Leipzig is derived from the Slavic word Lipsk, which means "settlement where the lime trees (American: linden trees) stand".
Leipzig was first documented in 1015 during the chronicles of Bishop Thietmar of Merseburg and endowed with city and market privileges in 1165 by Otto the Rich. Leipzig has fundamentally shaped the history of Saxony and of Germany. Leipzig has always been known as a place of commerce. The Leipzig Trade Fair, started in the Middle Ages, is the oldest remaining trade fair in the world. It became an event of international importance.
The foundation of the University of Leipzig in 1409 initiated the city's development into a centre of German law and the publishing industry, and towards being a location of the Reichsgericht (High Court), and the German National Library (founded in 1912). The philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was born in Leipzig in 1646, and attended the university from 1661–1666.
On 24 December 1701 an oil-fueled street lighting system was instituted. The city employed light guards who had to follow a specific schedule to ensure the punctual lighting of the 700 lanterns.
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