[Index of Biographies]

Daniel Lorenz Salthenius (1701-1750)

[This is a draft of an article in The Dictionary of Eighteenth Century German Philosophers, 3 vols., edited by Manfred Kuehn and Heiner Klemme (London/New York: Continuum, 2010).]

Daniel Lorenz Salthenius, born on 16 March 1701 in Marken (near Upsala, Sweden), was the son of a pastor. He died in Königsberg on 29 January 1750 as a prominent Pietist [glossary] and a gifted professor of theology.

As a young theology student in Upsala, Salthenius was accused of being in league with the devil and condemned to death, which he escaped only through the help of his professors. He found his way to the university at Halle in 1724 where he continued his studies and taught at Francke’s orphanage, also serving in 1728 as the inspector of the schools affiliated with the orphanage. After receiving his magister from Halle on 30 April 1729, Salthenius was immediately called to Königsberg by Franz Albert Schultz [bio] to help the Pietist cause there. He replaced Abraham Wolf [bio] as inspector of the Collegium Fridericianum and received the associate professorship of logic and metaphysics vacated by Johann Gottfried Teske [bio]. In 1731, he accepted the rectorate of the cathedral school in Königsberg, which he retained for the remainder of his life. In 1732 he was made a doctor of theology and was given an associate professorship of theology (replacing Wolff), at which time he gave up his associate professorship in logic and metaphysics (Martin Knutzen would be the next recipient of this position); the following year he was made the sixth full professor and in 1745 the fifth full professor of theology.

Salthenius belonged to a group of Königsberg Pietists including Wolff, Schultz, Johann David Kypke [bio], Georg Friedrich Rogall [bio], and Daniel Heinrich Arnoldt [bio]. Orthodox Lutherans called for his dismissal in 1737 when the rumor of his earlier pact with the devil circulated in Königsberg, but a report written later that year found him innocent of the charges. He was a learned man and a gifted pedagogue and school administrator, and he possessed the largest private library at the time in all of Prussia — some 22,000 volumes, among which were 300 Bibles, 1500 books of biblical exegesis, and over 7500 books on church, political, and literary history. His own writing was on religious topics: historical evidence concerning the Biblical canon, disputes with Catholics, discussion of the symbolic books, and a partial bibliography of his library.


De articulis Smalcaldicis (1729).

Historia canonis sacrique textus Novi Foederis a Jo. Millio in Prolegomenis ad N. T. tradita, cum annotationibus (Königsberg, 1734).

Introductio in omnes libros sacros tam veteris quam novi Testamenti, ad usum studiosae iuventius (Königsberg, 1736).

Bibliothecae viri, cum viveret, summe reverendi, atque excellentissimi, Danielis Salthenii (Königsberg, 1751).

Commentatio in historiae canonis sacrique textus novi foederis a Joanne Millio in prolegomenis ad N. T. traditae paragraphos s.s. 29 priores (Königsberg, 1752). [full text: Google Books]

Further Reading

APB, vol. 2, p. 585 (Fritz Gause).

Arnoldt, Daniel Heinrich, Ausführliche und mit Urkunden versehene Historie der Königsbergischen Universität (Königsberg, 1746), vol. 2, pp. 191, 193, 219.

Zusätze zu seiner Historie der Königsbergischen Universität (Königsberg, 1756), p. 36.

Fortgesetzte Zusätze zu seiner Historie der Königsbergischen Universität (Königsberg, 1769), p. 31.

Gause, Fritz, Die Geschichte der Stadt Königsberg in Preussen, 2nd enlarged ed., 3 vols. (Köln, 1996), vol. 2, pp. 119, 125, 136.

Goldbeck, Johann Friedrich, Nachrichten von der Königlichen Universität zu Königsberg in Preußen, und den daselbst befindlichen Lehr- Schul- und Erzeihungsanstalten (Dessau, 1782), pp. 176-8, 210.

Pisanski, Georg Christoph, Entwurf einer preussischen Literargeschichte in vier Buchern, ed. by Rudolf Philippi (Königsberg, 1886), pp. 472, 475, 513-14, 570-71, 590. Orig. publ.: Königsberg, 1790.

Riedesel, Erich, Pietismus und Orthodoxie in Ostpreußen. Auf Grund des Briefwechsels G. F. Rogalls und F. A. Schultz’ mit den Halleschen Pietisten (Königsberg and Berlin, 1937).

[Index of Biographies]