New Material Relative to Zeising

The last changes to this page were made on: 2020.07.26

This page has five parts:
I.   Corrections to the Book
II.  Reviews of the Book
III. New References
IV. Items in the Possession of Professor Jochen Heisenberg
V.  Genealogy

I.   Corrections to the Book

N.B. Some corrections appear on the CD that accompanies the the book Adolph Zeising; Click on "additions and corrections" in "TABLE_CONTENTS.html". In the list
italics indicate the corrections to be made.

1.   Page 5: The first sentence of the second paragraphnew_zeising.html should read, "August Zeising, Adolph
Zeising's father is listed on the marriage certificate of Adolph's parents, as well as on Adolph's two birth certificates as being a court musician."

2.   Page 45, paragraph 4. ``In the second interpretation  ...   larger to smaller  ...   which is
larger than 1.

3.   Page 131, footnote 5. Quetelet was an astronomer turned statistician.

4.   Page 132, footnote 11. [fig. 59-68].

5.   Page 160, footnote 7. The reference is to footnote 6.new_zeising.html

6.   Page 180. [Herz-Fischler, 2004b]. Please click here for details of when this book will appear.

II.  Reviews of the Book

Dudley, U. 2005. Mathematical Association of America: Brief On-Line Reviews. link to the review

Ulbrich, B. 2005 Mitteilungen des Vereins für Anhaltische Landeskunde  ([ISSN 1430-3647]) 14, pp. 273-75. click here for the review in PDF format.

Lauster, M. 2006. Zeitschrift für Germanistik. XVI-2, p. 419.

III.  New References

As I state on page 2, I hope that there will be in-depth studies of Zeising's literary works and writings in the field of aesthetics. On pages 29, 32, 37, I list works for which there are references in the literature, but without details and more are given here. This, together with other sources that are suggested here and in the book, is another indication of the possibilities as to further research.

Further, as indicated by Dr. Ulbrich's article (item 6 below), there is much still to be learned about his participation in the events of his day, in particular the political life in Anhalt-Bernburg.

I personally will not be publishing further on Zeising, but as an aid to future researchers I will be maintaining this section on my web site: If you have any further references to Zeising kindly contact me at the following e-mail address:

or by mail at

Roger Herz-Fischler
340 Second Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1S 2J2

I wish to thank Professors Arnd Bohm, Jochen Heisenberg, Martina Lauster, Kenneth Sparr, Dr. Bernd Ulbrich, Frau Angela Erbacher (Archiv-Chefin, Landeshauptarchiv Sachsen-Anhalt, Abteilung Dessau), Frau Vanessa Steinrötter (Ph.D student, University of Nebraska ---Lincoln) for the references that appear here and in the other sections. There is no attempt here to place references in a particular order; I added/will add, items as I became/become aware of them and a change in order might lead to confusion.

Professor Heisenberg sent me copies of both printed and manuscript material. Only the former is listed in this section, with the manuscript material being discussed in the next section. In some cases bibliographical information was missing. I have included partial and complete scans of some of the printed material. Material obtained from Professor Heisenberg is indicated by [JH].

1.   Zeising is listed in:
Rasch, W. 1998. Bibliographie Karl Gutzkow. Bielefeld: Aisthesis.

2.  Zeising was one of the contributors to the Unterhaltungen am hüslichen Herd, edited by Karl Gutzkow in the 1850s and 60s. There is a table of content for each volume.

3.   In his capacity as Secretary General of the Schillerstiftung, an organisation which supported writers, Karl Gutzkow also wrote a reference for Zeising on 12 December 12, 1863. This is quoted in:
Goehler, R. 1909. Geschichte der deutschen Schillerstiftung. Berlin: Duncker, vol. 2, p. 197.

4.   On the aesthetics of Zeising, see:
Brown, C. 1960. The Formal Aesthetics of Adolph Zeising. Ph.D. dissertation, Bryn Mawr, 1960.
Brown, C. 1963. "Adolph Zeising and the Formalist Tradition in Aesthetics." Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, vol. 45.

