Johannes Walther


Johannes Walther (July 20, 1860 in Neustadt an der Orla, Germany – May 4, 1937 in Bad Hofgastein, Germany) was a German geologist who discovered important principles of stratigraphy, including Walther's Law.[1]

Johannes Walther
Born(1860-07-20)July 20, 1860
DiedMay 4, 1937(1937-05-04) (aged 76)
Alma materUniversity of Jena, University of Halle
Known forWalther's Law
Scientific career
FieldsGeology, Palaeontology
InstitutionsUniversity of Jena

Early life and workEdit

Walther came from a religious home and studied botany, zoology, and philosophy at the University of Jena. In 1882 he successfully completed this course with a doctorate. Then he studied geology and palaeontology in Leipzig and later Munich.[1]

The following year he worked at the Stazione Zoologica in Naples as a lecturer, staying for two years. Among other things, he ran extensive sedimentological and biological studies.

In 1885 he returned to Jena and habilitated there in 1886 with a thesis on crinoids. After travelling, he was appointed as a professor at Jena in 1890.

Later lifeEdit

Walther moved to the University of Halle in 1906, staying until 1929. Whilst there, he was in 1924 elected president of the prestigious German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, an office he held until 1931.[1]


  • The Law of Desertification in the Present and the Past (Das Gesetz der Wüstenbildung in Gegenwart und Vorzeit), 2007 reprint[2]
  • Modern Lithogenesis, 1883–84[3]
  • Introduction to geology as a historical science (Einleitung in die Geologie als historische Wissenschaft), 1893–94
  • History of the Earth and Life, (Geschichte der Erde und des Lebens), 1908
  • General Palaeontology (Allgemeine Paläontologie), 1919–1927[4]
  • Literature by and about Johannes Walther in the German National Library catalogue


  1. ^ a b c Norbert Hauschke, Silvia Isaac, Lars Schimpf, Martin Seiffert, Wolfgang Gossel (2010). Johannes Walther (1860 - 1937) zwischen Riff und Wüste - Spurensicherung in 3 D anlässlich seines 150. (John Walther (1860 - 1937) between the reef and the desert - in 3D crime scene on the occasion of his 150th Birthday). Halle (Saale). October 2010. ISBN 978-3-00-032815-2
  2. ^ Record in the German National Library, ISBN 978-3-8364-1462-3.
  3. ^ K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner, editors, World of Earth Science, Gale Cengage. ISBN 0-7876-7739-6
  4. ^ Allgemeine Paläontologie (General Palaeontology), Volumes 1–3, Borntraeger, 548 pages.

External linksEdit

  • Works by or about Johannes Walther at Internet Archive
  • Works by Johannes Walther at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)