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Gottfried Treviranus (1776–1837)

Nature volume 139, page 318 (20 February 1937) | Download Citation



GOTTFRIED REINHOLD TREVIRANUS, the eminent physiologist, the centenary of whose death occurred on February 16, was born at Bremen on February 4, 1776. He studied medicine at Gottingen, and while an undergraduate wrote an essay on nerve power and its method of action. He qualified in 1796 with a Latin thesis on the reform of physiology, and settled in his native town where he was made professor of mathematics and medicine in 1797. The rest of his life was divided between the practice of medicine and scientific research, though the latter claimed most of his attention. His medical publications were of little significance, being chiefly concerned with the prevention of salivation in the mercurial treatment of syphilis and animal magnetism in Bremen. On the other hand, his biological work was of considerable importance, his principal publications of this kind being entitled “Biology or the Philosophy of Living for Natural Philosophers and Doctors” (6 vols., 1802-22) and “Manifestations and Laws of Organic Life” (2 vols., 1831-33). In addition to physiological research, he devoted special attention to microscopical anatomy of invertebrate animals, especially molluscs and insects. In collaboration with his brother, Ludwig Christian Treviranus, a well-known botanist and medical man of Bonn (1779-1804), he published four volumes of miscellaneous work on anatomical and physiological subjects (1816-20).

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