Leonhard Ursinus

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Leonhard Ursinus

Leonhard Ursinus (also: Behr; Beer, Zephytus ; born January 21, 1618 in Nuremberg ; † February 2, 1664 in Leipzig ) was a German medic and botanist.


The son of the Nuremberg citizen and trader Leonhard Beer († November 2, 1632 in Nuremberg) and his wife Sabina Meischner received training from private teachers, especially in Latin and Greek, from the age of six. Soon his parents sent him to the Nuremberg Lorenz School and at fifteen he moved to the University of Altdorf . Due to the death of his father, he had to interrupt his studies and instead run his father's business.

In 1637 he came to Leipzig at Easter, where he continued his studies at the University of Leipzig . In May 1638 he became a baccalaureus and in January 1640 he was promoted to a master's degree in philosophical sciences. In this way, as was common at the time, he had laid the foundations for completing a higher-quality degree. In 1640 he decided to study medicine. He also attended the lectures of Johann Nicolaus Thoming (1605–1653), Franz Kest († 1643), Johann Zeidler (1596–1645) and Johann Michelis (1606–1667).

When his financial means were exhausted, he took a tutoring position with a nobleman in Lobschütz . Soon after the instructions of the elector, he was given a position at the small prince's college in Leipzig, and in 1645 he became an assessor in the philosophy faculty. In 1647 he was accepted as a baccalaureus at the medical faculty, was on September 16, 1652 with the disputation De Morbis Metallariorum licentiate in medical sciences and received his doctorate on October 27, 1653 with the disputation De Ophthalmia as a doctor of medicine.

In 1651/1652 he became a professor of botany and in 1656 rose to the professorship of physiology. Ursinus also took part in the organizational tasks of the Leipzig University. He was procurator and co-promoter of the medical faculty, procancellor of the philosophical faculty and prepositus of the small princely college. In the summer semesters of 1654 and 1658 he was rector of the alma mater .

After he died of catarrhal fever on February 2, 1664, his body was buried on February 8.

His contemporaries describe him as a person with great knowledge who became a member ( registration number 19 ) of the Academia Naturae Curiosorum (Leopoldina) with the name Zephyrus I on September 5, 1661 . In Leipzig he had replanted the medical garden of the university with rare herbs and foreign plants and thus prevented it from deteriorating.


From his marriage to Anna Magaretha, the daughter of the Leipzig citizen and trader Balthasar Krause, on November 27, 1647, four sons and one daughter emerged. The sons Johann Balthasar Beer, Gottfried Leonhard Beer and Thomas Leonhard Beer survived their father.

Works (selection)

  • Tulipam de Alepo sistit. Leipzig 1661
  • Viridarium lipsiense


  • Julius Leopold PagelUrsinus, Leonhard . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 39, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1895, p. 369.
  • Samuel Lange : Himlische Garten-Lust: From the revelation of Johannis / on VII. 9. Bey Christian / Volckreicher / and respectable corpse burial of ... H. Leonhardi Beers, the Philosophiae u. Medicinae for doctoris and famous practitioners… February 8th, anno 1664 in Leipzig / considered and executed. Leipzig 1664. In: Fritz Roth: Complete evaluations of funeral sermons and personal documents for genealogical purposes. Self-published, Boppard / Rhein, 1974, vol. 8, p. 150, R 7218
  • Ursinus, Leonhard. In: Johann Heinrich Zedler : Large complete universal lexicon of all sciences and arts . Volume 51, Leipzig 1747, column 590 f.
  • Johann Daniel Ferdinand Neigebaur : History of the imperial Leopoldino-Carolinische German academy of natural scientists during the second century of its existence. Friedrich Frommann, Jena 1860, p. 189 .
  • Willi Ule : History of the Imperial Leopoldine-Carolinian German Academy of Natural Scientists during the years 1852–1887 . With a look back at the earlier times of its existence. In commission at Wilh. Engelmann in Leipzig, Halle 1889, supplements and additions to Neigebaur's history, p. 147 ( archive.org ).

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