5.   On pages 9, 31, 113(fn. 11), I cite, [Zeising, 1847b**], Grammatik der deutschen Sprache. Relative to this, the following works appear in the on-line catalogue of the Berlin Public Library:
a. Zeising, A. 1847b. Grammatik der deutschen Sprache als Grundlage für den gram-
matischen Unterricht überhaupt.
Leipzig: Gebauer. [143 pp.] [ZLB].
b.   The following new item should appear on page 32:
Zeising, A. 1852. Leitfaden für den ersten grammatischen Unterricht in der deutschen Sprache. Bernburg: Groning, 1852. 20 pp. [ZLB].

6.   Re: New documents by Zeising discovered in the Landeshauptarchivs Sachsen-Anhalt, Abteilung Dessau by Dr. Ulbrich; see pp. 2, 165 ([Ulbrich, 2004b]).
Ulbrich, B. 2005. " ` Rücksicht auf dessen tadelnswerthe frühere politische Haltung ...' : Dokumente und Anmerkungen zur Lebensgeschichte von Adolf Zeising", Mitteilungen des Vereins für Anhaltische Landeskunde ([ISSN 1430-3647]) 14. Jahrgang pp. 149-168. click here for the article in PDF format.
Without being complete, I note the following documents brought to light by Dr. Ulbrich:
a.   p. 150. Information on Zeising appears in the Schulprogramm for the years 1835-36; 1836-37; 1837-38; 1840-41.
b.   Further references to Zeising's years in Munich are given on page161.
c.   A letter (document 1), dated September 22, 1852 from Zeising to the Bernburg Minister of State relative to his ten year leave of absence pay and others, dated December 8, 1852 and November 17, 1858, relative to the same question. [See Zeising, p. 130].
d.   Letters written by Zeising inthe year 1862 relative to his desire to return to his teaching position in Bernburg (p. 159).
e.   Official documents opposing Zeising's reintegration in the system (e.g. document 2, dated September 10, 1862, from the Bernburg Minister of State).
f.   Letters from 1862 and 1863 by Zeising and official documents relative to the the calculation of Zeising's true pension. (e.g. document 3, dated June 24, 1863, from the Bernburg Minister of State).
g.   A letter (document 4), dated September 8, 1863, from Zeising to Leopold Friedrich, the duke of the united Anhalts. Zeising pledged his loyalty to the duke and again brought up the question of his taking up his teaching duties.
h.   Another letter (document 5, the first page is reproduced on p. 166), dated February 13, 1868, from Zeising to Duke Leopold Friedrich. This letter contains a very brief biography, e.g. "...habe bis Ostern 1834 zu Halle und Berlin Philogie studiert...". We learn that Zeising was already quite ill and because of this there was no longer any possibility of his taking up his teaching duties. He again requested a readjustment of his pension. Official documents related to request make it clear that Zeising's political stance in the late 1840s was being held against him.

7.   There is apparently a reference to Zeising in:
Ueberweg, F. 1923. Die Deutsche Philosphie des XIX. Jahrhunderts und der Gegenwart. Berlin: Mittler.

8.   To part 2 of the bibliography on page 165, one can add:
Benninghaus, C. 2001. Region im Aufruhr/Hungerkrise und Teurungsproteste in der preußischen Provinz Sachsen und in Anhalt 1846/47. Halle: Mitteldeutscher Verlag.
See in particular the article:
Kiel, U. " `Mir ist's manchmal, als stünde die ganze Nation an einem schaudervollen Abgrunde'  Hungerunruhen in Anhalt.", pp. 81-90.

9.   Zeising is mentioned in connection with Das Krokodil in:
Wolf, G. 1935. Ein Jahrhundert München / 1800-1900 . Leipzig: Schmidt & Günther, p. 374.

