Theodor von Heuglin

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Theodor von Heuglin
Old rectory in Hirschlanden , Theodor Heuglin's birthplace
Portrait medallion on Heuglin's grave in the Prague cemetery in Stuttgart

Martin Theodor von Heuglin (born March 20, 1824 in Hirschlanden in Württemberg , † November 5, 1876 in Stuttgart ) was an Africa and polar explorer and ornithologist .


Theodor Heuglin was the eldest of six children of the Protestant pastor Ludwig Friedrich Heuglin (1797–1846) and his wife Wilhelmine Friderike, née. Hildebrand, related Mayer (1801–1860) born. After attending grammar school, at the age of 15 he studied metallurgy at the scientific educational institution in Ludwigsburg . In 1842/43 Heuglin attended the Polytechnic in Stuttgart . In the first half of 1843 he worked as an intern at the Württemberg ironworks in Königsbronn , and from 1845–1847 as an assistant at the Fürstlich Fürstenbergischen Amalienhütte.

He made his first trip to Africa to Egypt in 1850 after he had given up his job as an employee in the iron and steel works. In Egypt he learned the Arabic language and went on excursions to the mountains between the Red Sea and the Nile and to Petrean Arabia .

Appointed Austrian consulate secretary in Khartoum in May 1852 , he went with Konstantin Reitz , the Austrian consul in Khartoum, via Gedaref and Gallabat to Gonder and into the landscape of the Simien Mountains and reported on this in the trips to Northeast Africa ( Gotha 1857). In place of Reitz, who died in 1853, was appointed gerent of the Austrian consulate, Heuglin toured the White Nile and Kurdufan . In 1855 he went to Vienna . There he put together a first systematic overview of the birds of Northeast Africa with 754 species. At the beginning of 1856 he visited East Sudan again , examined the Bajuda steppe and in 1857 toured the coastal countries of the Red Sea, until his weakened health forced him to return to Europe. He stayed here from late 1858 to late 1860, organizing his collections and describing his travels. In 1860 he was elected a member of the Leopoldina .

In 1860 he was appointed by August Petermann and Heinrich Barth to lead an expedition that was supposed to clarify the fate of the African explorer Eduard Vogel , who had been missing since 1855 . Other participants in this expedition were Hermann Steudner , Gottlob Theodor Kinzelbach (1822–1867), Werner Munzinger , Martin Ludwig Hansal and Schubert. Alexandria was the starting point for the trip to Wadai , where Vogel was missing. The expedition reached Massaua on June 17, 1861 , stayed in the high Bogos lands during the rainy season, but then did not go directly to Khartoum, but made a long detour through Abyssinia to beyond Gondar, whereupon Munzinger and Kinzelbach parted from him and the made a vain attempt to penetrate Wadai via Darfur .

Heuglin penetrated as far as the Gaul Province and on April 4, 1862, established friendly relations with the Abyssinian Emperor Theodor II (Twodoros). The committee then withdrew Heuglin from leading the expedition. The results of the expedition are described in the work The German Expedition in East Africa 1861 and 1862 (Gotha 1864).

In 1863, Heuglin, accompanied by Hermann Steudner, joined the expedition of the Dutch adventurer Alexandrine Tinné , drove her up the Bahr al-Ghazal to Lake Rek and from here continued his journey to the Dembo River , which he continued on July 17th Reached in 1863. Steudner had previously died on April 10, 1863 on the Wauf River . Heuglin also fell ill and was forced to return to Khartoum with Alexine Tinné, whose mother accompanying the expedition had also died, and to Europe in September 1864 via Berbera , Sawakin and Suez .

From 1870 to 1871 Heuglin undertook trips to Spitsbergen and the island of Novaya Zemlya (travel reports in Petermann's Mitteilungen from 1871 to 1874 and in supplementary booklet no. 15). In 1875 he toured the Beni-Amer area; back in Europe, he was preparing for an expedition to the island of Socotra , which never happened. Heuglin died in Stuttgart on November 5, 1876. He found his final resting place in the Prague cemetery there . The medallion on the two meter high block made of reddish slate was designed by Joseph von Kopf and cast by the ore caster Wilhelm Pelargus in Stuttgart.


In 1855 Heuglin received the order of the Württemberg Crown , with which the personal nobility was associated.

After Heuglin include the following taxa are named: Heuglintrappe ( Neotis heuglinii ) Weißbrauenrötel ( Cossypha heuglini ) Tundramöwe ( Larus fuscus heuglini ) Heuglin Wheatear ( Oenanthe heuglini ) Heuglin White-eye ( Zosterops poliogastrus ) and Heuglinweber ( Ploceus heuglini ).

The northernmost point of the island Edgeøya in Spitsbergen -Archipel is now called Cape Heuglin.

In his place of birth, Ditzingen-Hirschlanden, the community school there and a street were named after him.

More fonts

  • Systematic overview of the birds of north-east Africa including the Arabian coast of the Red Sea and the Nile spring countries southwards up to the 4th degree north latitude . Vienna 1856 ( online )
  • Travel in North East Africa. Diary of a trip from Chartum to Abyssinia, made with special attention to zoology and geography in the years 1852 to 1853; with a map, a mountain section and 3 pictures , Perthes, Gotha 1857 ( digitalized )
  • The German expedition in East Africa in 1861 and 1862 . Justus Perthes, Gotha 1864 (with Gottlob Theodor Kinzelbach, Werner Munzinger and Hermann Steudner, online )
  • Systematic overview of the mammals of north-east Africa including the Arabian coast, the Red Sea, the Somali and the Nile spring countries, south to the 4th degree north latitude . Vienna 1866 (with Leopold Fitzinger )
  • Trip to Abyssinia, the Gallic Countries, East Sudán and Chartúm . Hermann Costenoble, Jena 1868, ( online )
  • The ornithology of Northeast Africa, the Nile springs and coastal areas of the Red Sea and the northern Somal country . Theodor Fischer, Kassel 1869-73, Volume 1-1 , Volume 1-2 , Volume 2-1 , Volume 2-2
  • Journey to the area of ​​the White Nile and its western tributaries in the years 1862–64 . Winter'sche Verlagbuchhandlung, Leipzig 1869 ( online )
  • Travel to the Arctic Ocean . 2 volumes., George Westermann, Braunschweig 1872–73 ( online )
  • Trip in Northeast Africa. Descriptions from the area of ​​the Beni Amer and Habab along with zoological sketches and a guide for hunting travelers . George Westermann, Braunschweig 1877, Volume 1 , Volume 2


Web links

Wikisource: Theodor von Heuglin  - Sources and full texts