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Robert Friedrich Froriep

Born 1804
Died 1861

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German anatomist, born February 2, 1804, Jena; died June 15, 1861, Weimar.

Biography of Robert Friedrich Froriep

Robert Friedrich Froriep was the son of the physician Ludwig Friedrich von Froriep (1779-1847). He received his doctorate in Bonn in 1828, and then spent the following winter in Paris. On December 21, 1830, he married Wilhelmine Ammermüller in Tübingen. They got nine children, of whom five lived to adult age.

He moved on to Jena, where his foreign papers were accepted. He became a Privatdocent in Jena in 1831. Later the same year he became a Privatdocent in Berlin, where he was appointed professor extraordinary of surgical anatomy. From 1833 to 1846 Froriep was prosector and conservator of the pathological museum at the Charité hospital. In this position he was Rudolf Virchow's (1821-1902) mentor. Virchow succeeded Froriep as Prosector at the Charité in 1847. They coresponeded frquently until Froriep's death.

While prosector, Froriep augmented his income by working at a private clinic and teaching anatomic drawing at the Academy of Fine Arts. In 1836 he became Medicinalrat and member of the Medicinal Collegium of the province of Brandenburg.

To Froriep the academy of art must have been something of a favourite place, as he himself had a great talent both as a graphic artist and painter. He made the original drawings for his own works, and also imported expensive foreign copperplates for reproduction in Germany.

At the Charité, Froriep had at rocky relationship with Johannes Müller. When his father became, Froriep took the opportunity to leave his positions at the University of Berlin and the academy. He moved to Weimar in the spring of 1846 to succeed his father as director of the Weimarischer Landes-Industrie-Comptoir, where he was publisher of illustrated scientific and medical works. In 1851 he began practicing medicine once more, and in 1855 sold the Landes-Industrie-Comptoir to Ludwig Denicke from Lüneburg.

Although Froriep made no major discoveries in his two medical disciplines, descriptive and pathological anatomy, his work was of great importance for making foreign discoveries known to German scientists, and he did a great effort to popularize expensive foreign illustrated works, that without his efforts would have remained unknown to German physicians.

In 1829 Froriep published Thomas Bateman’s (1778-1821) Abbildungen der Hautkrankheiten, Weimar, 1829. He also published translations of works by Sir Astley Paston Cooper (1768-1841), Guillaume Dupuytren (1777-1835), Joseph Louis Sanson (1790-1841), and Louis-Jacques Bégin (1793-1859).

From 1830 Froriep was co-editor and main contributor to Notizen aus dem Gebiete der Natur- und Heilkunde that had been established by his father. Following its 100th volume he changed its name to Tagesberichte über die Fortschritte der Natur- und Heilkunde (1850-1852). However, in the period from 1856 to 1861 it reappeared under its original title. From 1857 he published a popular journal titled Der ärztliche Hausfreund.

His son, August Froriep, 1849-1917, became a physician like his father and grandfather. He is remembered for Froriep's ganglion.

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