Hinrich Lichtenstein: a natural historian in Africa and Europe (ZfAS, Basel)

Näf, Sandra. Hinrich Lichtenstein: a natural historian in Africa and Europe (ZfAS, Basel). 2009, Master Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/60435/

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When Hinrich Lichtenstein arrived in Cape Town in December 1802, he just had received his university degree in medicine in Helmstedt/Germany. Ten years later, he held a chair of zoology at the new university in Berlin and again thirty years later he founded the zoological garden in Berlin. In my examinations I focused on the factors that predisposed the young medical scientist to become Berlin’s first Professor of Zoology. As a man of multiple interests, he contributed after his journeys at the Cape many articles in the fields of medicine, linguistics, anthropology and the natural sciences and published the two volumes of his book «Travels in Southern Africa in the years 1803, 1804, 1805 and 1806» in 1811 and 1812. At a time, when a body of professional scientists emerged and Berlin became one of the principle settings for the meteoric rise of German science, Lichtenstein was able to negotiate and exploit social life in the Prussian capital to further his career. The research showed that Lichtenstein’s role in Berlin was rather that of an organiser and patron of knowledge than that of a researcher. But since he became the director of the Natural History museum, he was responsible to raise funds, acquire collections, buy specimens, mount expeditions and send collectors to the Cape and elsewhere. With the latter, Lichtenstein shaped the scientific landscape of Prussia probably more than is evident at a first glance.
Advisors:Harries, Patrick
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Geschichte > Ehemalige Einheiten Geschichte > Geschichte Afrikas (Harries)
UniBasel Contributors:Harries, Patrick
Item Type:Thesis
Thesis Subtype:Master Thesis
Thesis status:Complete
Last Modified:05 Apr 2018 17:38
Deposited On:06 Feb 2018 11:27

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