Georgius Agricola

Georgius Agricola (/əˈɡrɪkələ/; born Georg Bauer; 24 March 1494 – 21 November 1555) was a German Humanist scholar, mineralogist and metallurgist. Born in the small town of Glauchau, in the Electorate of Saxony of the Holy Roman Empire, he was broadly educated, but took a particular interest in the mining and refining of metals. For his groundbreaking work De Natura Fossilium published in 1546, he is generally referred to as the Father of Mineralogy.[1]

Georgius Agricola
Georgius Agricola (fictive 1927 portrait)
Georg Bauer

24 March 1494 (1494-03-24)
Died21 November 1555 (1555-11-22) (aged 61)
CitizenshipHoly Roman Empire
Alma materLeipzig University
Scientific career

He is well known for his pioneering work De re metallica libri XII, that was published in 1556, one year after his death. This 12-volume work is a comprehensive and systematic study, classification and methodical guide on all available factual and practical aspects, that are of concern for mining, the mining sciences and metallurgy, investigated and researched in its natural environment by means of direct observation. Unrivalled in its complexity and accuracy, it served as the standard reference work for two centuries. Agricola stated in the preface, that he will exclude all those things which I have not myself seen, or have not read or heard of.[...].That which I have neither seen, nor carefully considered after reading or hearing of, I have not written about.[2]

As a scholar of the Renaissance he was committed to a universal approach towards learning and research. He published over 40 complete scholarly works during his professional life on a wide range of subjects and disciplines, such as pedagogy, medicine, metrology, mercantilism, pharmacy, philosophy, geology, history, and many more. His innovative and comprehensive scholarly work, based on new and precise methods of production and control, has made his work a central part of scholarship and understanding of science during that period.[3]

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