JOHANN FRIEDRICH PFAFF (1765-1825), German mathematician, was born on the 22nd of December 1765 at Stuttgart.
In 1788 Pfaff became professor of mathematics in Helmstedt, and so continued until that university was abolished in 1810.
His brother, Johann Wilhelm Andreas Pfaff (1774-1835), was professor of pure and applied mathematics successively at Dorpat, Nuremberg, Wurzburg and Erlangen.
Another brother, Christian Heinrich Pfaff (1773-1852), graduated in medicine at Stuttgart in 1793, and from 1801 till his death was professor of medicine, physics and chemistry at the university of Kiel.
Pfaff, Geschichte der Reichsstadt Esslingen (Esslingen, 1852); and Strohmfeld, Esslingen in Wort and Bild (Esslingen, 1902).
His Gedichte (1837), if anything, increased his reputation; his epics, Die Nibelungen inn Frack (1843) and Der Pfaff vom Kahlenberg (1850), are characterized by a fine ironic humour.
This work propounded for the first time the so-called "collegial" theory of church government (Kollegialsystem), which, developed later by the learned Lutheran theologian Christoph Mathaus Pfaff (1686-1760), formed the basis of the relations of church and state in Germany and more especially in Prussia.
Pfaff, Astrologie (Bamberg, 1816); G.