Karl Gottfried Hagen

Karl Gottfried Hagen (* December 24, 1749 in Königsberg ( Prussia); † March 2, 1829 ) was a German pharmacist and scientific polymath. He replaced the natural sciences from the dependence on the medicine. Hagen was his life in close contact and exchange with the philosopher Immanuel Kant


The Hagen went back in East Prussia to 1584 and came from Schippenbeil that even earlier roots of the patrician family were in the Hanseatic city of Lübeck and in Thuringia / Middle Franconia. Already in the second half of the 17th century they faced in Schippenbeil pharmacists and doctors. Karl Gottfried was the son of Henry Hagen (1709-1772), pharmacists in Königsberg. His mother Marie Elisabeth born son George was a daughter of the owner of the Hofapotheke who could take over his father in 1746. Hagen received private lessons from his uncle, the Reverend George son in Tiefensee, County Heiligenbeil, and visited the old-urban high school (Königsberg ). On January 23, 1769, he enrolled as a medical student at the Albertus University of Königsberg. There he heard Kant Hagen was for many years a guest of the dinner party Kant, stand with the great philosopher up to its end of life in a lively scientific and friendly contact. The court pharmacy supplying the Russian Tsar's family and remained until well into the 1930s in Hagenschem family.

Only once did Hagen a great trip. With its tenants Baron von Salis, he traveled five months through Switzerland and met Salomon Gessner, Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi and Albrecht von Haller's sons.

Significantly was Hagens alchemical library.


Trained by his father for pharmacists, physicians Hagen was taken by Christoph Gottlieb Buettner under the budding; but he preferred a career as a pharmacist. When his father died in 1772, he took over 23 years, the Court Pharmacy vain did his teachers, including Kant and Johann Christoph Bohl to win him for an academic career. On the other hand, wanted the Königsberg pharmacist does not recognize their " broken " colleagues. So a royal special command approved pharmacies operating if the widow hire a licensed provisor and Hagen would pass the exam in Berlin; he succeeded on May 29, 1773 exquisite.

University teacher

After Hagen had led the pharmacy for several years successfully, he was invited by the Faculty of Medicine through its dean Andreas Johannes Orlovius to contact with the university teacher. The doctoral degree would be granted to him for a small cost if it the usual conditions of the exam under delay itself. Then he gave three lectures on sample crystals and crystallize and wrote the Inaugural De stanno. PhD Since 1775, he kept inspiring natural history lectures in the most crowded auditorium of his pharmacy. His textbook of pharmacists art, written at the age of 29 years, brought him great fame. It appeared in eight editions and was translated into four languages. The three parts of botany, mineralogy and chemistry sufficient scientific and practical needs.

Since 1779 Associate Professor, Hagen was appointed in 1783 for a salary of 280 thalers to the chair of medicine. His subsequent appointment to the Privy Medizinalrat improved the professor's salary per year to 100 dollars. At the suggestion of August Wilhelm Heidemann Hagens teaching in 1806 was integrated into the Faculty of Arts. In the same year, his plan of experimental chemistry, which Kant called " logical masterpiece" appeared. In the Kantian table Hagen company admired for its part, Kant's understanding of experimental chemistry without intuition of experiments.

In his pharmacy Hagen taught not only students but also state officials, officers, ministers and councilors. Ludwig von Borstell thanked with a trophy and an engraved silver plate. 1808/ 09 were the Prussian Prince William and Frederick, then once the royal couple with the princesses among the hearers.


In 1787, Hagen the impetus for the establishment of a botanical garden of the University. The competent Minister Karl Abraham Zedlitz the idea came across unreserved consent; but not until 1806 garden plot of Johann Georg Scheffner could be bought, Hagens excitation in 1811 with the Botanical Garden (Königsberg ) was realized. In 1818 he published the work of Prussia plants Nicolovius, Königsberg. His descriptions of nature were beyond as " well worth reading " ..

When in 1797 the artillery school was opened in Königsberg, Hagen taught at this.

Hagen was inducted into the Physikalisch -Economic Society, which had its seat in Morag and was under the patronage of Ewald Friedrich von Hertzberg. In 1799 it moved to Königsberg. Hagen was its president and made them a respected also in non-academic circles society.