10.   Zeising's aesthetics, in particular as concerns the golden number, are discussed in:
Lotze, H. 1868. Geschichte der Aesthetik in Deutschland. Munich: Cotta, vol. 3, p. 458.

11.   There are letters (GSA 55/2423 and GSA 134/95,6) from Zeising to (and from?) Joseph Kürschner in the Siftung Weimarer Klassik und Kunstsammlungen:

12.   Re: page 32, [Richard Morning, 184?a]; page 33 Jahrzeiten von Marbach. This work is discussed in the following article:
Graf von Hohenthal-Städteln. 1839. "Tieck, kritisiert von Richard Morning." Der Komet / Beilage für Literatur, Kunst, Mode, Residenzleben und journalistische Controle 1839, no. 26, pp. 202-03. [June 30]. [JH].
The first paragraph reads as follows: click here.
In view of this [Richard Morning, 184?a] should be replaced by:
Richard Morning [pseudonym]. 1838. "Goethe und Tieck." Die Jahreszeiten [Oswald Marbach, editor]. vol. 2, summer.

new_zeising.html 14.   The following new item should appear on page 30 and [Zeising, 1840] should be relabelled as [Zeising, 1840a].
Richard Morning [pseudonym]. 1840b. "Laube als Literaturhistoriker." Beiblätter für Literatur und Theater 1840, no. 15, pp. 57-59. [April]. [JH].

15.   Relative to items 14 (April, 1840) and 16 (December, 1840), and perhaps suggestive of a link between Zeising and Heinrich Laube, it should be noted that among the items in Professor Heisenberg's possession is the following article by Laube from September, 1840:
Laube, H. 1840. "Vittoria Accorombona, Ludwig Tieck's neuester Roman." Zeitung für die elegante Welt 1840 no. 171, pp. 681-83; 172, pp. 685-87. [September 3,4].

16.  The following new item should appear on page 30.
Richard Morning, 1840c. "Über Ludwig Tieck's Vittoria Accorombona". Blätter für literarische Unterhaltung 1840, no. 363, pp. 1465-67; no. 364, pp. 1469-72; no. 365, pp. 1473-74. [December 28,29,30]. [JH].

17.   The following new item should appear on page 42 ("Works on Literature which Discuss Zeising").
Volkzeitung, 1861. "[Review of Zeising's Lorbeerkranz, 1861b]." Volkszeitung für Süddeutschland (Heidelberg), summer? 1861. [Professor Heisenberg is only in possession of the bottom halves of the sheets on which the seven parts of the review were printed. Thus neither the dates, nor the pages numbers appear. However, from a partial announcement on the second page of the first part, at least the first part was written in August or September of 1861.]
Click here for the first part of the review

18.  Re: page 33, Jahrbücher für speculative Philosophie. The following new item should appear on page 31:
Zeising, A. 1847c. "[title and pagination unknown]" Jahrbücher für speculative Philosophie und die philosophische Bearbeitung der empirischen Wissenschaften (ZDB-ID: 5332692), 2, part 2. [JH].

19.  The following new item should appear on page 35:
Zeising, A. 1861c [or 1862]. "Die apokalyptischen Reiter / (Zur Nachfeier des Corneliusfestes [i.e. Peter Cornelius] in Neuhofen, am 12 Juni 1861) " [the title of the book from which this poem was taken is not known]. [JH]
Click here for the complete text.

20.   Among the items in Professor Heisenberg's possession is the following poem by Emanuel:
Geibel, E. "Am Schillertage" [date and source unknown].

21.   The broadsheet Neuen fliegenden Blätter aus Anhalt. Ein Oppositionsblatt, mentioned on pages 13, 118, footnote 20, is in the Historisches Museum in Köthen.

21.   An excellent listing of archival resources apppears in:
Brünnler, T., Höroldt, U. 1998. Die Revolution von 1848/1849 in Anhalt / Wegweiser zu den archivalischen Quellen. Oranienbaum: Landesarchiv Oranienbaum.

