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User Information


The Natural Law 1625-1850: Database consists of bio-bibliographical profiles of natural law scholars (mainly academics). The profiles are compiled in an alphabetically arranged inventory list that can be searched and filtered by using the database’s filter functions. Besides their names and picture, each profile in the inventory list appears with the most essential profile data: date and place of birth and death, confession, institutional affiliations and profile specific key words.

Profile Content
The content of each profile is organised in five parts, providing the reader with an easy navigable and legible overview of each section:

  • Basic overview data
  • A text-flow intellectual profile with focus on natural law
  • Structured biographical data with focus on academic and professional data
  • Bibliographical data of natural law related work
  • Structured data of the profile's natural law related network
  • References and acknowledgement

Search and Filter Functions
At the top of the profile inventory list you find a text field for free searches and five filter options. These functions can also be combined to make a search more specific. The available search and filter functions are:

  • Search Inventory: a free text search through the entire database
  • Alphabetic Filter – Persons
  • Alphabetic Filter – Places
  • Key Words Filter
  • Geo-Institutional Filter: a function that filters profiles according to geo-institutional affiliations (i.e. according to the Database Overview see below)
  • Time Filter

Data Uncertainties
In the interest of accuracy and clarity, uncertainties in the bio-bibliographical data have been marked with an (i) for ready identification. When the data point is marked as uncertain, it is our best guess, based on the available sources. Since we are dealing with data from the early modern period, such uncertainties appear quite often in various forms, but the aim is to minimise them through collaborative efforts.

Examples of uncertainties:

  • 1766-1778(i), extraordinary professor in natural law at Greifswald University, Faculty of Law (meaning it is uncertain whether the given person stopped being an extraordinary professor in 1778)
  • 1755, Magister Philosophiae at the University of Halle (i) (Meaning that it is uncertain whether this degree was awarded in Halle)

Moreover, dealing with early modern data we are often also left with data points where temporal information is limited to whether a certain event took place before or after a certain date. Such before/after uncertainties are marked with a slash and two dots. If ../ is placed before a date, the event took place before that date; if /.. is placed after the date, the event took place after.

Examples of before/after uncertainties:

  • ../1753, Studied theology at Halle University (Before 1753, the person studied theology at Halle University)
  • 1744/.., Doctor Juris at Helmstedt University (After 1744, the person was awarded the Doctor in Law at Helstedt University
  • 1788/.. - ../1793, ordinary professor at Kiel University (In an uncertain period after 1788 until sometime before 1793 the person was an ordinary professor at Kiel University)

All contributors to the database are acknowledged either as profile authors or profile contributors. Profile authors take the lead in creating and writing the commentaries about a given profile; profile contributors complement a profile with additional information. Both are credited on the individual profile page. We do invite fellow scholars to contribute to the project.

Peer Review
All entries in the database are per default subject to double-blind peer review. Entries that have not yet been peer reviewed (‘work-in-progress’ entries) do, however, also appear in the database. This is to facilitate the compilation of information and to make it available as soon as possible. An entry’s peer-review status is shown in the top right corner of the profile. The different status are:

  • Red: Need peer-reviewing. The profile is a work-in-progress entry and has only gone through an editorial review. Commentaries on the profile’s biography, main natural law works, and conception of natural law will not appear in the entry.
  • Yellow: Pending peer-review. The profile has been submitted for peer review. All data are shown and are available for the user.
  • Green: Peer-reviewed. The profile has gone through the peer-review process and may also be cited as such. If revisions and additions are needed, they will be made in collaboration with the profile author(s) and the editor.

This page provides the user with a systematic overview of all known profiles, arranged according to geographical region and institutional affiliation. The overview consists of three layers; (1) Europe divided into regions; (2) a list of universities and other learned institutions within the selected region; (3) a list of natural law scholars, who were affiliated with the university or learned institution selected.

Note: only those regions, universities and profiles where bio-bibliographical data have been compiled are activated. If a given region, university or profile cannot be selected, it means that data have not yet been compiled and made available. Updates and contributions will be made regularly.

Mikkel Munthe Jensen, Last Update:  24.04.2024