Magnus Hundt was a German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...
and theologian. Together with Otto Casmann he is regarded as the founder of modern anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...
since they invented and popularized the term.
Hundt was born in Magdeburg
Magdeburg , is the largest city and the capital city of the Bundesland of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Magdeburg is situated on the Elbe River and was one of the most important medieval cities of Europe....
in 1449 and began his studies in Leipzig
Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...
at the age of 33, receiving a Baccalaureate in 1484. In 1487, the year he received his advanced degree, he was appointed dean of the Faculty of Arts, and in 1499 he became rector of the University. At some point in his career he is believed to have served as physician to Count Schlick of Joachimsthal. His interests went beyond medicine, and in 1510 he received a doctorate in theology and held a chair in same subject at the University in Meissen
Meissen is a town of approximately 30,000 about northwest of Dresden on both banks of the Elbe river in the Free State of Saxony, in eastern Germany. Meissen is the home of Meissen porcelain, the Albrechtsburg castle, the Gothic Meissen Cathedral and the Meissen Frauenkirche...
, where the University of Leipzig had relocated because of the plague
Plague is a deadly infectious disease that is caused by the enterobacteria Yersinia pestis, named after the French-Swiss bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin. Primarily carried by rodents and spread to humans via fleas, the disease is notorious throughout history, due to the unrivaled scale of death...
. He died in that city in 1519. During his lifetime, Hundt, also known as Magnus Hund and Magnus Canis ("Big Dog" in Latin), composed a book on grammar, commentaries on St. Augustine
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo , also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, St. Austin, St. Augoustinos, Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed, was Bishop of Hippo Regius . He was a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province...
and Pierre Lombard
Peter Lombard was a scholastic theologian and bishop and author of Four Books of Sentences, which became the standard textbook of theology, for which he is also known as Magister Sententiarum-Biography:Peter Lombard was born in Lumellogno , in...
, and diverse philosophical works.
Magnus Hundt's Antropologium de hominis dignitate, natura et proprietatibus, de elementis, partibus et membris humani corporis, published in Leipzig in 1501, serves to explain the body not only anatomically and physiologically, but philosophically and religiously too, stating that humans were created in the image of God and represent a microcosm of the world as God created it. Although the field has evolved to mean something different from how it is used in this work, Hundt's Antropologium contains the first mention ever of the term anthropology. Antropologium contains 17 woodcut illustrations of human anatomy
Human anatomy is primarily the scientific study of the morphology of the human body. Anatomy is subdivided into gross anatomy and microscopic anatomy. Gross anatomy is the study of anatomical structures that can be seen by the naked eye...
, one of which, the human head on the verso of the title page, is repeated once. The illustrations are schematic, rather than accurate depictions. Some of the smaller images first appeared, though often in a more crude form, in Johann Peyligk's Philosophie Naturalis Compendium (Leipzig: Melchior Lotter, 1499).
- Magnus Hundt: Antropologium de hominis dignitate, natura et proprietatibus, de elementis, partibus et membris humani corporis. (Leipzig, 1501). Selected pages scanned from the original work. Historical Anatomies on the Web. US National Library of Medicine.