- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Emil Zuckerkandl

Born  1849
Died  1910

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Austrian anatomist, born September 1, 1849, Raab, Györ, Hungary; died May 28, 1910, Vienna.

Biography of Emil Zuckerkandl

Emil Zuckerkandl studied at the University of Vienna from 1867. He soon became one of the favourite pupils of the anatomist Joseph Hyrtl, of whom he said “he spoke like Cicero and wrote like Heine”. Hyrtl made him demonstrator, later assistant. On Hyrtl's recommendation he worked for a period of time as prosector in Amsterdam. In 1873 he returned to Vienna to become assistant at the pathological-anatomical chair under Carl Freiherr von Rokitansky (1804-1878).

Zuckerkandl obtained his medical doctorate in 1874 and was habilitated in 1880. Besides Rokitansky he also worked with Karl Langer (1819-1887) in anatomy. He became ausserordentlicher professor in 1879, was called to Graz as ordinarius in 1882 and, in 1888, following the death of Langer, assumed the chair at Vienna, where he remained until his death. he was a member of the Akademie der Wissenschaften from 1898.

Zuckerkandl distinguished himself in his sharp observational powers and critical mind. As a researcher he worked in almost all fields of morphology, making notable contributions to the normal and pathological anatomy of the nasal cavity, the anatomy of the facial skeleton, the hearing organs, teeth, blood vessels, the brain (development des Balkens and the Gewölbe), as well as the chromaffine system. He took topographical and comparative anatomy to new heights. His brother was the urologist Otto Zuckerkandl (1861-1921).

In 1876 he discovered the Aquaeductus vestibuli, which had been described by the Italian physician Domenico Felice Antonio Cotugno in 1775, but had fallen into oblivion. This is now referred to as Cotunnius’ aquaduct.

Emil Zuckerkandl is one of (probably) very few medical scientists who is now remembered as much for his wife, as for his achievements in medicine. His wife, Bertha Zuckerkandl-Szeps (1864-1945),
one of the most remarkable personalities of the intellectual Jewish society in Vienna during the last decades of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and up until the darkest hours of history during the Second World War.

Their house became a meeting point, a salon, for the avant garde in arts and science. Amon the guests in their salon were the sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), the painter Gustav Klimt (1862-1918), the architect Otto Wagner (1841-1918), the writer Hermann Bahr (1863-1934), the playwright Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931) and the composer Gustav Mahler (1860-1911), who met his wife Alma there.

While a medical student in Vienna, Zuckerkandl was an excellent fencer and would not suffer insults easily.

We thank Joseph S. Cooper for information submitted.
We thank Ronald Boyle and Tatjana Buklijas for correcting errors.


  • Beobachtungen über den Herzbeutelnerven und den Auricularis vagi.
    Sitzungsberichte der Wiener Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1870.
  • Über die Form- und Texturveränderungen der menschlichen Leber während des Wachsthums. With Karl Toldt (1840-1920).
    Sitzungsberichte der Wiener Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1875.
  • Zur Morphologie des Gesichtsschädels. Stuttgart, 1877.
  • Über den Scheidenforsatz des Bauchfelles und dessen Beziehungen zur äusseren Leistenhernie.
    [von Langenbeck’s] Archiv für klinische Chirurgie, Berlin, 1877.
  • Über eine bisher noch nicht beschriebene Drüse der regio suprahyoidea.
    Stuttgart, 1877.
  • Über die Anastomosen der venae pulmonales mit den Brachialvenen und mit dem Mediastinalvenennetz.
    Sitzungsberichte der Wiener Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1881.
  • Normale und pathologische Anatomie der Nasenhöhle und ihrer pneumatischen Anhänge. 2 volumes. Wien, W. Braumüller, 1882-1892; 2nd edition, 1892-1893.
    French translation: Anatomie normale et pathologique des fosses nasales et de leurs annexes pneumatiques. 2 volumes, 1895.
  • Über die Verbindungen zwischen den arteriellen Gefässen der menschlichen Lunge. Sitzungsberichte der Wiener Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1883.
  • Anat. Beitr. zur Operationstechnik bei Schenkelhernien.
    [von Langenbeck’s] Archiv für klinische Chirurgie, Berlin, 1883.
  • Zur Morphologie des m. tensor tympani. Archiv für Ohrenheilkunde, 1884.
  • Über den Circulationsapparat in der Nasenschleimhaut.
    Denkschriften der kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien, 1884.
  • Beitr. zur Lehre von dem Bau der hyal. Knorpel.
    Sitzungsberichte der Wiener Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1885.
  • Beiträge zur vergeleichenden Anatomie d. Ohrentrompete.
    Archiv für Ohrenheilkunde, Leipzig, 1886.
  • Über das Riechzentrum: eine vergleichend-anatomische Studie. Stuttgart, 1887.
  • Das periphere Geruchsorgan der Säugethiere. Stuttgart, 1887.
  • Das Riechbündel des Ammonhorns. Anatomischer Anzeiger, 1888.
  • Beiträge zur Anatomie des menschlichen Körpers.
    Medizinische Jahrbücher, Wien, 1888.
  • Anleitung für den Seziersaal. Vienna 1891-1896.
  • Makroskopische Anatomie der Mundhöhle.
    Handbuch der Zahnheilkunde, volume 1; Vienna, 1891.
  • Über das epitheliale Rudiment eines 4. Mahlzahns beim Menschen.
    Sitzungsberichte der Wiener Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1891.
  • Die Siebbeinmuscheln des Menschen. Anatomischer Anzeiger, 1892.
  • Makroskopische Anatomie des Ohres.
    In Schwartze’s Handbuch der Ohrenheilkunde, Leipzig, 1892.
  • Zur Anatomie und Entwicklungsgeschichte der Arterien des Vorderarmes.
    Anatomische Hefte, 1895, 4:1-98.
    Anatomische Hefte, 1896, 5:157-205.
  • Atlas der topographischen Anatomie.
    5 volumes. Vienna and Leipzig, 1900-1904.
  • Atlas der descriptiven anatomie des Menschen.
    Wien, Leipzig, W. Braumüller, 1902.
    First published by Carl Heitzmann (1836-1896) in 1870 as Die descriptive und topographische Anatomie des Menschen. This posthumous edition was edited by Emil Zuckerkandl.
  • Atlas und Grundriss der chirurgischen Operationslehre.
    Fifth, expanded and improved edition, München, 1915. XIX + 556 pages. Biographical:
  • Isidor Fischer, publisher:
    Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Ärzte der letzten fünfzig Jahre.
    Berlin – Wien, Urban & Schwarzenberg, 1932.
  • George Berkley:
    Vienna and its Jews: The Tragedy of Success. Cambridge, Abt Books, Madison Books, 1988.
  • Barry G. Firkin and Judith A. Whitworth:
    Dictionary of Medical Eponyms.
    The Parthenon Publishing Group. 1989. New edition in 2002. Bibliography in Anatomischer Anzeiger, 1910, 37: 90.
  • Tatjana Buklijas:
    Dissection, discipline and the urban transformation: anatomy at the University of Vienna, 1845-1914.
    Doctoral dissertation, University of Cambridge, 2005.

We thank Rudolf Kleinert, Bad Reichenhall, Germany, for information submitted.

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