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Albrecht von Haller

Naturevolume 79pages3840 (1908) | Download Citation



ALBRECHT VON HALLER, anatomist, physiolegist, botanist, and poet, was born in Berne on October 16, 1708. He has been termed “Berne's greatest son,” and his intellectual eminence was conspicuous even in an age which was singularly productive of great men. It was, indeed, early manifest, for the child Haller was what the Germans term a “Wunderkind”—one of the few such children whose subsequent career has borne out the promise of their youth. As early as his ninth year he began the preparation of lexicons of all the Hebrew and Greek words in the Old and New Testaments, with notes regarding their derivations and different applications. He also prepared a Chaldaic grammar. Whilst still a boy he wrote biographies of no fewer than two thousand celebrities and turned out innumerable verses (which he afterwards burned) on all conceivable subjects, including a satire in Latin verse on his somewhat harsh and pedantic preceptor. Before he was fifteen he was deeply immersed in philosophy and mathematics, and already showed that inclination towards the natural sciences which eventually evidenced itself in the remarkable works which appeared from his pen.


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