Johann Christoph Wichmannshausen

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Johann Wichmannshausen
BornOctober 3, 1663
DiedJanuary 17, 1727
ResidenceElectorate of Saxony
(now part of Germany)
Alma materUniversity of Leipzig
Scientific career
FieldsPhilology Philosophy
InstitutionsUniversity of Wittenberg
Doctoral advisorOtto Mencke
Doctoral studentsChristian August Hausen

Johann Christoph Wichmannshausen (October 3, 1663 – January 17, 1727) was a 17th-century German philologist. He received his magister's degree (the highest degree of the Faculty of Philosophy, equal to the doctorates) from the University of Leipzig in 1685. His dissertation, titled Disputationem Moralem De Divortiis Secundum Jus Naturae (Moral Disputation on Divorce according to the Law of Nature), was written under the direction of his father in law[1] and advisor Otto Mencke. He was from 1692 until the time of his death a professor of Near Eastern languages and university librarian at the University of Wittenberg, and gave courses there in Philosophy and Hebrew.

Among the books he published are De extinctione ordinis Templariorum (The extinction of the Templars), 1687[2] and many short works on aspects of the Old Testament.

Today, Wichmannshausen is best known as part of a line of scientific genealogy stretching from Mencke to Gauss and to many other mathematicians. As of 2015, the Mathematics Genealogy Project lists 88523 of his academic descendants.


  1. ^ Michael Renardy in the comments and explanation for his academic genealogy observes that this double connection to Mencke "puts a twist on his thesis title".
  2. ^ According to Batley (1999), Gotthold Ephraim Lessing used Wichmannshausen's work to research his own writings on the Templars, but found it "reserved and short-sighted" compared to that of Christian Thomasius. Batley, Edward M. (1999). "Lessing's Templars and the reform of German Freemasonry". German Life and Letters. 52 (3): 297–313. doi:10.1111/1468-0483.00136.

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