Albrecht von Haller

Albrecht von Haller ( born October 16, 1708 Bern, † December 12, 1777 ) was a Swiss physician, botanist and science writer living in the Age of Enlightenment. Haller's botanical author abbreviation is " Haller ", but it is also "Hall. " In use.

Given the wide range of his abilities was Haller as a polymath. He was a son of the anatomist Hermann Friedrich Teichmeyer. His achievements in anatomical and bibliographic area were for medical long-term significance. In addition, Haller emerged as a poet and literary critic. He gained enduring fame in this area, especially as the creator of the monumental seal the Alps.

  • 3.1 Scientific works
  • 3.2 poetic works
  • 3.3 Correspondence
  • 4.1 During his lifetime,
  • 4.2 After his death
  • 4.3 names and technical terms 4.3.1 Anatomy
  • 4.3.2 Botany
  • 4.3.3 Astronomy


Albrecht Haller studied from 1723 Science and Medicine in Tübingen. In 1725 he traveled to the Netherlands and received his PhD in 1727 in Leiden at Herman Boerhaave. In England and France he settled at prestigious schools and hospitals continue to train and returned to Switzerland in 1728 to study at the University of Basel mathematics and botany. From 1729 he worked as a general practitioner in Bern, received in 1734 the post of town physician and was in 1735 head of the Central Library of Bern. 1736 he moved to the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg at the recently founded University of Göttingen to the chair of anatomy, surgery and botany. He lay there in a botanical garden, was awarded an honorary doctorate and personal physician George II. Vocations to Utrecht and Oxford rejected from Albrecht von Haller. Emperor Francis I. raised him in 1749 in the hereditary nobility.

In 1747 he took over the management of Gottingen newspapers of learned things, a call to Berlin, he refused. During this time his infamous querelle with French colleagues Julien Offray de La Mettrie falls (see references therein). In 1751 he founded the Evangelical Reformed congregation Göttingen together with 40 other people. Haller also took care of the construction of the church of the Reformed church, construction was completed on 11 November 1753. The first pastor of the church brought Haller as a lecturer in philosophy at the University of Göttingen.

Beginning in 1752 declared Haller ready to take over the management of the first expedition of a German Christlob Mylius, to America. With the scientific self-taught Mylius he stood since January 1751 in the correspondence. The idea for this trip about Suriname and British North America was in the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin. Haller changed the destination to Eben- Ezer, Georgia, where he knew German contacts. The financing of the expedition should be ensured by a variety of sponsors, for their fund-raising and the traveler had to help themselves. Haller, the Göttingen voyage to a project of the Academy made ​​as president of the Academy of Sciences and for Mylius appointed to a corresponding Academician, declined to major gift from the house of Austria by Gerard van Swieten, so that the financing of the trip remained fragile. In addition, there were organizational problems (short-term changes to the itinerary, delays in money and postal transfers ). Because private affairs had to be rushed Haller to Bern to leave before Mylius could meet him in Göttingen. Although Mylius sent press-ready essays, translations and preparations to Haller and his representative Samuel Christian Hollmann, yet Haller gave him repeated travel delay and wasted money before. The expedition eventually failed with Mylius ' death on March 6, 1754 after a long illness in London.

In Bern Haller held in 1753 the post of City Hall 's Office, 1754 Board of Education, 1755 Head of the orphanage. After the expiration of his term he was in 1758 director of the salt mines of Roche. The post offered him a chancellor in Göttingen he declined after fierce opposition from his family. His last years were marked by illness.

His estate is located in the Burgerbibliothek Bern.

He was the grandfather of the Swiss constitutional lawyer, politician, journalist and economist Karl Ludwig von Haller (1768-1854), whose main work, the restoration of political science (1816-1834) for the period of the restoration was eponymous.



Haller published some 50,000 pages mainly scientific texts of high quality so much as hardly any research before or after him.

Haller's importance in the history of medicine is rooted primarily in his role as anatomical scientists. Through the preparation of nearly 400 corpses, he managed to portray in previously unattainable perfection the course of the arteries in the human body. Further studies were of the flow of the blood, the structure of the bone, and embryonic development. The systematic implementation of numerous animal experiments for the determination of sensibility and irritability ( irritability ) of individual body parts, the results triggered a Europe-wide controversy, it also makes the founder of modern experimental physiology. Haller recognized the importance of the blood vessels for the healing of bone fractures by experimental investigation first. As an organizer of science he made crucial services to the institutional realization of the ideal of the unity of research and teaching through its activities in the Göttingen Society of Sciences.

With the anatomical illustrations in the " Icones anatomicae " from 1756 he exhibited for the first time the course of the arteries in the human body represents the illustrations for this book come from CJ Rollinus.

