Wolfgang Lazius

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Wolfgang Lazius, Portrait by Hans Sebald Lautensack (1554)

Wolfgang Laz, better known by his Latinized name Wolfgang Lazius (October 31, 1514 – June 19, 1565),[1] was an Austrian humanist who worked as a cartographer, historian, and physician.

Lazius was born in Vienna, and first studied medicine, becoming professor in the medical faculty at the University of Vienna in 1541.[1] He later became curator of the imperial collections of the Holy Roman Empire and official historian to Emperor Ferdinand I. In that capacity, he authored a number of historical works, in research for which he traveled widely, amassing (and sometimes stealing) documents from numerous monasteries and other libraries.[2] He also produced maps of Austria, Bavaria, Hungary, and Greece, now considered important in the history of cartography.[1] His Typi chorographici provinciarum Austriae (1561) bears some early elements of a historical atlas, though it serves more as a celebration of the Habsburg Monarchy than as a true historical work.[3]

It is thought that Giuseppe Arcimboldo's painting The Librarian is of Lazius.[4]


  1. ^ a b c "Lazius (Laz), Wolfgang". aeiou Encyclopedia (in German). Verlagsgemeinschaft Österreich-Lexikon. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  2. ^ "Geschichte der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek — 1514, Gelehrte und ihre Bibliotheken" (in German). Österreichische Nationalbibliothek. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  3. ^ Goffart, Walter (2003). Historical Atlases: The First Three Hundred Years, 1570–1870. University of Chicago Press. pp. 26–27. ISBN 0-226-30071-4. 
  4. ^ Elhard, K.C. (Spring 2005). "Reopening the Book on Arcimboldo's "Librarian"". Libraries & Culture. 40 (2): 115–127. doi:10.1353/lac.2005.0027. JSTOR 25541905.