Leonhard Rauwolf

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Leonhard Rauwolf.jpg

Leonhard Rauwolf (born June 21, 1535 (according to other information also 1540 ) in Augsburg ; † September 15, 1596 in Waitzen , Hungary ) was a German naturalist , botanist , doctor and explorer. He was also called Rau (ch) wolf (f) or Dasylycos . Its official botanical author's abbreviation is " Rauwolff ".


The son of a businessman first studied in Germany (Basel?), Then in Italy and France. In 1560 he went to France and in 1562 obtained a doctorate from the University of Valence . He then studied at the University of Montpellier , where Guillaume Rondelet was his teacher in botany .

During this time he collected plants in the vicinity of Montpellier , Cette and Frontignan , 600 of which are known from his herbarium . His companion during this time was Jeremias Martius from Augsburg, who was later a respected doctor in Augsburg.

In 1563 Rauwolf went to Italy. From his traditional plant finds, he was in the vicinity of the cities of Verona , Bologna , Florence and Parma during this time . One can also deduce his way back from his plant finds: He traveled via the Gotthard , Lucerne , Basel and the Black Forest . On his way through Switzerland , he also met Conrad Gessner , one of the most famous naturalists of his time. He also met Leonhart Fuchs in Tübingen. In 1564 Rauwolf was in turn visited by the also famous Carolus Clusius .

In 1565 he returned to Augsburg and married Regina Jung (1542–?) There. She was the daughter of the patrician and doctor Ambrosius Jung, the younger (1510–1559). Then worked as a doctor in Aichach and finally in Kempten. She had a son Mathäus (the younger) Rauwolf, who was born in Augsburg in 1570 and died in Augsburg on September 27, 1628.

In May 1573, Rauwolf set out on a trip to the Orient, which his son-in-law (?) Melchior Manlich financed in order to find new products from the Orient. She first brought him via Milan , Nice and Marseille , where he embarked. The destination was Tripoli in Lebanon , where he arrived in September and immediately began collecting plants that he brought to Europe dried. During this time he also explored the surroundings of Aleppo and Baghdad , where he also observed nature but also the cultural peculiarities of the local population. He was also in Constantinople and Jerusalem .

In November 1575 he left Tripoli for his return journey and arrived in Augsburg in February 1576. There he practiced as a doctor again. The Protestant Rauwolf then came into conflict with the Augsburg authorities who had returned to the Catholic Church and moved to Linz , which was then Protestant , where he worked as a "landscape physicist". In connection with the Turkish war , he moved with the Austrian army to Hungary, where he died of dysentery .

Rauwolf's collection of plants is said to have come into the possession of the Bavarian Elector after his death, then to Sweden during the Thirty Years' War and from there by Isaac Vossius to London and later to Holland. There it is in the possession of the library of the University of Leiden .

Rauwolf has re-described a number of native plants, especially in the Middle East. He also reported extensively on crops such as coffee trees , bananas , sugar cane and date palm . He was the first European to report on the enjoyment and effects of coffee. In addition, Rauwolf has made many medical observations and reported about them: from remedies, baths and various clinical pictures.

Around 1576 he published the reports about this trip in Fourth Kreutterbuech - darein vil schoene und frembde Kreutter . In 1582 his travel book Aigentliche Description der Raiß in die Morgenländer followed .


In the Augsburg old town which today bears Rauwolffstraße his name. There is also a "Rauwolfstrasse" in the Freinberg district of Linz.

Honor taxon

Charles Plumier named the genus Rauvolfia of the plant family of the dog poison plants (Apocynaceae) in his honor . Carl von Linné took over this name in the same spelling in 1753.


  • Friedrich RatzelRauwolf, Leonhard . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 27, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1888, pp. 462-465.
  • Mark Häberlein:  Rauwolf, Leonhard. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 21, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-428-11202-4 , p. 217 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Franz Babinger : Leonhard Rauwolf, an Augsburg botanist and traveler to the East in the sixteenth century. In: Archives for the history of natural sciences and technology , Volume 4 (1913), 148–61.
  • Karl H. Dannenfeldt: Leonhard Rauwolf, sixteenth-century physician, botanist, and traveler. Harvard University Press, Cambridge (Mass.) 1968.
  • Fritz Junginger (Ed.): Leonhard Rauwolf - a Swabian doctor, botanist and explorer of the 16th century. Heidenheim 1969 (= Swabian résumés. Volume 2).
  • Mark Häberlein: A 16th-Century German Traveller's Perspective on Discrimination and Tolerance in the Ottoman Empire. In: Guðmundur Hálfdanarson (Ed.): Discrimination and Tolerance in Historical Perspective. Edizioni Plus / Pisa University Press, Pisa 2009, ISBN 978-88-8492-558-9 , pp. 119–124, full text article online (accessed January 29, 2014).
  • Ludovic Legré: La botanique en Provence au XVIe siècle: Léonard Rauwolff - Jacques Raynaudet. Aubertin & Rolle, Marseille 1900, full text online (accessed January 29, 2014).


Leonhard Rauwolf: " Actual description ... ", first edition, Lauingen, 1582. German Historical Museum , Berlin
  • Leonharti Rauwelten, the Artzney Doctorn, and Medici in Augspurg ordered the actual description of the Raisz, as he did before that time against the dawn of the Orient, namely Syriam, Judæam, Arabiam, Mesopotamiam, Babyloniam, Assyriam, Armeniam, etc., not without little trouble and great danger selbs volbracht… Printed in Verlag Georgen Willers by Leonhart Reinmichel, Laugingen 1582.
    • Edited and introduced by Fritz Junginger in: Leonhard Rauwolf, a Swabian doctor, botanist and explorer of the 16th century . Heidenheimer Verlagsanstalt, Heidenheim an der Brenz 1969.
    • English translation in: John Ray : A Collection of Curious Travels & Voyages in Two Tomes, the First containing Dr. Leonhart Rauwolff's Itinerary into the Eastern Countries ..., the Second taking in many parts of Greece, Asia Minor, Egypt, Arabia Felix and Patraea, Ethiopia, the Red-Sea ... Smith and Walford, London 1693, full text online (accessed on 29 January 2014).
  • Leonhard Rauwolf: Fourth Kreutterbuech - in it vil beautiful and strange Kreutter by Leonhart Rauwolffen […] one put and opened. [...] Herbarium vivum with 200 herbarized plants broken down according to where they were found. , Augsburg, ~ 1576

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. B. Baumann, H. Baumann, S. Baumann-Schleihauf: The herb book manuscript of Leonhart Fuchs . Stuttgart, Verlag Eugen Ulmer, 2001, page 222. ISBN 3-8001-3538-8
  2. ^ Charles Plumier: Nova Plantarum Americanarum Genera . Leiden 1703, p. 19
  3. ^ Carl von Linné: Critica Botanica . Leiden 1737, p. 94
  4. Carl von Linné: Genera Plantarum . Leiden 1742, p. 92