22.   page 41. A German version of Professor van der Schoot's book has now appeared:
Die Geschichte des goldenen Schnitts. Stuttgart: Fromann-Holzboog, 2005.

23.   See the introduction to Part IV concerning the disposition of the Zeising documents in the possession of Professor Heisenberg.

24.   Frau Vanessa Steinrötter has discovered that Hausse und Baisse, (p. 35), which was published in book form in 1864, had been serialized in forty installments, from November 7, 1863 to August 6, 1864, in the Washington, D.C. newspaper Columbia. The editor of this newspaper was Max Cohnheim, one of the many people involved in the Revolution of 1848 who had left Germany. This is perhaps suggestive of a continuing link between Zeising and other participants in the revolution. An article by Frau Steinrötter has been submitted to the journal American Periodals for a special issue on "Immigrant Periodicals". Click here for the beginning of the first installment.

24.   Based on documents in the Heisenberg deposit in the Dessau Archives (see below) Dr. Ulbrich has published:
Ulbrich, B. 2008. "Adolf Zeising und das Bernburger ‘ästhetische Kränzchen’1835 bis 1838." Mitteilungen des Vereins für Anhaltische Landeskunde  ([ISSN 1430-3647]) 17, pp. 207-14. click here for the article in PDF format.
In addition to a very interesting discussion of the intellectual life in a small city, Dr. Ulbrich has published two more of Zeising's poems:
"Der Musen Ausflucht" (This would be item 1836a on p. 30 of Adolf Zeising.
"Zu Ferdinands Abschied" (This would be item 1837a on p. 30 of Adolf Zeising).

25.   The following article (see item 24, fn. 2) should be added to to the list of biographies on p. 165 of Adolf Zeising).
Spohr-Heidelberg. 1930. "Alt-Bernburger Gelehrte, Adolf Zeising." Der Bär. Unterhaltungsbeilage zum Anhalter Kurier. Bernburg: 11.11.1930.

26.   To celebrate the two-hundreth anniversary of Zeising's birth on September 10, 1810 Dr. Ulbrich published an article, "Ihm wurde nie verziehen " in the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung , 21 Oktober 2010, s. 10. click here for the article in PDF format.

27a.    On May 8, 2012 I received an e-mail from Dr. Otfried Lieberknecht in which he announced that he had found the expression "golden number" in works earlier than Martin Ohm's 1835 book. In particular it appears in a work from 1789. I congratulated Dr. Lieberknecht on his discovery and assumed that he would publish an article on the subject.
After receiving Dr. van der Schoot's article (item 28) I told him about Dr. Lieberknecht's work. This prompted me to contact Dr. Lieberknecht again to see if he had indeed published an article and in case of a negative answer encouraging him to do so. As may be seen in his second letter he will not be publishing an article, but he has given me permission to post the results on this page. In view of this I have to decided to reproduce the letters exactly as I received them:
Dr. Lieberknecht's letter of May 8, 2012.
Dr. Lieberknecht's letter of May 19, 2018.

27b.    With Dr. Lieberknecht's kind permission I have written a short article, entitled "An Early Usage of the Expression `Golden Section'' describing his discovery: Historia Mathematica vol. 49 (2019), pp 80-81.

27c On June 12, 2019 I received a letter from from Dr. Holger Becker in which he informed me that in the course of his research into mathematical terminology he discovered the use of the expression "golden section" by Johann Wentzel Kaschube in 1717. This discovery has now been published: "An even earlier (1717) usage of the expression 'golden section' ", Historia Mathematica vol. 49 (2019), pp 82-83.

