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Leonhart Fuchs

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Leonhart Fuchs (17 January 150110 May 1566) was a German physician and a botanist.

Contents

Biography

Fuchs was born in Wemding in the Duchy of Bavaria (today in Baden-Württemberg). After visiting a school in Heilbronn, Fuchs went to the Marienschule in Erfurt, Thuringia at the age of twelve, and graduated as Baccalareus artium. In 1524 he became Magister Artium in Ingolstadt, and doctor of medicine in the same year.

From 1524-1526 he practiced as a doctor in Munich, until he received a chair of medicine at Ingolstadt in 1526. From 1528-1531 he was the physician of the margrave Gero (Georg) of Brandenburg in Ansbach. Fuchs was called to Tübingen by the Duke Ulrich in 1533 to help in reforming the university in the spirit of humanism. He served as chancellor seven times.

He died in Tübingen, Germany in 1566.

Scientific views

Fuchs was heavily influenced by Greek and Roman authors, especially Dioscorides, Hippocrates, and Galen. He wanted to fight the Arab hegemony in medicine and to "return" to the Greek authors. But he saw the importance of practical experience as well and offered botanical field days for the students, where he demonstrated the medicinal plants in situ. He founded one of the first German botanical gardens.

Others

Fuchs' name is preserved by the plant Fuchsia, discovered on Santo Domingo in the Caribbean in 1696/97 by the French scientist Dom Charles Plumier, who published the first description of "Fuchsia triphylla, flore coccineo" in 1703.

Publications

  • "Errata" (1530), first publication
  • "De historia stirpium commentarii " (1542), "New Kreüterbuch" in a German translation (1543), "New Herbal" in English, "Den nieuwen Herbarius, dat is dat boeck van den cruyden" (1543) in Dutch.

Fuchs tried to identify the plants described by the classical authors. The book contains the description of about 400 wild and more than 100 domesticated plant species and their medical uses ("Krafft und Würckung") in alphabetical order. The text is mainly based on Dioscorides. The book contains 512 pictures of plants, largely growing locally. The illustrators were Heinrich Füllmauer and Albert Meyer, the woodcutter Veit Rudolph Speckle, portraits of whom are contained in the volume. It appeared at the famous officin of Michael Isengrin in Basel, Switzerland.

  • All in all, Leonhart Fuchs wrote more than 50 books and polemics.

External links

Modern editions

  • Klaus Dobat/Werner Dressendorfer (eds.) Leonhart Fuchs: The New Herbal of 1543 (Taschen 2001).
de:Leonhart Fuchs

eo:Leonhart FUCHS fr:Leonhart Fuchs

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