Michael Gottlieb Agnethler

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Michael Gottlieb Agnethler
Born (1719-06-10)June 10, 1719
Hermannstadt (now Sibiu), Romania
Died June 15, 1752(1752-06-15) (aged 33)
Helmstedt, Germany
Citizenship German
Fields Botany, numismatics
Institutions Akademie der Naturforscher
University of Helmstedt
Alma mater University of Halle

Michael Gottlieb Agnethler (June 10, 1719 – June 15, 1752) was a German botanist and numismatist.

Early life[edit]

Michael Agnethler was born to an aristocratic Transylvanian Saxon family of Hermannstadt (now Sibiu, Romania).[1] The Agnethlers had been of a long, prestigious history, with many local socialites in the region. The name of the family originated from the Saxon town of Agnetheln.[2]

Michael Agnethler was the only son of his family. The father was the principal of a gymnasium.[2] Just after Michael's birth, his father was appointed pastor of Gierelsau (Bradu), so the family moved there, where Michael spent his childhood, then returning to Sibiu to attend school.[2]

Michael Agnethler had been of a weak physical constitution, with difficulty sleeping.[2] An anecdote is known, where Agnethler was frightened in his sleep by a fellow student—who jokingly mumbled "swim, you're drowning" into his ears—with Agnethler amidst a nightmare, moving his arms frantically like swimming.[2]


Agnethler started his studies of theology[2] at the University of Halle in 1742; other interests included Ancient Rome antiquities and numismatics.[2] Additionally, his physical frailness led him to start studying Medicine.[2]

Agnethler eventually earned a Doctorate of Philosophy in 1750, and of Medicine in 1751. Also in that year, he was given a position at the Akademie der Naturforscher, and soon afterwards became lecturer in Rhetoric, Antiquities, and Poetry at the University of Helmstedt.[1] However, he suffered a severe tuberculosis infection,[2] and died soon thereafter, in 1752.

Michael Gottlieb Agnethler is also known as an entomologist.


He published a number of works on botany (mostly commentaries on Linnaeus) and on numismatics, the latter including descriptions of the coin collections of Johann Heinrich Schulze and Martin Schmeizel.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Friedrich Schuler von Libloy (1875). "Agnethler, Michael Gottlieb". Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie. 1. p. 140. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Agnethler Christian. "Kurzbiographie: Michael Gottlieb Agnethler - Homepage von Christian Agnethler". Agnethler.de. Retrieved 2015-08-29. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Wolfram Kaiser (1977). "Das wissenschaftliche Werk des transsylvanischen Arztes und Altertumsforschers Michael Gottlieb Agnethler (1719-1752)". Orvostörténeti közlemények (= Communicationes de historia artis medicinae). 81: 73–87. ISSN 0010-3551. 

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