In his eight-volume standard work Elementa corporis humani physiologiae (1757-1766), which saw new editions up into the 20th century, Haller provided a critical compilation of the anatomical- physiological knowledge of his time. For the Yverdon Institute and the supplementary volumes of the Paris Encyclopédie Haller has authored approximately 200 lexical entries of partly considerable length to the fields of anatomy and physiology. Moreover, he put on three medical bibliographies, in which the entire medical literature was found to in his time and critical comments.


As a poet, Haller joined by his 1732 collection of poems, first published attempt forth Swiss poems, in which the famous, even there, dated by Haller on 1729 poem was The Alps. There was probably no poet German tongue in the 18th century who did not know this poem. Role model in the literature of the Enlightenment also obtained his philosophical didactic poems on religious, ethical and metaphysical basic questions of time: wrote about the origin of evil and imperfect poem about the eternity of the expanded second edition of 1734 Haller as a literary critic throughout his life so many. reviews of contemporary art, that it was rumored he would even read on the horse yet. At the age Haller wrote a series of political novels in which he played by basic models of state order forms to historically distant agents.


Scientific works

  • Notes to Boerhaave's Institutiones. 7 volumes, 1739-1744
  • Enumeratio methodica stirpium Helveticae indigenarum (description of the Swiss Alps Flora). 1742
  • Primae lineae physiologiae. 1747
  • Opuscula Anatomica sua: De respiratione de monstris aliaque minora. 1751
  • De partibus corporis humani sensilibus et irritabilibus. 1752
  • Onomatologia medica completa: or medici African lexicon, clear and complete Expound all terms and words of art, which are the Arzneywissenschaft and Apoteckerkunst own. Ulm 1755. Digitized edition of the University and State Library Dusseldorf
  • Elementa corporis humani physiologiae. 8 volumes, 1757-1766 Rudiments of Phisiologie the human body. Translated from the Latin of Johann Samuel Hall. 8 volumes, Berlin 1759-1776 (Vol. 1 as digitized and full text in German Text Archive, Vol 2 as digitized and full text in German Text Archive, Vol 3 as digitized and full text in German Text Archive, Vol 5 as digitized and full-text in the Deutsches text Archive )

Poetic works

  • Haller in Holland. (Diary April 25, 1725 - May 23, 1727). Het dagboek van Albrecht von Haller van zijn verblijf in Holland (1725-1727), a total sorry en geannoteerd door Dr GA Lindeboom. Uitgave van de Kon. Ned. Gist -en Spiritusfabriek N.V. te Delft, 1958.
  • Attempt Swiss poems, Bern 1732 ( inter alia in the poem The Alps 1729 ) (!) " Zweyte, increased and revised edition " udT Attempt by Swiss poems of 1734 ( in, inter alia, the poems about the origin of evil and imperfect poem about eternity ); further revisions to any condition; become classic are the versions of the " Ninth, lawful, increased and altered edition " udT Attempt Swiss poems from 1762
  • Usong. An Oriental History, 1771
  • Alfred, king of the Anglo-Saxons, 1773
  • Fabius and Cato, 1774
  • Letters on some objections still living Frey spirits again the revelation (3 parts), 1775-1777


With various important people of his time stood by Haller in frequent correspondence. Albrecht von Haller was one of the most prolific correspondents of the 18th century. Testify about 12,000 sent to him and 17,000 written by him letters that make up that part of Haller's estate, which is now kept in the Bernese Burgerbibliothek. The content was essentially scientific exchange, as has been generally maintained in the 18th century by scholars. Haller was aware of the scientific significance of his collection of letters. He himself began many of his letters in Latin and German language to publish in several volumes. Mentioned are his letters to John Gessner, Charles Bonnet, Simon -Auguste Tissot, Eberhard Friedrich von Gemmingen, Horace - Bénédict de Saussure, Giovanni Battista Morgagni, Ignazio Somis, Carl Linnaeus, Christian Gottlob Heyne and Marcantonio Caldani.


Haller received both during his lifetime and after his death, a large number of honors and awards. Especially in the anatomy numerous technical terms are associated with his name.

During his lifetime,

After his death

  • On the 500 - franc note of the Swiss National Bank from 1976 ( sixth series ) Haller was mapped.
  • In Bern Attica still image Haller is on the facade of the main building of the Cantonal Bank.
  • On the occasion of the 300th birthday of Albrecht von Haller brought the Swiss Post in the spring of 2008, issuing a special stamp worth 85 cents. Mapped to it are four profile measurements Haller, three profiles indicate Haller's work in medicine, botany, and literature. The fourth ( and foremost ) profile shows a bronzed plaster bust of Albrecht von Haller.
  • In Göttingen, the Institute of Plant Sciences, Georg- August University, Albrecht von Haller was named. The Medical Faculty of the University awards the Albrecht von Haller Medal. In the Hall of the University, there is a bust, just as in the Old Botanical Gardens.
  • In the Walhalla near Regensburg Haller's a bust was erected.
  • 1894 Haller Street was named after him in Vienna.

