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Cordus, Valerius

1. Dates
Born: Hesse (maybe Erfurt) Germany, 18 Feb 1515
Died: Rome, Italy, 25 Sep 1544
Dateinfo: Dates Certain
Lifespan: 29
2. Father
Occupation: Physician And Professor
I assume prosperous.
3. Nationality
Birth: born: German.
Career: German. died: Italy.
4. Education
Schooling: Marburg, Leipzig, Wittenberg, M.D.
1527 - 1533, studied botany and pharmacy under his father, Euricius Cordus.
1527, enrolled in Univ. of Marburg.
1531, BA Marburg.
1533 - 9? completed his training at his uncle Johannes (or Joachim) Ralla's apothecary shop in Leipzig, where he enrolled in the University.
1539-44, studied medicine and lectured on materia medica at U Wittenberg; his lectures were very popular; received MD from Univ. of Wittenberg.
1542-4, made trips to Italy to study.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Protestant ("evangelisch")--i.e, Lutheran
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Botany And Pharmacy
7. Means of Support
Primary: Apothecary, Academia
1533-9? worked in an apothecary shop.
1539-44, "developed close ties to apothecary shop of Lucas Cranach."
Lectured on materia medica at Univ. of Wittenberg; his lectures were very popular.
8. Patronage
Type: City Magistrates
1542, made a short visit to Nuremburg to present his Dispensatorium to the city council, which gave him 100 gold guilders and published the book in 1546.
9. Technological Involvement
Type: Pharmacology
Worked with apothecaries.
Wrote first official Dispensatorium north of the Alps.
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
Informal: much admired by contemporaries; visited various scholars in Italy.
Konrad Gesner published many of Valerius' works after he died.
Formal: none.
  1. E. L. Greene, "Landmarks of Botanical History," in Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, 54.1 (1909), 263-314. Q11.S65
  2. C. D. Leake, "Valerius Cordus and the Discovery of Ether", Isis, 7 (1925), 14-24. Q2.I8
  3. Rudolf Schmitz, DSB, 3, 413 - 415.
  4. Hermann Ziegenspeck, Neue deutsche Biographie, 3, 359
Not Available and Not Consulted
  1. O. Bessler, "Valerius Cordus und der medizinisch-botanische Unterricht," in 450 Jahre Martin-Luther-Universität Halle Wittenberg, (Halle Wittenberg, 1952), 1, 323 - 333 -- LF 2763 . A53 T. Irmisch, "Einige Mittheilungen über Valerius Cordus," Botanische Zeitung, 22 (1864), 315-17. Bio Lib QK1 . B76 H. Peters, "Die älteste Pharmakopoee in Deutschland," in his Aus pharmazeutischer Vorzeit (Berlin, 1886), pp. 129 -153. -- Stacks RS 61 . P 482 T. Robinson, "On the Nature of Sweet Oil of Vitriol," Journal of the History of Medine, 14 (1959), 231-3. R151.T48
  2. R. Schmitz, "Zur Bibliographie der Erstausgabe des Dispensatoriums Valerii Cordi," Sudhoffs Archiv für Geschichte der Medizin und der Naturwissenschaften, 42 (1958), 260 - 270. Q3 . S 94 Most of the sources listed in the DSB are not in the library.
Compiled by:
Richard S. Westfall
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Indiana University

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©1995 Al Van Helden
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