Karl Himly

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Karl Himly

Karl Gustav Himly (born April 30, 1772 Braunschweig , † March 22, 1837 Göttingen ) was a German physician, surgeon and ophthalmologist .


Karl Gustav Himly was born as the son of the secret cabinet secretary Himly at the Brunswick court and was the younger brother of the pedagogue Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Himly (1769-1831).

Himly began studying at the University of Würzburg with Karl Kaspar von Siebold in 1790 after his school days and attending the anatomical-surgical college in Braunschweig . From 1792 Himly studied at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen with August Gottlieb Richter and in 1794 became his assistant. On September 6, 1794 he received his doctorate from Himly with his thesis Dissertatio inauguralis medico-practica observationes quasdam circa epidemiam huius anni dysentericam sistens [...] (1794) . In 1795 he was appointed professor at the medical and surgical clinic in Braunschweig. From 1797 he was a corresponding and from 1804 a full member of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences . In 1801, Himly, who was also a supporter of natural philosophy , took over the professorship for medicine at the University of Jena as the successor to Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland (and probably against Goethe's will) . Since 1803 las Himly at Göttingen then Theoretical and Practical Surgery and taught - for the first time in Germany - in the subject Ophthalmology ( ophthalmology ). Himly specified several ophthalmic instruments and introduced the mydriatics ( agents that dilate the pupil ) into ophthalmology . His students included Karl Friedrich von Heusinger , Maximilian Joseph von Chelius , Dietrich Georg von Kieser , Wilhelm Baum , Peter Krukenberg , Georg Hartog Gerson and Ernst Alban .

Karl Himly began publishing the first German ophthalmic journal under the title Ophthalmological Library in 1802 together with his Viennese colleague Johann Adam Schmidt (1759–1809). Three volumes could be produced by 1805, after which publication was interrupted until 1816. His resumption of work as a publisher ended in 1819. His international reputation as a specialist led to Niccolò Paganini visiting him on the sidelines of a concert in Göttingen on May 25, 1830 because of eye problems.

In 1805, Himly was appointed director of the Academic Hospital in Göttingen, where he combined the outpatient department with the clinic of his teacher Richter. During this time there was a collaboration with Konrad Johann Martin Langenbeck , which ended around 1808. A new clinic was opened in 1809, which Himly ran until 1814. There he befriended the pioneer of dentistry Joseph Calmann Linderer in 1812/13 .

Himly served in the hospitals of the Prussian army on the Rhine.

Himly died from a fall on a leash , suspected suicide . The exact circumstances remained unclear.

His son Ernst August Wilhelm Himly (1800–1881), who published his father's textbook posthumously in 1843, was professor of physiology, comparative anatomy and forensic medicine in Göttingen. His son August Friedrich Karl Himly (1811–1885) was a chemist and professor at Kiel University .

Fonts (selection)

  • Mortis causa et signa , Göttingen 1794
  • Treatise on the effect of disease stimuli on the human body . Inaugural lecture in Braunschweig. Thomas, Braunschweig 1797.
  • Introduction to ophthalmology . Jena 1806; 3rd edition Göttingen 1830.
  • Textbook of practical medicine. The first part contains general nosology , medicine, and therapy. Self-published, Göttingen 1807 (2nd edition 1816).
  • The diseases and deformities of the human eye and their cure . According to the papers left behind, published and with additions by EAW Himly. Hirschwald, Berlin 1843.
  • Something about the polarity of colors , in: Ophthalmologische Bibliothek, Bd.1, St.2, S.1–20, 1803.

He (co) edited the following journals:

  • Ophthalmic Library. Edited with Johann Adam Schmidt. Frommann, Bonn 1803-1807, 3 volumes.
  • Journal der practical Arzneykunde und Wundarzneykunst (Journal for practical medicine). Edited with Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland . 1809 to 1814.
  • Library for ophthalmology, knowledge and treatment of the senses in general, in their healthy and sick condition. Hahn, Hanover 1816–1819, 1 volume.



Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Adolph Carl Peter Callisen: Medicinisches Writer Lexicon
  2. ^ Volker Zimmermann: Himly, Karl Gustav. 2005, p. 596.
  3. Holger Krahnke: The members of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen 1751-2001 (= Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Philological-Historical Class. Volume 3, Vol. 246 = Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Mathematical-Physical Class. Episode 3, vol. 50). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2001, ISBN 3-525-82516-1 , p. 115.
  4. ^ Luigi Pareyson: Schellingiana rariora. Turin 1977 (= Philosophica varia inedita vel rariora. Volume 4), p. 701.
  5. GIC deCOURCY: Chronology of Nicolo Paganini's life , Rud. Erdmann Musikverlag, Wiesbaden 1961, p. 43.
  6. Ullrich Rainer Otte: Jakob Calmann Linderer (1771-1840). A pioneer in scientific dentistry. Medical dissertation, Würzburg 2002, p. 27 f.
  7. a b c August von Rothmund: Himly, Karl Gustav (ADB)
  8. Carl Himly: The diseases and deformities of the human eye and their cure . According to the papers left behind, published and with additions by EAW Himly, Berlin 1843.

Web links

Wikisource: Ophthalmic Library  - Sources and Full Texts
Wikisource: Journal of Practical Medicine  - Sources and full texts
Commons : Karl Himly  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
  • Hans Hoerauf: 1803-1837 Karl Himly (1772-1837). In: History of Göttingen Ophthalmology. Ophthalmology Department of the Göttingen University Medical Center, accessed on April 25, 2018 .