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Friedrich Jolly


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German psychiatrist and neurologist, born November 24, 1844, Heidelberg; died January 4, 1904, Berlin.

Biography of Friedrich Jolly

Friedrich Jolly came from a family that had migrated from France to Baden, Germany. He was the son of the physicist Philipp Jolly, who is eponymously remembered for a device, now largely obsolete, for determining the specific gravity of solids and liquids.

Jolly studied in Munich and Göttingen where he, under Georg Meissner (1829-1905), published his first scientific work already in his 4th term. He obtained his doctorate in Munich in 1867 and, influenced by Wilhelm Griesinger (1817-1868) and Aloys von Gudden (1824-1886), turned to neurology and psychiatry. In 1868 he became assistant under Gudden and Hubert von Grashey (1839-1914) at the lunatic asylum Werneck, in 1870 assistant to Franz von Rinecker (1811-1883) at the Irrenabteilung of the Julius-Spital in Würzburg.

Jolly was habilitated in Würzburg in 1871, and already in 1873 became professor extraordinary and director of the psychiatric clinic in Strassburg, in 1874 full professor of psychiatry. In 1890 he was called to Berlin to succeed Karl Friedrich Otto Westphal (1833-1890) as ordentlicher öffentlicher professor at the medical faculty as well as director of the psychiatric and nerve clinic of the royal Charité. He was also privy medical counsellor at Heidelberg.

Jolly’s work concerns a wide variety of anatomical and medical questions as well as questions of the care for the mentally ill.


  • Untersuchungen über den Gehirndruck und über die Blutbewegung im Schädel.
    Habilitation thesis; Würzburg, 1871.
  • Bericht über die Irrenabteilung des Julius-Spitals. 1873.
  • Hysterie und Hypochondrie.
    In Hugo Wilhelm von Ziemssen (1829-1902) et al: Handbuch der speciellen Pathologie und Therapie. Leipzig, 1877.
  • Hypochondrie.
    In Hugo Wilhelm von Ziemssen (1829-1902) et al: Handbuch der speciellen Pathologie und Therapie. Supplementary volume, Leipzig, 1877, 1878, pp. 203-308.
  • Untersuchungen über den elektrischen Leistungswiderstand. 1884.
  • Irrthum und Wahnsinn. 1893.
  • Ernst Siemerling (1857-1931):
    Zur Erinnerung an Friedrich Jolly. Berlin, 1904.
  • Biography in: Deutsche Irrenärzte, 1924, 2: 223.
We thank Rudolf Kleinert, Bad Reichenhall, Germany, for information submitted.

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