Kiepert Johann Samuel

(31.07.1818 - 21.04.1899)


German geographer and cartographer, member of the Prussian and Austrian Academies of Sciences.

Born in Berlin in a wealthy family of a large merchant. Already in childhood, the boy was interested in long-distance travel and travel. Family friend, an outstanding historian Leopold von Ranke, advised his parents to support this hobby. In the gymnasium years, he also paid much attention to ancient history. In 1836, Kiper entered the Berlin Humboldt University, where he studied classical philology and geography.During these years, under the leadership of his friend, Professor of Geography Karl Ritter, he first published his first historical maps. Ritter introduced him to an American theologian, an expert on Palestine, Edward Robinson, for whom Kipert made roadmaps.

In 1839, Ritter received an order from the Prussian military department for mapping and evaluating the topographical description of Asia Minor made by Prussian officers. This work, in the end, was entrusted to Kipert, who in 1841 made for this purpose a trip to Constantinople, in Greece, the western part of Asia Minor and the island of Lesbos. During this trip, the scientist became seriously ill, and during the treatment he learned Turkish. After his recovery, he continued his work in Greece. In 1841 the first part of its Atlas of Greece and the Greek colonies was published.

After returning to Berlin, Kiper studied Oriental languages - Arabic, Armenian, Farsi. In 1846 he was awarded the prize of the French Academy of Literature for his contribution to the study of ancient sources in the Roman Sassanian wars. In 1845, Kiper headed the geographical department at the Institute of Geography in Weimar and was engaged in publishing cartographic material for schools. In 1852 he returned to Berlin, where he was engaged in cartographic work at one of the publishing houses. In 1854 he became a member of the Prussian Royal Academy of Sciences.

In 1859 Kipert became a professor of geography at Humboldt University (the only one after the death of C. Ritter).In 1863, he mapped the cards commissioned by Theodore Mommsen for his writing Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum. In 1864, Kipert became the director of the topographic department of the Prussian Royal Bureau of Statistics, where he carried out a number of important state orders. In 1869, he made maps for the book of Napoleon III on the campaigns of Julius Caesar. As a reward, the scientist received an invitation from the French emperor to open the Suez Canal. Then he, together with his son Richard, made a long journey to them in Egypt, Palestine and Transjordan. Then the traveler went to Cyprus, Rhodes and Asia Minor (Caria). In the same year, 1869, he was accepted into the Berlin Society of Anthropology, Ethnology and Primitive History.

In 1877, Kipert became one of the founders of the German Palestinian Society, and in 1878, his most important work, the Textbook on Ancient Geography, was published.In subsequent years, he traveled to Turkey - visited Pergamum, Lydia, Smyrna.

He died in Berlin. He was buried in Neukölln, Berlin in the cemetery of the St. Jacobi community.

The extreme southeastern island of the Bastian group in the southern part of the Hinlopen Strait. Coordinates 78° 50'N    21° 30'E.


Return to the main page