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Libavius [Libau], Andreas

1. Dates
Born: Halle, ca. 1560
Died: Coburg, 25 Jul 1616
Dateinfo: Birth Uncertain
Lifespan: 56
2. Father
Occupation: Artisan
He was the son of a poor weaver, Johann Libau, who travelled from Harz to Halle in search of work.
3. Nationality
Birth: Halle, Saxony, Germany
Career: Rothenburg and Coburg, Germany
Death: Coburg, Germany
4. Education
Schooling: Wittenberg; Jena, Ph.D.; Basel, M.D.
He attended the Gymnasium in Halle.
1576, entered the University of Wittenberg.
1577, entered the University of Jena. In 1581, he received his Ph.D. and the title of poet laureate. I assume a B.A. or its equivalent.
1588, enrolled at the University of Basel, where he received his M.D.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Lutheran
He was an orthodox Lutheran and strongly opposed Catholics and Calvinists.
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Alchemy
Subordinate: Iatrochemistry, Medicine
7. Means of Support
Primary: Schoolmaster, Govt Position
Secondary: Academic, Medical Practice
1581, he became a teacher at Illmenau.
1586, he was appointed "Stadt- und Raths-Schulen Rector" (rector of the schools) in Coburg.
1588-1591, professor of history and poetry at the University of Jena.
1591-1607, moved to Rothenburg, where he became muncipal physician. In 1592, he was also appointed inspector of shools and received a teaching position. Endless quarrels with the rector of the town schools led to his departure.
1607-1616, he returned to Coburg, where he was named rector of the newly-founded Gymnasium Casimirianum Academicum.
8. Patronage
Types: Court Official, Unknown
He corresponded with Landgrave Maurice of Hesse, and dedicated Commentationum metallicorum libri to him, obviously hoping for a position at court, or the chair at the University of Marburg that Johannes Hartmann received.
The positions in Rothenburg and Coburg were not obtained without patronage from some source.
9. Technological Involvement
Type: Medical Practice
Though a municipal physician, he paid little attention to medical practice.
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
  1. Friedmann Rex, Neue deutsche Biographie, 14, 441a-2a.
  2. Ladenburg, Allgemeine deutsche Biographie, 18, 530-2.
  3. E. Darmstaedter & G. Brugge, Das Buch der grossen Chemiker, 1 (Weinheim, 1955), 107-124. [Chem. QD21.B9]
  4. R.D. Multhauf, "Libavius and Beguin," in E. Farber, ed., Great Chemists, (New York-London, 1961). [Chem. QD21.F21]
Compiled by:
Richard S. Westfall
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Indiana University

Note: the creators of the Galileo Project and this catalogue cannot answer email on geneological questions.

1995 Al Van Helden
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