The concept of a Mannigfaltigkeit in Husserl has been given various interpretations, due to its shifting role in his works. Many authors have been misled by this term, placing it in the context of Husserl’s early period in Halle, while writing the Philosophy of Arithmetic, as a friend and colleague of Georg Cantor.Yet at the time, Husserl distanced himself explicitly from Cantor’s definition and rather took Bernhard Riemann as example, having studied and lectured extensively on Riemann’s theories of space. Husserl’s Mannigfaltigkeitslehre would then not be a Cantorian set-theory, but come rather closer to topology. Then, in the Prolegomena, Husserl introduces the idea of a pure Mannigfaltigkeitslehre as a meta-theoretical enterprise which studies the relations among theories, e.g. how to derive or found one upon another. When Husserl announces that in fact the best example of such a pure theory of manifolds is what is actually practiced in mathematics, this sounds slightly misleading. The pure theory of theories cannot simply be the mathematics underlying topology, but should rather be considered as a mathesis universalis. Indeed, while this might not have been fully clear yet in 1900/1901, Husserl will explicitly tie together the notions of pure theory of manifolds and mathesis universalis. The mathesis universalis in this sense is formal, a priori and analytic, as theory of theory in general. It is an analysis of the highest categories of meaning and their correlative categories of objects. In my paper I try to understand the development of the notion of Mannigfaltigkeit in Husserl’s thought from its mathematical beginnings to its later central philosophical role, taking into account the mathematical background and context of Husserl’s own development.