Hugo Magnus

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Hugo Magnus (31 May 1842 in Neumarkt in Schlesien – 15 April 1907 in Breslau) was a German ophthalmologist and historian of medicine. He was of Jewish ancestry.[1]

He studied medicine at the University of Breslau, where he was a pupil of Albrecht Theodor Middeldorpf and Hermann Lebert. In 1867 he received his medical doctorate, and in 1873 qualified as a lecturer in ophthalmology. In 1883 he became an associate professor at the University of Breslau.[2]

He is remembered for his intensive studies of color blindness and color sense.[3] He also conducted research of eye diseases; in 1874 he made an early observation of what would be later known as Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome,[4] and in 1878 he provided an early clinical description of proptosis in infantile scurvy.[5] He was the author of numerous works with history of medicine themes (including ophthalmology).

Selected works[edit]

  • Das Auge in seinen ästhetischen und cultur-geschichtlichen Beziehungen, 1876 – The eye in its aesthetic and cultural-historical relationships.
  • Die geschichtliche Entwickelung des Farbensinnes, 1877 – The historical development of color perception.
  • Die Anatomie des Auges bei den Griechen und Römern, 1878 – The anatomy of the eye in reference to the Greeks and Romans.
  • Die Farbenblindheit; ihr Wesen und ihre Bedeutung, dargestellt für Behörden, praktische Aerzte, Bahnärzte, Lehrer, 1878 – treatise on color blindness.
  • Untersuchungen über den Farbensinn der Naturvölker, 1880 – Studies involving the color sense of primitive peoples.
  • Die Augenheilkunde der Alten, 1901 – translated into English by Richey L. Waugh, Jr. in 1998 as "Ophthalmology of the ancients".
  • Die methodische Erziehung des Farbensinnes, 1902 – Methodical education involving color perception.
  • Abhandlungen zur Geschichte der Medicin (with Karl Sudhoff, Max Neuburger), 1902 – Essays on the history of medicine.
  • Medicin und religion in ihren gegenseitigen beziehungen; geschichtliche untersuchungen, 1902 – Medicine and religion in their mutual relationships; historical analysis.
  • "Visual economics, with rules for estimation of the earning ability after injuries to the eyes", 1902 (published in English, with Henry Würdemann).
  • Kritik der medicinischen Erkenntnis; eine medicin-geschichtliche Untersuchung, 1904 – Review of medical knowledge; a history of medicine investigation.
  • Die volksmedizin, ihre geschichtliche entwickelung und ihre beziehungen zur kultur, 1905 – Folk medicine, its historical development and its relationship to culture.
  • Der Aberglauben in der Medicin; translated into English, edited by Julius L. Salinger as "Superstition in medicine", 1905.[6]


  1. ^ Charles Archibald Stonehill, The Jewish contribution to civilization, p. 112
  2. ^ Magnus, Hugo Pagel: Biographisches Lexikon hervorragender Ärzte des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts. Berlin, Wien 1901, Sp. 1078-1079.
  3. ^ "Professor Hugo Magnus". Br Med J. 1 (2418): 1096. 1907. doi:10.1136/bmj.1.2418.1096-b. PMC 2357704.
  4. ^ Reich, H; Hollwich, F (1984). "[Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome]". Klin Monbl Augenheilkd. 184 (6): 513–9. doi:10.1055/s-2008-1054543. PMID 6384634.
  5. ^ Handbook of Nutrition and Ophthalmology by Richard David Semba
  6. ^ HathiTrust Digital LIbrary published works