Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland

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Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland

Christoph Wilhelm Friedrich Hufeland (12 August 1762, Langensalza – 25 August 1836, Berlin) was a German physician. He is famous as the most eminent practical physician of his time in Germany and as the author of numerous works displaying extensive reading and a cultivated critical faculty.

Biography[edit]

Hufeland was born at Langensalza, Saxony (now Thuringia) and educated at Weimar, where his father held the office of court physician to the grand duchess. In 1780 he entered the University of Jena, and in the following year went on to Göttingen, where in 1783 he graduated in medicine.

After assisting his father for some years at Weimar, he was called in 1793 to the chair of medicine at Jena, receiving at the same time the positions of court physician and professor of Pathology at Weimar. In 1798 Frederick William III of Prussia granted him the position director of the medical college and generally of state medical affairs at the Charité, in Berlin. He filled the chair of pathology and therapeutics in the University of Berlin, founded in 1809, and in 1810 became councillor of state. In 1823, he was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

In time he became as famous as Goethe, Herder, Schiller, and Wieland in his homeland.

Hufeland was the inventor of the term macrobiotic, was Physician Royal to the King of Prussia, as well as giving medical attention to the following illustrious patients: "Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832), Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744-1803), Schiller (1739-1805), and Christoph Martin Wieland (1732-1813)."[1] He was also a close friend of Samuel Hahnemann and published many of his original writings in his Journal. He also "joined the Illuminati order at this time, having been introduced to freemasonry in Göttingen in 1783."[2] He also seems to have professed an interest in Chinese Alchemy and methods of extending longevity.[3]

The most widely known of his many writings is the treatise entitled Makrobiotik oder Die Kunst, das menschliche Leben zu verlängern (1796), which was translated into many languages, including in Serbian by Dr. Jovan Stejić in Vienna in 1828. Of his practical works, the System of Practical Medicine (System der praktischen Heilkunde, 1818-1828) is the most elaborate. From 1795 to 1835 he published a Journal der praktischen Arznei und Wundarzneikunde. His autobiography was published in 1863.

Grave of Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland in the Dorotheenstadt cemetery in Berlin

Bibliography[edit]

Works[edit]

Studies[edit]

  • Helmut Busse: Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland, Blaeschke Verlag, St. Michael, Austria, 1982
  • Klaus Pfeifer: Medizin der Goethezeit - Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland und die Heilkunst des 18. Jahrhunderts, Verlag Böhlau, Cologne, 2000, ISBN 978-3-412-13199-9
  • Günther Hufeland: Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland (1762-1836), Verlag Rockstuhl, Bad Langensalza, 2002, ISBN 978-3-936030-79-2
  • Wolfgang U. Eckart: Geschichte der Medizin, Heidelberg 2005

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]