Philipp Jakob Cretzschmar

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Philipp Jakob Cretzschmar

Philipp Jakob Cretzschmar (born June 11, 1786 in Sulzbach ; † May 4, 1845 in Frankfurt am Main ) was a German anatomist and zoologist.

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Philipp Jakob Cretzschmar was the son of the Sulzbach priest Otto Cretzschmar and his wife Anna Katharina nee Eberhardt. Philipp Jakob Cretzschmar studied natural philosophy in Würzburg from 1804 and later medicine in Halle (Saale) . After his relegation by Napoleon in 1807, he returned to Würzburg, where he passed his examination and received his doctorate. In 1808 he became a military doctor in the French army and took part in the battle of Wagram . Until 1813 he remained as a regimental doctor, first in French and then in the Grand Ducal Würzburg service and was deployed in Spain . After working as a surgeon in Vienna and Paris , he practiced as a doctor in Frankfurt am Main, where he taught anatomy and zoology at the Senckenberg Medical Institute . He married Katharina Josephina Müller.

He was one of the founders of the Senckenberg Natural Research Society , whose director he became in 1817 and which he headed for almost 30 years. Together with Eduard Rüppell , also a founding member of the society, he published the research results of an expedition to Africa. In Rüppell's Atlas on the Journey in Northern Africa , published in Frankfurt from 1826 to 1828, he took care of the ornithological department, in which he described about thirty new bird species, including the golden-winged parrot , the goliath heron , the gray orotolan , the nubian bustard and “Scotocerca inquieta”. Cretzschmar's preparations formed the basis for the collection of the Senckenberg Natural History Museum in Frankfurt am Main.

Cretzschmar has been accepted as a Freemason by the French field lodge Les amis de la vraie règle in Perpignan ; on March 24, 1815 he was affiliated to the Frankfurter Masonic Lodge Socrates for steadfastness , in which he then u. a. worked as a speaker and from 1834 to 1842 as a master of the chair . His work "Religious Systems of Freemasonry" was published 1838–44.

In 1828 he was elected a member of the Leopoldina .

From 1833 to 1840 he was a member of the legislative body of the Free City of Frankfurt .


Since 1917 the Senckenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft (since 2008: Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung ) has been awarding the Cretzschmar Medal at irregular intervals in memory of its first president, Philipp Jakob Cretzschmar, as an award for outstanding scientific achievements.


  • Dorothea von Hagen:  Cretzschmar, Philipp Jakob. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 3, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1957, ISBN 3-428-00184-2 , p. 411 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Jochen Lengemann : MdL Hessen. 1808-1996. Biographical index (= political and parliamentary history of the state of Hesse. Vol. 14 = publications of the Historical Commission for Hesse. Vol. 48, 7). Elwert, Marburg 1996, ISBN 3-7708-1071-6 , p. 100.
  • Berthold Picard: Famous personalities of modern times from the district area . In: Rad und rafter . Vol. 6 (1980), p. 36 f.
  • Joseph Wagenbach: Philipp Jakob Cretzschmar - A great son of the Sulzbach community . In: Main-Taunus-Calendar (1953), p. 33 f.

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