- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Abraham Vater

Born  1684
Died  1751

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German anatomist and botanist, born December 9, 1684, Wittenberg; died November 18, 1751, Wittenberg.

Biography of Abraham Vater

Abraham Vater was the son of the Wittenberg physician Christian Vater (1651-1732). He entered the university of Wittenberg in 1702, first studying philosophy, then of medicine. He was conferred doctor of philosophy in Wittenberg in 1706, and in 1710 was made doctor of medicine in Leipzig. He subsequently went on a scientific journey taking him through Germany, Holland and England. In Amsterdam he visited Frederik Ruysch (1638-1731). Upon his return to Wittenberg two years later he was habilitated as a Dozent.

In 1719 Vater was appointed extraordinary professor of anatomy and botany, and in 1732 this tenure was made into a full professorship. In this position Vater founded an anatomical museum which contributed to his even greater fame. In 1737 he was appointed to the chair of pathology, but he himself never taught this discipline, concentrating on his teaching of anatomy. In 1746 he was appointed professor of therapy, holding this tenure until his death.

Vater's written work chiefly concerns themes of anatomy, but he also left works on botany, surgery, gynaecology, chemistry, pathology, and pharmacology. Vater is special in that he gave anatomical demonstrations to women, and occasioned that the corpses of people who had committed suicide were used in anatomy.


  • Dissertatio anatomica quo novum bilis diceticulum circa orificum ductus choledochi ut et valvulosam colli vesicae felleae constructionem ad disceptandum proponit.
    Wittenbergae, lit. Gerdesianus, 1720.
  • Das Blatter-Beltzen oder die Art und Weise, die Blattern durch künstliche Einpfropfung zu erwecken. Wittenberg, 1721.
    Compare also: Ausführliche Nachricht von der Beschaffenheit und Success des Blatter-Beltzens in Neu-England; aus dem Englischen nach Benj. Colman. 1723.
  • De calculis in locis inusitatis natis et per vias insolitas exclusis. 1741.
  • De instrumentoro ad determinandas lucis refractiones. 1751.
  • Diss. qua valor et sufficienta signorum infantem recens natum aut mortuum aut vivum editum arguentium examinatur. 1735.
Albrecht von Haller (1708-1777) occasioned the reprinting of a large number of Vater’s works.

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