FUCHS Leonhart - Germany - 1501 - 1566

FUCHS Leonhart Born in Wemding in Bavaria, Fuchs was gifted with such natural intelligence that he attended the University of Erfurt at 13 years of age. He studied and taught art and medicine in Ingolstadt and furthered his knowledge of nature and botany in consultation with works by his contemporaries Bock and Gesner.

Main work: De Historia Stirpium, Basilea, Isingrin, 1542.

Botanical interests: Fuchs’ studies on medicinal plants are particularly interesting for his analysis of plant nomenclature derived from the classical authors. He was aware of the scarce knowledge of physicians in the field of botany and prepared an herbal that contains the largest number of species described up to that point, with much more precise illustrations than those by his contemporary Otto Brunfels. From the phytographic point of view Fuchs is extremely interesting because his descriptions are realistic, while he is not important in the history of classification because he continued to use alphabetical ordering. His principal work, De Historia Stirpium (1542) was translated into German and French. Others works are Herbarium ac stirpium istoria (1544) and Plantarum effigies (1552).