Ludwig Friedrich von Froriep

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Ludwig Friedrich von Froriep

JH Ludwig Friedrich Froriep , from 1810 by Froriep , (born June 15, 1779 in Erfurt , † July 28, 1847 in Weimar ) was a German gynecologist and university professor.


Ludwig Friedrich Froriep was the son of the theology professor and orientalist Justus Friedrich Froriep (1745–1800) and his wife Amalie Henriette Sophie, b. Becker (1752-1784). He studied medicine in Jena . On April 6, 1799 he received his doctorate there . A study visit to the University of Vienna followed from April to September of that year . In 1801 (according to other sources, 1800) he was initially a private lecturer and deputy director of the private institute for obstetrics at the University of Jena . On April 29, 1801, he married Charlotte Bertuch (1779–1839), the daughter of the publisher Friedrich Justin Bertuch, in Weimar . The wedding was performed by Johann Gottfried Herder . In 1802 he received an extraordinary professorship in Jena . From September 1802 to May 1803 he was studying in Paris, the return journey was via Leiden and Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

In 1804 he moved to the Friedrichs-Universität Halle as a full professor for obstetrics . There he put his focus more on natural history, comparative anatomy and surgery. After Napoleon ordered the dissolution of the university on October 19, 1806, Froriep initially worked as a general practitioner in Halle. From November 1807 to October 1808 he stayed in Berlin, where the founding of a university was planned, but it did not start teaching until 1810. In 1808 he received the Dr. phil. hc awarded. In the same year, however, he accepted a full professorship for surgery and obstetrics at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen , where in 1810 he was also given the teaching of anatomy. On December 1, 1810 he was made a knight of the Royal Württemberg Civil Merit Order , which was connected with the elevation to the personal nobility. In 1814 he was called to Stuttgart as personal physician by King Friedrich I and on April 16, 1815 he was a member of the medical section of the Royal Ministry. Before the king's death (in October 1816), however, he resigned from the Württemberg service in the spring of 1816.

He moved to Weimar to support his father-in-law (at the time head of the Landes-Industrie-Comptoir) and joined the management level of the health system in the Grand Duchy as senior medical officer in Saxony-Weimar . From August to November 1817 he stayed in London, in September 1821 he toured Copenhagen (Denmark) and Lund (Sweden). After Bertuch's death in 1822, he took over the office himself, but continued to work as a doctor and medical journalist. In 1822 he was elected a member of the Leopoldina . Ludwig Friedrich von Froriep maintained a close exchange with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe . From 1823 he was a member of the state parliament of Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach for the status of citizens in the Weimar-Jena district. He fell ill in 1846 and died the following year in Weimar. His son Robert Friedrich Froriep also became a doctor, his grandson August von Froriep an anatomist.

Froriep and Schiller's skull

In 1826 the bones attributed to the poet Friedrich Schiller , who died in 1805 (but at that time no longer reliably identifiable), were recovered from the Jacobsfriedhof Weimar . In autumn 1826 Goethe borrowed the skull and wrote the famous terzines. In 1827 the alleged Schiller bones were transferred to the Weimar royal crypt . In 1883 the anatomist Hermann Welcker from Halle doubted the authenticity, in 1911 Ludwig Friedrich von Froriep's grandson, the anatomist August von Froriep, presented a different than the supposedly real one. The second Schiller skull is therefore also called the Froriep skull in science. For years there was an argument about which one was the right one. The princely crypt skull, d. H. the skull in the Schiller sarcophagus in the royal crypt is very similar to death masks, busts and paintings by Schiller. In 2008, a DNA analysis showed that the bones of three different people are in the Schiller's sarcophagus and that the two skulls are both not from Schiller. The genealogist Ralf G. Jahn , who researched Schiller's ancestors and relatives, hypothesized after extensive source studies that it is unlikely that anyone other than Ludwig Friedrich von Froriep could have purposefully exchanged the skull. He had the expertise and the opportunity and, as a fanatical supporter of the phrenologist Franz Joseph Gall , had a motive for it. Froriep was the head of the medical commission that presented the Fürstengruft skull as a Schiller skull, and it was thanks to his significant influence that the world believed it saw the Schiller skull in the Fürstengruft skull. In the immediate vicinity of Schiller's burial site, he owned one of the most extensive skull and bone collections of his time, with at least 1,500 individual items.


  • Presentation of the new theories of physiognomics by Dr. Gall in Vienna [short title: Gall's skull theory], 1801
  • Theoretical-practical handbook of obstetrics. For use at academic lectures and for prospective obstetricians [short title: Handbook of Obstetrics]. Weimar: Industrie-Comptoir 1802 (several other editions)
  • About the anatomical institutions in Tübingen. From the establishment of the university to the present day . Weimar: Landes-Industrie-Comtoirs 1811
  • A few words about teaching anatomy to universities. In addition to a representation of the mesentery and the nets, as extensions of the peritoneum . Weimar: Landes-Industrie-Comptoir 1812
  • Obstetric demonstrations , Weimar 1821–1832, 11 booklets
  • Founder and editor of the series of publications Notes from the field of natural science and medicine , Weimar 1822–1836, published in 50 volumes, since 1837 together with his son Robert under the title Neue Notizen etc.
  • Founder of the yearbook Progress in Geography and Natural History , Weimar 1846–1848, published in 5 volumes


  • Wiebke von Häfen: Ludwig Friedrich von Froriep (1779–1847): A Weimar publisher between offices, business and politics . Publications of the Historical Commission for Thuringia: Small series; Vol. 19. Cologne – Weimar – Vienna: Böhlau 2007, ISBN 978-3-412-03606-5 , also dissertation at the University of Jena, 2002 ( review by M. Nissen )
  • Otto Mühlbrecht, August Friedrich von Froriep:  Bertuch, Friedrich Justin . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 2, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1875, p. 552 f. (Side entry: mention in his father-in-law's article)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Schiller skull probably stolen ,, May 5, 2008.
  2. The exchanged heads . In: Der Spiegel . No. 19 , 2008 ( online - May 5, 2008 ).
  3. Schiller's skull - Weimar is looking no further , Die Welt , May 5, 2008.