28. Another, very interesting, discovery is that of Dr. van der Schoot who has shown that in 1859 the composer Franz Liszt was interested in Zeising's work on the golden number. From LIszt's remark, "Mme Zeising m'a fait l'impression d'une femme comme il faut - l'avez-vous revue [...]", it would appear at first glance that Liszt had met the Zeisings. However, as discussed on page 5 of the original article, this may only refer to something that Liszt had been told by his stepdaughter Marie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein. I note that this is the first time that I have seen a reference to Margarethe Petri, Zeising's wife.
After a discussion with the editors of his article Dr. van der Schoot has kindly agreed to write a shortened version of his article: Albert van der Schoot, Franz Liszt and the golden section

IV.  Items in the Possession of Professor Jochen Heisenberg

As of February 22, 2007 those documents dealing with Zeising's Anhalt years have been deposited in the Landeshauptarchivs Sachsen-Anhalt, Abteilung Dessau.
Click here for the press release concerning the documents.
Click here for the top half of an article in the Mittldeutsche Zeitung concerning the deposit.
Click here for the bottom half of an article in the Mittldeutsche Zeitung concerning the deposit.
Click for information on Landeshauptarchivs Sachsen-Anhalt, Abteilung Dessau.

I do not have any details concerning the deposit of material from Zeising's Munich years in the Staatsbibliothek München.

As discussed further in the section on genealogy below, Professor Heisenberg is a direct descendant of Zeising. He has kindly provided me with the following, preliminary, list of manuscript items.

Previously unknown printed items in Professor Heisenberg's possession are listed above.

1.   A letter dated June 29, 1876---thus shortly after Zeising's death on April 28---from Lina Zeising, Adolph Zeising's sister, to Zeising's daughter Magdalene. In it she describes, among other things, life in her father's house. This is of particular interest because the material that is generally available to us (p. 165, Part 2) is always from the viewpoint of the bourgeoisie and court. There is also much new material relative to the family---see the section on genealogy---and also details of Zeising's life.

2.   The original (?) version of Wecklein's necrology (page 165, [Wecklein, 1876]). Nikolaus Wecklein, who it turns out was Magdalene's husband, used a great deal of the material from item 1.

3.  "Bilder aus dem Schlossgarten in Ballenstedt". [manuscript]. This may be the poem (or poems) that attracted the Duke's attention and earned Zeising a stipend; see p. 5.

4.  "Sehr alte Gedichte" [manuscript]. See page 7, "early writings".

5.  "General York, Schauspiel in fuenf Aufzuegen" [manuscript]. click here for the title sheet.

7.  "Entwurf einer Metaphysik des Schoenen"

8.   Copies of other poems, some of which may be by Zeising.

9.   Many documents relative to Zeising's life. These include:
Diary pages.
A document from Halle, dated March 1831, stating that he had ben a student in 1831, but had stopped after 15 days (see page 6). An Anmeldungen certificate from Halle dated March 1833.
A document from Berlin, dated April 1831, stating that he had been a student in 1831. An Anmeldungen certificate from Berlin, 1831.
Burgerschein, Bernburg, January 8, 1834.
Passports dated June 22, 1850 and April 11, 1859 (when he was already well established in Munich). From the visas on the first we learn that he had been in Innsbruck, Vienna, Munich, Verona. The several visas from Munich suggest that Zeising was already thinking of establishing himself in Munich before his official depart.

V.   Genealogy

On page 101 of the book Adolph Zeising, I mention "missing" information concering Zeising's family. Unknown to me, much of this information was available on Professor Jochen Heisenberg's website:

The Zeising Family:

The information on the website can also be combined with other new information as follows:

1.   August Zeising, Adolph's father, was born ca. 1750 and died July 26, 1817 in Ballenstedt. Professor Heisenberg is in possession of an oil painting of August. He remembers a painting of Adolph, which his mother apparently gave away and thus may still be in existence.

2.  Further information on August Zeising is available from the letter of June 29, 1876 from Lina Zeising, Adolph Zeising's sister, to Zeising's daughter Magdalene:
a.   August was born in Hernburg near Braunschweig (on the web site the place of birth is given as Ballenstedt).
b.   August had three children by his first wife. The oldest was a boy who was in Russia in 1812 and 1813. The second child was a daughter who died before the age of one. The third child was a girl who married after August's death, but who had returned home (Ballenstedt? Bernburg?) at some point in time.

