VIRCHOW, Rudolf

VIRCHOW, Rudolf. Schivelbein, Pomerania (now Świdwin in Poland) 13.10.1821 — Berlin 5.9.1902. German Anatomist and Anthropologist. Son of Carl Christian Siegfried Virchow, farmer and town treasurer, and Johanna Maria Hesse. Gymnasium in Köslin (Koszalin). Studies of medicine at Berlin, graduated 1843. Professor of Pathologic Anatomy at Würzburg in 1849-56 and at Berlin from 1856. In 1880-93 Member of German Parliament, as a Liberal opposing to Bismarck. Married 1850 Ferdinande Rosalie Mayer, three daughters and three sons.

Virchow is famous in the history of medicine for his cellular pathology, but a minor footnote in South Asian studies. Unlike many contemporary anthropologist he was anti-racist and argued against anti-semitic propaganda. But he was also an anti-Darwinist. A further interest was prehistoric archaeology. Adolf Bastian was his student.

Publications: Numerous medical publications, edited the Virchow’s Archiv”.

– “Ueber die Weddas von Ceylon und ihre Beziehungen zu den Nachbarstämmen”, 143 p. 3 pl. ABeAW Physisch-mathem. Klasse 1881:1, Englist transl.  The Veddas of Ceylon, and their Relation to Neighbouring Tribes”, JRAS-CB 9:33, 1886 (1888), 349-495 (translated from ABeAW 1881).

–  “Über die Weddas auf Ceylon”, Verhandl. der Berliner Ges. für Anthropol. 1882, 198-303; “Wedda Schädel”, Verhandl. der Berliner Ges. für Anthropol. 1885, 497-501.
– Many articles and reviews in ZfEthnol.

Sources: *E.H. Ackerknecht, R.V.: Doctor, Statesman, Anthropologist. 15+304 p, Madison 1953; *J.L. Myres, Man 3, 1903, 1-4 with drawing; *H. Schipperges, R.V. Reibek 1994; Wikipedia with 6 photos (also German version, both with many further references).

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