Albrecht von Haller - Anatomist, Family and Childhood

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Albrecht von Haller's Personal Details

Albrecht von Haller was a renowned botanist of the 18th century and also regarded as the Father of modern physiology

InformationDetail
BirthdayOctober 16, 1708
Died onDecember 12, 1777
NationalitySwiss
FamousAnatomist, Child Prodigies, Scientists, Botanists, Physiologists
Known asVictor Albrecht von Haller
Universities
  • University of Tübingen
  • Leiden University
Birth PlaceBern
GenderMale
Sun SignLibra
Born inBern
Famous asAnatomist
Died at Age69

// Famous Anatomist

Albrecht von Haller's photo

Who is Albrecht von Haller?

Among the various contributions he has made to the world, Albrecht von Haller is most renowned for his observations related to the nervous system and respiratory process. He did not belong to a well-to-do family and even lost his parents at an early age. However, he had an innate understanding of languages and in his childhood he made a compilation of several biographies. He later decided to pursue a career as a physician and travelled to several places gaining knowledge on medicine from different exponents in the profession. One of his mentors was the renowned physician Herman Boerhaave who guided him during his days at the university. He also cultivated an interest in the subject of botany and starting from collection of different species of flowers, he went on to be a renowned botanist of the eighteenth century. He also had a knack for poetry and even when he carried on his research works in botany, he penned much poetry revolving around diverse themes. He was one among the superlative anatomists that the world had known, and is credited with heralding the era of modern day neurology and physiology. One of the most prominent observations made by him was the autonomous function of the heart. Read on to know about other valuable contributions which Haller has made to natural science.

// Famous Scientists

Childhood & Early Life

Albrecht von Haller was born to Niklaus Emanuel Haller and Anna Maria Engel, on 16th October, 1708, in Bern, Switzerland. He had five siblings and after the death of his mother, his father remarried Salome Neuhaus.

He was initially taught by a former pastor and later attended a school in Bern. Albrecht frequently suffered from illness and as a result could not participate in outdoor activities much. He developed an interest for languages and had innate talent in the discipline, and dabbled with languages such as Hebrew, Greek and Chaldee.

He had also created a compilation of about two thousand biographies of notable historical figure, in his early childhood.

During the time 1722-23, he stayed at his step-uncle’s house in Beil. His uncle Johann Rudolf Neuhaus was a physician and gave Albrecht lessons in philosophy, and various other subjects. However, he was not interested in philosophy, and determined to embark on a career as a physician. He also wrote poetry during the same time.

In December 1723, he enrolled at the ‘University of Tübingen’ where he studied medicine under the tutelage of Johann Duvernoy and Elias Rudolph Camerarius Jr.

In 1725, he joined the ‘Leiden University’ and had the opportunity to be under the guidance of renowned and remarkable people like Boerhaave and Albinus.

In 1727, he completed his graduation from the university by defending his thesis before a reviewing academic committee, that the salivary duct was only a blood-vessel and nothing else.

He travelled to London, where he was introduced to physicians and scientists such as James Douglas, Sir Hans Sloane, John Prijgle and William Chesselden among many other notable scientists.

He then went to Paris and pursued studies with Jacob Winslow and Henri François Le Dran as his teachers.

He moved to Basel in 1728, and carried on further studies under the tutelage of John Bernoulli in mathematics. Albrecht was drawn towards the subject of botany during this time and while he travelled through places like Baden, Savoy and some of the Cantons of Switzerland, he collected different plant species which later became the elementary part of his work involving flora of Switzerland.

Career

Von Haller was also engaged in literary pursuits during the same time and penned the poem ‘Die Alpen’ in 1729, which was based on his journey through the mountainous region of Alps. The same year, he travelled back to Bern and was engaged in the profession of a physician in the city.

In 1732, his book ‘Gedichte’ was published and the poem ‘Die Alpen’ was first printed in this book.

In 1736, he moved to Germany and joined the ‘University of Göttingen’ as the chairperson of the botany, medicine, surgery and anatomy department of the institute.

In 1743, this eminent physician was made a Fellow of the Royal Society. During his stay at Göttingen, he was included in the cantonal council of Bern.

Albrecht was inducted into the ‘Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ in 1747 as a foreign member, and two years later, he was promoted to a noble rank.

In 1753, he resigned from his post of chairman at the ‘University of Göttingen’ and relocated to his hometown Bern. There he was elected to the office of Rathausammann, and was engaged in political affairs of the region. During the same time he also carried on his botanical research work as well as penned poetry.

In 1755, his book ‘Onomatologia medica completa’ was published which was co-written by Johann Peter Eberhard.

He penned the book ‘Historia stirpium indigenarum Helvetiae inchoata’ in 1768, and this was followed by the publication of his book ‘Ode sur les Alpes’.

In between 1771-72, he inked his work on botany named ‘Bibliotheca botanica’ and his researches and observations mentioned in this book, hold good till date.

During the period 1771-74, the philosophical works which he wrote include ‘Usong’, Alfred’ and ‘Fabius and Cato’, and in these he discusses despotism, aristocratic republican and limited monarchy.

His book ‘Bibliotheca anatomica qua scripta ad anatomen et physiologiam’, which appeared in two volumes was published between the years 1774-77.

Major Works

This anatomist has made many contributions to the world but one of his most important works is his observation of the activities of the muscle as well as the nervous system. These observations by this learned physiologist, led to the foundation of modern day neurology.

Haller is also credited with observing and understanding the respiratory process and the independent functioning of the heart.

