Christian Heinrich Heineken
He was born in Lübeck, Germany, the son of Paul Heinecken, a painter and architect, and Catharina Elisabeth Heinecken, an artist and alchemist. His brother, Carl Heinrich von Heineken, became an art historian and collector and was later knighted.
It is said that when he was ten months old, he could speak German. He read the Pentateuch at age one, and between the ages of two and three, he read the Old and New Testament in Latin. When he was three years old, he was said to have recited his own History of Denmark when visiting the King of Denmark. Also at three he testified in court to the murder of his friend, another boy named Reid. He died at age four of celiac disease. He was breastfed until close to his death, which was very likely caused by the ingestion of grain products.
While his exploits may seem hard to believe, they are relatively well documented. In 1726, his tutor (a man named Schöneich) published a study of Christian entitled The Life, Deeds, Travels and Death of the Child of Lübeck. Immanuel Kant wrote an essay about the child calling him an "ingenium praecox" (someone "prematurely clever").
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- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. Encyclopaedia Britannica, vols. 13-14, pp. 215-16.
- Vollmer, Hans (ed.), Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart (General Dictionary of Visual Artists from Antiquity to the Present). Vol. 16, p. 292; vol 21, p. 530; vol. 25, p. 575. Leipzig: EA Seemann, 1923. (In German)
- "Unsterblichkeit der Frühe". Süddeutsche Zeitung. Feuilleton (in German). January 17, 2004. p. 15. Archived from the original on July 21, 2006.
- Kaus J. Hennig (22 December 1999). "Ein Kind zum Anbeten" (in German). Zeit Online GmbH, Hamburg, Germany.
- "The Child of Lubeck". Everything.com.