Names and technical terms


  • Haller shear vessel rim, Circle Of Willis ( vasculosus ) Neuritis: The arterial ring around the entrance of the optic nerve into the eyeball of the Aa. ciliary posterior is fed. The vessels pass into the eyeball and form in the choroid, the Haller- layer (lamina vasculosa ). The discovery of the arterial circle of the optic nerve is also attributed to the Göttingen ophthalmologist Johann Gottfried Zinn ( 1727-1759 ). The priority is difficult to decide, since the lifetimes of both researchers overlap. Tin is likely to have his observations made ​​from 1753 to 1755 and possibly earlier than v. Haller.
  • Tripus Halleri: The division of the celiac artery into its three branches: common hepatic artery, splenic artery ( seu splenic artery ), the left gastric artery.
  • Ansa Halleri: anastomosis of the glossopharyngeal nerve to the facial nerve. What von Haller at that time could not know is this anastomosis to the parasympathetic innervation of the parotid gland. The fibers from the inferior salivatory nucleus pull via the glossopharyngeal nerve, tympanic plexus, lesser petrosal nerve to the otic ganglion, where they are switched to their second neuron. The postganglionic parasympathetic fibers are laid the auriculotemporal nerve of the mandibular nerve ( trigeminal nerve 3 ) and go with him to the area in front of the ear where they anastomose with the parotid plexus of the facial nerve.
  • Ansa Haller Sappey: anastomosis of the glossopharyngeal nerve with auricular branch of the vagus nerve to the sensory innervation of the external auditory canal.
  • Arcus lumbocostalis medial and lateral arcuate ligament seu internum et externum diaphragmatis Halleri: The Psoasarkade and Quadratusarkade, which together form the lateral crus of lumbar part of the diaphragm.
  • A. abdominalis subcutanea of Haller: Today superficial epigastric artery.
  • A. alaris Halleri seu alaris glandulosa axillary seu alar thoracic: arterial branch to the skin and lymph nodes of the armpit. You will no longer be listed in modern anatomy books and would have one today unnamed branch of the superior thoracic artery or the lateral thoracic artery be.
  • Vicious callosus Halleri: The annulus fibrosus cordis, the fibrous heart skeleton at the boundary between the atria and ventricles of the heart for the attachment of the two atrioventricular valves.
  • Circulus venosus mamillae Halleri: the venous plexus around the nipple.
  • Coni vasculosi Halleri: Among von Haller understood not only the Coni sensu strictu vasculosi ( the efferent ductules in the head of the epididymis ), but all tubules in the testes.
  • Fretum Halleri: The bottleneck between the embryonic heart and the bulbus aortae where later develop the pockets of the aortic valve.
  • Glandulae Halleri = solitary lymphoid follicles in the gut.
  • Habenula Halleri: The rudimentary processus vaginalis of the peritoneum. The processus vaginalis is an outpouching of the peritoneum through the inguinal canal. When man is its distal end to the cavum serosum scrotum containing the testes after its descent. The proximal part of the processus vaginalis is obliterated and re-forms as a rule. If he persists, he may make the hernia sac for congenital hernias. In women, the entire processus vaginalis forms usually return. He persisted, he called diverticulum Nucki by the Leiden anatomist Anton Nuck ( 1650-1692 ).
  • Ligament colicum Halleri: The right part of the gastrocolic ligament, therefore, a part of the greater omentum ( omentum majus).
  • Pons hepatic Halleri: A functionally insignificant, optional bridge of liver tissue over the mouth portion of the ligamentum teres hepatis.
  • Rete testis vasculosum ( von Haller ): The rete testis in the mediastinum testis ( testicle ).
  • Taenia semicircularis of the thalamus ( von Haller ): A layer in the lateral geniculate body of the diencephalon.
  • Vasa aberrantia Halleri: Identification of efferent ductules, which persists as Urnierengänge, but not connected to the mesonephric duct ( Urnierenkanal, later epididymal duct ) find.
  • Velum choroid plexus interpositum Halleri: The Tela chorioidea in the third cerebral ventricle of the diencephalon.
  • Haller blind sac: sinus obliquus pericardii in the heart.
  • Haller hernia: Hernia vaginalis. Very rare hernia through the structure of the pelvic floor.


  • The genus of the plant family of Halleria L. Stilbaceae was named in honor of Haller.


  • The asteroid ( 1308) Halleria was named after Haller.