3.   The full name of Adolph Zeising's mother, [pp. 5, 94], was Dorothea Maria Friedrika Lenzner. She was born June 9, 1783. We know, [p. 102], that she was still alive at the time of Adolph's marriage on July 29, 1843.

4.   Zeising's daughter Magdalene Zeising:
a.   Magdalene was born April 26, 1848 [in Bernburg] and she died December 23, 1923 in Munich.
b.   Magdalene married Nikolaus Wecklein, [pp. 4, 105 (fn. 2), 165], on May 25, 1870.
c.   Nikolaus Wecklein (February 19, 1843 - November 19, 1926) was a Greek scholar and teacher. He became a gymnasium professor in Munich in 1869 and received his Habilitation at the university the same year. He later left Munich, but returned in 1886 to become the rector of the Maximilliansgymnasiums.
d.   Wecklein was a member of the Kgl. bayrischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. This together with the statement, [p. 105 (fn. 2), 165 (Wecklein, 1876)], "our academy", suggests that perhaps the necrology was originally destined for---perhaps even appeared---in a publication of the latter academy, rather than of the Leopoldina.
e.   On Wecklein see the article "Wecklein " in the following works, kindly sent by Dr. Ulbrich; see [p. 2]:
Zeitgenossenlexikon. 1905. Deutsches Zeitgenossenlexikon / Biographisches Handbuch deutscher Männer und Frauen der Gegenwart. Leipzig: Weihnachten, p. 1542.
Killy, W., Vierhaus, R. 1999. Deutsche Biographie Enzyklopädie, Munich, vol. 10, p. 366.
f.   A photo of Magdalene Zeising and Nicholas Wecklein may be found at:
g.   Anna Wecklein, the daughter of Magdalene Zeising and Nikolaus Wecklein, married August Heisenberg, a professor of Byzantine language and culture at the University of Munich. In a 1913 autobiographical article, August Heisenberg wrote, " [I married Anna Wecklein ... Magdalene Zeising] einer Tochter des bekannten Schriftstellers und Asthetikers Adolf Zeising ... ". This latter statement may simply be family history or it may imply that in 1913 August Heisenberg expected that people would have known of Adolph Zeising.
[Zils-München, W. 1913. Geistiges und Künstlerisches München in Selbstbiographien. Leipzig: Deutsche Bücherei.
This biography is available on-line at]

5.   There is also information on the family of Margarethe Petri, Zeising's wife [p. 95] at: The Petri Family:

Possible Ancestors of Zeising

1.   From the website   of Professor Kenneth Sparr and a subsequent letter in answer to my inquiry, I learned the following:
a.   A Christian Zeising was a trumpeter in the the Swedish court. He arrived from Merseburg not later than 1717, and perhaps as early as 1714/15. He died January 24, 1732.
b.   Christian Zeising and his wife Catharina had eight children of whom four died at an early age.
c.   Further references to Christian Zeising may be found in the following works:
Karle, Gunhild. 2002. Kungl. Hovmusiken i Stockholm och dess utvare 1697-1771. Uppsala.
Kjellberg, Erik. 1979. Kungliga musiker i Sverige under stormaktstiden. Uppsala.

2.   If we combine the above information with:
i.  the statement by Carriere to the effect that the Zeisings were an old musical family, and
ii.  the two names that I put forward in the book, [p. 5, 107 (fn. 4, 5)],
then we might be tempted to draw the following, very speculative, family tree:

Heinrich Zeising (early 17th century)

Christian Zeising (died 1732)

One of the children of Christian Zeising,
possibly Heinrich Christian Zeising (active ca. 1730)

August Zeising (1750-1817)

Adolph Daniel Georg Heinrich Theodor Zeising (1810-1876)

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