Personal Life & Legacy

He married thrice and was the father of eight children. Two of his sons named Gottlieb Emanuel and Albrecht, also embarked on a career as a botanist.

By 1773, his health started deteriorating and he took to opium in order to relieve himself of suffering. The use of this drug, apparently, brought him an early death than his illness.

On 12th December, 1777, this exceptional anatomist breathed his last in Bern. His works ‘Materia medica oder Geschichte der Arzneyen des Pflanzenreichs’ and ‘Histoire des Plantes suisses ou Matiere médicale et de l'Usage économique des Plantes par M. Alb. de Haller ... Traduit du Latin’ were published posthumously.

Trivia

The botanist Carl Linnaeus has named a shrub as ‘Halleria’ in the honour of Albrecht von Haller.

// Famous Botanists

Albrecht von Haller biography timelines

  • // 16th Oct 1708
    Albrecht von Haller was born to Niklaus Emanuel Haller and Anna Maria Engel, on 16th October, 1708, in Bern, Switzerland. He had five siblings and after the death of his mother, his father remarried Salome Neuhaus.
  • // 1722 To 1723
    During the time 1722-23, he stayed at his step-uncle’s house in Beil. His uncle Johann Rudolf Neuhaus was a physician and gave Albrecht lessons in philosophy, and various other subjects. However, he was not interested in philosophy, and determined to embark on a career as a physician. He also wrote poetry during the same time.
  • // Dec 1723
    In December 1723, he enrolled at the ‘University of Tübingen’ where he studied medicine under the tutelage of Johann Duvernoy and Elias Rudolph Camerarius Jr.
  • // 1725
    In 1725, he joined the ‘Leiden University’ and had the opportunity to be under the guidance of renowned and remarkable people like Boerhaave and Albinus.
  • // 1727
    In 1727, he completed his graduation from the university by defending his thesis before a reviewing academic committee, that the salivary duct was only a blood-vessel and nothing else.
  • // 1728
    He moved to Basel in 1728, and carried on further studies under the tutelage of John Bernoulli in mathematics. Albrecht was drawn towards the subject of botany during this time and while he travelled through places like Baden, Savoy and some of the Cantons of Switzerland, he collected different plant species which later became the elementary part of his work involving flora of Switzerland.
  • // 1729
    Von Haller was also engaged in literary pursuits during the same time and penned the poem ‘Die Alpen’ in 1729, which was based on his journey through the mountainous region of Alps. The same year, he travelled back to Bern and was engaged in the profession of a physician in the city.
  • // 1732
    In 1732, his book ‘Gedichte’ was published and the poem ‘Die Alpen’ was first printed in this book.
  • // 1736
    In 1736, he moved to Germany and joined the ‘University of Göttingen’ as the chairperson of the botany, medicine, surgery and anatomy department of the institute.
  • // 1743
    In 1743, this eminent physician was made a Fellow of the Royal Society. During his stay at Göttingen, he was included in the cantonal council of Bern.
  • // 1747
    Albrecht was inducted into the ‘Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ in 1747 as a foreign member, and two years later, he was promoted to a noble rank.
  • // 1753
    In 1753, he resigned from his post of chairman at the ‘University of Göttingen’ and relocated to his hometown Bern. There he was elected to the office of Rathausammann, and was engaged in political affairs of the region. During the same time he also carried on his botanical research work as well as penned poetry.
  • // 1755
    In 1755, his book ‘Onomatologia medica completa’ was published which was co-written by Johann Peter Eberhard.
  • // 1768
    He penned the book ‘Historia stirpium indigenarum Helvetiae inchoata’ in 1768, and this was followed by the publication of his book ‘Ode sur les Alpes’.
  • // 1771 To 1772
    In between 1771-72, he inked his work on botany named ‘Bibliotheca botanica’ and his researches and observations mentioned in this book, hold good till date.
  • // 1771 To 1774
    During the period 1771-74, the philosophical works which he wrote include ‘Usong’, Alfred’ and ‘Fabius and Cato’, and in these he discusses despotism, aristocratic republican and limited monarchy.
  • // 1773
    By 1773, his health started deteriorating and he took to opium in order to relieve himself of suffering. The use of this drug, apparently, brought him an early death than his illness.
  • // 1774 To 1777
    His book ‘Bibliotheca anatomica qua scripta ad anatomen et physiologiam’, which appeared in two volumes was published between the years 1774-77.
  • // 12th Dec 1777
    On 12th December, 1777, this exceptional anatomist breathed his last in Bern. His works ‘Materia medica oder Geschichte der Arzneyen des Pflanzenreichs’ and ‘Histoire des Plantes suisses ou Matiere médicale et de l'Usage économique des Plantes par M. Alb. de Haller ... Traduit du Latin’ were published posthumously.

// Famous Physiologists

Albrecht von Haller's FAQ

  • What is Albrecht von Haller birthday?

    Albrecht von Haller was born at 1708-10-16

  • When was Albrecht von Haller died?

    Albrecht von Haller was died at 1777-12-12

  • Where was Albrecht von Haller died?

    Albrecht von Haller was died in Bern

  • Which age was Albrecht von Haller died?

    Albrecht von Haller was died at age 69

  • Where is Albrecht von Haller's birth place?

    Albrecht von Haller was born in Bern

  • What is Albrecht von Haller nationalities?

    Albrecht von Haller's nationalities is Swiss

  • What was Albrecht von Haller universities?

    Albrecht von Haller studied at University of Tübingen, Leiden University

  • What is Albrecht von Haller's sun sign?

    Albrecht von Haller is Libra

  • How famous is Albrecht von Haller?

    Albrecht von Haller is famouse as Anatomist