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Hannover and Ibsen: two Danish anatomists in the middle of the 19th century. Were they enemies?



Hannover and Ibsen: two Danish anatomists in the middle of the 19th century. Were they enemies?



Dansk Medicinhistorisk Arbog 2002: 219-226



Adolph Hannover (1814-94), Danish anatomist and pathologist, introduced the microscopy to the medical research in Denmark. He published several papers on anatomy and pathology, among others Om Mikroskopets Bygning og dets Brug (1847) which was translated to several European languages, among others to English On the structure of the microscope and its use. As a jew he never succeeded in obtaining a post at the University of Copenhagen, Ib Pedersen Ibsen (1801-62) was educated at the Academia Chirurgorium Regia, the college of surgeons in Copenhagen, and he never became a scholarly anatomist, writing one paper only, published after his death. He was a competent anatomist and an appreciated teacher. The two anatomists competed for a post as lecturer in anatomy at the University of Copenhagen. Ibsen obtained the job after a public competition. The Museum of Medical History in Copenhagen is in possession of Ibsen's own copy of Hannover's dissertation on the cartilage, the muscles and the nerves of the external ear. In this copy Ibsen by hand has written some critical and unkind remarks against Hannover. Was this a sign of hostility? We conclude that they hardly were friends, but that the language between colleagues at the university could be rather harsh at that time.

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