Johann Thaddäus Peithner


July 5, 2022

Johann Thaddäus Peithner, full name Johann Thaddäus Anton Peithner von Lichtenfels (Boží Dar, Gottesgab in German, April 8, 1727 - Vienna, June 22, 1792) was a Czech-born German mining lawyer and teacher.

His work

Peithner's family comes from Tyrol, settled in the Czech Republic during the Thirty Years' War. His grandfather, Johann Christian Peithner, was the town judge of Goldenhöhe (today Zlatý Kopec, part of Boží Dar), his father and older brother were active in mining: his father, Johann Christian Peithner, was a mining clerk in the neighboring settlement of Gottesgab, his older brother, Joseph Wenzel Peithner, at the mine in Sankt Joachimsthal he was a senior mining officer. After his studies at the Piarist monastery in Schlackenwerth, he studied humanities, philosophy and law at the University of Prague and obtained his doctorate. After that, he became a treasury employee, and as the archivist of the highest Czech mining and minting office in Prague, he dealt with the organization of the office's huge documents. In the winter of 1761–1762, he submitted a proposal to the court chamber regarding the organization of higher mining and metallurgical training ("Modest thoughts on the introduction of the theoretical study of mining and metallurgical sciences in the Czech kingdom"). Based on his proposal, Mária Terézia established a department of mining and mining law at the University of Prague, of which she became the teacher. From 1735, the mining and metallurgical educational institute (Bergschule, Berg Schola) operated in Selmecbány, which graduated technical specialists with specialized mining and metallurgical knowledge after a two-year training period. The chamber considered it more fortunate that the higher education should go to Selmecbánya, replacing the education at the Bergschule. The idea was approved by Mária Theresia on October 22, 1762, and the Bergakademie (Academia Monastica) began operating in 1763. His first professor was Nikolaus Jacquin, who was later joined by Nikolaus Poda and Christoph Traugott Delius. Peithner arrived at the Selmec Academy in 1772, where he became a teacher of the mining-mining-measuring-mechanics department, and immediately after being appointed there, he submitted a petition to the court chamber regarding the establishment of a high-quality and professional academic library. For this purpose, he offered his own library of 1,392 works, which the Chamber bought for HUF 4,000 for the institution. Among others, the following works were added to the book collection from the Peithner collection: Agricola: De re metallica (first edition in German (1557) and one in Latin (1657)), Conrad Gessner: De omni rerum fossilium genere (collected work, 1565 ), Leonhard Thurneysser: Magna alchymia (1587), Ubaldo: Mecanicorum Liber (1615), Sebastian Span: Sechshundert Berg-Urthel (collected work, 1636), Gottfried Heinrich Grummerts: Beyträge zum Wachsthum der Natur- und Grössenlehre (1747), etc. , as well as numerous manuscripts. These works can also be found in the Selmec Artifacts Library in the library of the University of Miskolc. Together with the library, Peithner's 2,000-piece mineral collection was also purchased. Peithner was a professor at the academy until 1777, then court councilor of the Vienna Court Chamber of Mining and Mint, and then from 1791 he became the chief inspector of mining and metallurgy of the empire. He died on June 22, 1792 in Vienna.


Erste Gründe der Bergerkswissenschaften aus denen Physisch-Metallurgischen Vorlesungen. Prague, 1770 Zweite Ablandlung über die Mineralogie in tabellarischner Ordung vorgestellt. Prague, 1770 Grundriss Sammentlieher Metallurgischer Wissenschaften. Prague, 1768 Versuch über die natürlische und politische Geschichte der Böhmischen und Mährischen Bergwerke. Vienna, 1780