Georg Andreas, Dissertatio historico-juridica de lege regia Romanorum (Basel, 1731), [praeses: Johann Rudolf von Waldkirch].