Schuh’s Annotated Bio-Bibliography

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SENNERT, Daniel.

(1572 – 1637)

(Born: Breslau, Germany, 25 November 1572; Died: Wittenberg, Germany, 21 July 1637) German physician.

Sennert studied at Leipzig, Jena, and Frankfort an der Oder. After receiving his medical degree, he became a professor at the University of Wittenberg. He was a follower of Paracelsus in his chemical theories, and tried to compromise between Paracelsian and Aristotelian-Galenic Medicine, but opposed blind adherence to Paracelsus. He became personal physician to the Elector of Saxony.

Biographical references: ADB: 34, p. 34-5. Biographie Universelle. DBA: I 1178, 89-102. DSB: 12, p. 310-3 [By H. Kangro]. Gmelin, Geschichte der Chemie, 1797-9: 1, 1, p. 596. Jöcher, Gelehrten-Lexikon, 1750-51. Kopp, Geschichte der Chemie, 1843-7: 2, iii, p. 160. Nouvelle Biographie Générale (Hoefer). Partington, History of Chemistry, 1961-70: 2, p. 271-6. Poggendorff: 2, cols. 907-8. World Who's Who in Science: p. 1523. Zischka, Allgemeines Gelehrten-Lexikon, 1961: p. 598.

Epitome, 1618

1. Latin, 1618 [First edition].
Danielis Sennerti | Uratislaviensis | Epitome | Naturalis | Scientiæ. | 16 [ornament] 18. | Cum Gratia & Privilegio Electoris Saxoniæ. | VVitebergæ, Impensis Caspari Heiden Bibliopol. | Ex officiná Typographicá Nicolai Ballij.

8°: [16], 643 (i.e., 651), [20] p., illus.

Very rare. One of Sennert's chief works is this treatment of natural science, which has relevancy to mineralogy and chemistry. Sennert developed ideas about the atomic structure of objects. He showed that gold could be precipitated from acids in which it had been dissolved because gold atoms retained their fundamental essence inside the solution. Expanding Paracelsus' theories he also postulated four kinds of atoms corresponding to the four elements, and suggested that substances of the second order were formed by the combination of primary atoms. These atoms or corpuscles as he viewed them is based on observations he made in the laboratory instead of pure philosophical speculation. Sennert attempts to explain chemical phenomena through the interaction of these minute corpuscles. His observations on minerals, stones, and metals are contained in chapter IV, `De Lapidibus et Gemmis' (The Stones and the Gems) and V, `De Metallis' (The Metals). The first edition of the \t{Epitome Naturalis Scientiæ} contains his first statement on these ideas, which were only fully expanded in the later editions. Strangely, Sennert's influence in the development of chemistry, with the exception of Partington (1961-70), has never been fully explored by historians of science.

Bibliographical references: Hooykaas, R., "The experimental origin of chemical atomic and molecular theory before Boyle," Chymia, 2 (1949), p. 65-80. Newman, William Royall., Promethean ambitions: Alchemy and the quest to perfect nature. New York, 2005. 333 p., illus [p. 102-3]. NLM 17th Century Books (Krivatsy): no. 10936. Partington, History of Chemistry, 1961-70: 2, p. 271-6. VD17: 23:295036C.

2. Latin, 1624 [Second edition].
Danielis Sennerti | Uratislaviensis | Epitome | Naturalis | Scientiæ. | 16 [ornament] 24. | Editio Secunda | Auctior & Correctior. | Cum gratia & Privilegio Electoris Saxoniæ. | Witebergæ, | Impensis Caspari Heiden Bibliopol. | Exofficiná Typrograhicá | Jobi Wilhelmi Fincelii.

8°: [16], 674, [24] p., illus. Rare.

Bibliographical references: VD17: 14:637142G.

3. Latin, 1633 [Third edition].
Daniel Sennerti | Vratislaviensis | Epitome | Naturalis | Scientiæ. | [ornament] | Editio Tertia | Prioribus auctior & emendatior. | Cum gratia & Privilegio Electoris Saxoniæ. | Wittebergæ, | Impensis Johannis Helvvigii Bibl. | [rule] | Typis Ambrosii Rothi Acad. Typogr. | Anno M DC XXXIII.

8°: ):(8 A-Z8 Aa-Yy8 Zz5; 373l.; [16], 706, [24] p. Rare.

Bibliographical references: VD17: 1:091014C.

4. Latin, 1650 [Another edition].
[Engraved title page, with text contained within an ornate border, reads:] Danelis Sennerti | Vratislaviensis | Eptiome | Natvralis | Scientiæ | Francofurti | Impensis Caspari Wichtlers | 1650.

8°: [16], 706, [22] p., illus. Rare.

Bibliographical references: VD17: 39:113739B.

5. Latin, 1651 [Another edition].
Epitome Naturalis Scientiæ. Editio Ultima. Amsterdam, Sumptibus Dioannis Ravensteninus, 1651.

12°: $\star$6 A-Ii12 Kk-Ll6; 402l.; [12], 679, [23] p. Engraving, page 325. Page size: 128 x 169 mm.

Rare. Appended is a second part with a separate title page: `Auctarium Eptiomes Physicæ.'

Bibliographical references: NLM 17th Century Books (Krivatsy): no. 10937.