Kant and Hagen were pioneers of Humboldt's educational reform. Recent research results also demonstrate that Hagen, who was also a member of the Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, has influenced the development of education in Russia. Early Hagen himself had ceded his lectures to young scholars: the botany at Schweigger, zoology to von Baer, the mathematics of his later son Bessel. As a result, became the University of Konigsberg in the 19th century, a Europe-wide reputation in mathematics, astronomy and the natural sciences.

1812 Hagen founded with Bessel, the physician Remer and Schweigger Königsberg Archive for science and mathematics. In 1820 he founded the Mineralogical Museum of the University.

Scientific Importance

Hagen explained the scientific pharmacy and the experimental laboratory work. Following his example, Justus von Liebig in 1825 taught in a university laboratory casting a. Hagen made ​​the Albertus University in the birthplace of the chemical investigation methods by which Germany within a few years to the supremacy of the chemical was.

In addition to the pharmaceutical and chemical layouts Hagen gave the students and pharmacists a textbook of pharmacist art at hand. The books found at home and abroad a lot of attention and were over half a century to standard works of the German-language teaching.


His brother Johann Heinrich Hagen ( born December 1, 1738 in Schippenbeil, † November 30, 1775 in Königsberg ( Prussia) ) was also pharmacist of Valentin Rose the Elder in Berlin received his education. Having returned to Königsberg, he was on June 24, 1768 the owner of the pharmacy in Kneiphof. On March 2, 1770 he married Henriette Louise mandrel; The marriage remained childless.

Since 1784 was married Karl Gottfried Hagen with Johanna Maria Rabe ( 1764-1829 ). The couple had nine children, four of whom died young. All remained in Königsberg:

  • Carl Heinrich Hagen (1785-1856), economist and rector at the Albertina University of Königsberg
  • Ernst August Hagen (1797-1880), writer and professor of aesthetics and art history in Königsberg
  • Johann Friedrich (1788-1865), chemist, heir to the Imperial Pharmacy
  • Johanna (1794-1885), married to Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel
  • Florentine (1800-1838), married to Franz Ernst Neumann

His nephew was a hydraulic engineer Gotthilf Heinrich Ludwig Hagen.


1800 Hagen was appointed Privy Councillor.

On the 50th anniversary of Doctor he received in 1825 the Red Eagle Order 2nd Class with Oak Leaves. For the same reason the pharmacist of the Kingdom of Prussia could beat a silver medal after a wax model Karl Wichmann in the Berlin Mint. With the pharmacists of the province of East Prussia, the University of Wichmann let make a marble bust.

Finally, Hagen was honored with a medallion next to the Friedrich Burdach at the New University.

One East African tribe of the plant used medicinally Kosobaumblüten was named Hagenia abessynica. Next there is the name Galeopsis Hagenii and in zoology led Karl Ernst von Baer the designation Mytilus Hagenii for a shell. 1829, in Hagen's death in him the Hagen- Bucholz Foundation was founded in honor. Four months after he died his wife. Buried were both on the Altroßgärter cemetery. For the grave in the shade of an oak, a granite cube with four classical urns was delivered at the corners of Berlin.

In the west, on the border with Central hooves, the city of Königsberg named an important tree- Rotkastanien road to the Hagen. In Soviet Kaliningrad, it was renamed Karl- Marx-Straße.


  • Textbook of pharmacist art. First Edition. Hartung, Königsberg in 1778.
  • Textbook of pharmacist art. Second edition. Hartung, Königsberg, 1781. Digitized edition of the University and State Library Dusseldorf
  • Textbook of pharmacist art. Third, legitimate and improved edition. Hartung, Königsberg in 1786. Digitized edition of the University and State Library Dusseldorf
  • Outline of Experimental Chemistry, 1786
  • Textbook of pharmacist art. von Trattner, Vienna, 1788. Digitized edition of the University and State Library Dusseldorf
  • Chemical analysis of water Thurenschen in Prussia. Hartung, Königsberg, 1789.
  • Outline of Experimentalpharmacie for use bey the same lecture. Hartung, Königsberg / Leipzig 1790 Digitized edition of the University and State Library Dusseldorf
  • Textbook of pharmacist art. 6, lawful and verb. Ed Nicolovius, Königsberg, 1806. Digitized edition of the University and State Library Dusseldorf 1 1806