The Correspondence of Jakob Böhme (74 letters)

Primary Contributors:

Cultures of Knowledge

Jacob Böhme, from the frontispiece of Edward Taylor, Jacob Behmen’s theosophick philosophy unfolded; in divers considerations and demonstrations … Also, the principal treatises of the said author abridged. And answers given to the remainder of the 177 theosophick questions … left unanswered by him at the time of his death … (London, 1691). (Source of image: The Internet Archive)

Jakob Böhme (1575–1624)

The German mystic and theosophical writer Jacob Böhme was born near Görlitz in what was formerly Upper Lusatia, a region which lay then within the Holy Roman Empire. Having served an apprenticeship as a shoemaker, Böhme moved to Görlitz, where he joined a devotional group under the leadership of Martin Moller (1547–1606). Here Böhme underwent an intense inner experience and, although he did not write about this immediately, it transformed the manner in which he approached and interacted with the world. The experience was recounted later by Böhme’s biographer, friend, and supporter, the Silesian nobleman Abraham von Franckenberg.

The manuscript copy of Böhme’s ultimately unfinished work Die Moergenroete im Aufgang, in which he attempted to make sense of his experience, was copied and circulated by Karl von Endern. This brought trouble upon Böhme in the form of threats from the city authorities of exile or censure, and he was forced to agree to stop writing. He kept this promise until 1618 whereafter, through the early years of the Thirty Years’ War, he wrote prodigiously until his death in November 1624.

Partners and Additional Contributors

The metadata for the beginnings of a calendar for the correspondence of Jacob Böhme was taken from the invaluable inventory compiled by Monica Estermann. Cultures of Knowledge would like to thank EMLO Digital Fellow Charlotte Marique for her work to prepare the metadata for upload.


Key Bibliographic Source(s)

Monika Estermann, Verzeichnis der gedruckten Briefe deutscher Autoren des 17. Jahrhunderts, part 1, 4 vols (Wiesbaden, 1993), vol. 1, pp. 179–82.

Epistolae theosophicae, oder Theosophische Send = Briefe, … Jacob Böhmens, enthaltende allerhand gottselige Ermahnungen zu wahrer Busse und Besserung, … Geschrieben von anno 1618 bis 1624 … ([s. l.]: [s. n.], 1730).


Görlitz from the east, coloured engraving from Georgius Braun and Frans Hegenberg, De praecipuis totius urbibus liber secundus (Cologne, 1575). (Source of image: Wikimedia Commons)

Scope of Catalogue

The calendar contains the basic metadata for seventy-four letters collated from the 1730 epistolary Epistolae theosophicae and, for each letter, links have been inserted to the volume mounted on the invaluable e-rara resource. The letters in this calendar span the six-and-a-half years between January 1618 and June 1624, just months before Böhme’s death. It is hoped that scholars may be encouraged to contribute additional metadata and for enquiries regarding contributions please contact Miranda Lewis, EMLO’s editor.


Launch Catalogue

Please see our citation guidelines for instructions on how to cite this catalogue.