Portrait: Alexander von Humboldt, not only in South America still a super star

Friday, 4 March 2011 - 08:34 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: Portrait

Alexander von Humboldt, 1806, painted by Friedrich Georg Weitsch

Alexander von Humboldt, 1806, painted by Friedrich Georg Weitsch

Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander Freiherr von Humboldt (September 14, 1769 – May 6, 1859) was a German naturalist and explorer, and the younger brother of the Prussian minister, philosopher, and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767–1835). Humboldt’s quantitative work on botanical geography was the foundation of the field of biogeography. Between 1799 and 1804, Humboldt traveled extensively in Latin America, exploring and describing it for the first time in a manner generally considered to be a modern scientific point of view. His description of the journey was written up and published in an enormous set of volumes over 21 years. He was one of the first to propose that the lands bordering the Atlantic Ocean were once joined (South America and Africa in particular). Later, his five-volume work, Kosmos (1845), attempted to unify the various branches of scientific knowledge. Humboldt supported and worked with other scientists, including Joseph-Louis Gay-Lussac, Justus von Liebig, Louis Agassiz, Matthew Fontaine Maury, and most notably, Aimé Bonpland, with whom he conducted much of his scientific exploration.

Alexander von Humboldt thought an approach to science was needed that could account for the harmony of nature among the diversity of the physical world. For Humboldt, “the unity of nature” meant that interrelation of all physical sciences- such as the conjoining between biology, meteorology, and geology that determined where specific plants grew- which the scientist unraveled by discovering myriad, painstakingly collected data, which turned into an enduring foundation for others to follow. Humboldt viewed nature holistically. He tried to explain natural phenomena without the appeal to religious dogma. Humboldt used extensive observation to get the truth from the natural world. He had a vast array of the most sophisticated scientific instruments ever before assembled. His perception of LatinAmerica and his inhabitants would be of a positive, great influence in Europe. Each had its own velvet lined box and was the most accurate and portable of its time. Essentially everything would be measured with the finest and most modern instruments and sophisticated techniques available, for all the collected data was the basis of all scientific understanding. This quantitative methodology would become known as “Humboldtian science.” Humboldt wrote “Nature herself is sublimely eloquent. The stars as they sparkle in firmament fill us with delight and ecstasy, and yet they all move in orbit marked out with mathematical precision.”

Even today, Humboldt is revered and celebrated for his services in South America. There is hardly a town or village where there is not some kind of activity that bears his name. Besdides other activities e.g. the Chilean Navy use the pretty well quiped research vessel “Humboldt” for their the ongoing research on the Humboldt Current.

Read more on Wikipedia Alexander von Humboldt.


Recommended posts:

Share this post: (Please note data protection regulations before using buttons)

The United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.

[caption id="attachment_193166" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Barack Obama's 2009 Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol © flickr.com - Steve Jurvetson/cc-by-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The United States Capitol, often called the Capitol Building, is the home of the United States Congress, and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. It is located on Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Though no longer at the geographic center of the Federal District, the Capitol for...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Styria - Köflach

Theme Week Styria - Köflach

[caption id="attachment_153214" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Holy Andreas Church © Isiwal/cc-by-sa-3.0-at[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Köflach is a small city in the district of Voitsberg in Styria, at the foot of the Stubalpe mountain. The town has a population of roughly 10,000 and contains a federal stud in the village of Piber that supplies the Lipizzaner horses to the famous Spanish Riding School in Vienna. Traditionally known for its coal mining, Köflach is slowly changing from an industrial town to a center of...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Jordan - Wadi Mujib Biosphere Reserve

Theme Week Jordan - Wadi Mujib Biosphere Reserve

[caption id="attachment_165890" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Canyon of Wadi Mujib © YousefTOmar/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Wadi Mujib, known as the biblical River Arnon, is a river in Jordan which enters the Dead Sea c 420 metres (1,380 ft) below sea level. During the last Ice Age the water level of the Dead Sea reached 180 metres (590 ft) below sea level, about 240 metres (790 ft) higher than it is today. It flooded the lower areas of the canyons along its banks, which became bays and begun to accumulate sedime...

[ read more ]

Hotel Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne

Hotel Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne

[caption id="attachment_205898" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © flickr.com - Michelle Walz Eriksson/cc-by-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Beau-Rivage Palace is a historical luxury five-star hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland. It is located in Ouchy, on the shores of Lake Léman. The hotel opened in 1861 and the current main building was constructed in Art Nouveau and neo-baroque style in 1908. It is registered in the Swiss Inventory of Cultural Property of National and Regional Significance. The Beau-Rivage Palace is owned by ...

[ read more ]

Portrait: Erasmus of Rotterdam, Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, social critic, teacher, and theologian

Portrait: Erasmus of Rotterdam, Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, social critic, teacher, and theologian

[caption id="attachment_164387" align="aligncenter" width="442"] Erasmus statue in Rotterdam © Frank Versteegen/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Erasmus of Rotterdam was a Dutch Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, social critic, teacher, and theologian. Erasmus was a classical scholar and wrote in a pure Latin style. Among humanists he enjoyed the sobriquet "Prince of the Humanists", and has been called "the crowning glory of the Christian humanists". Using humanist techniques for working on texts, he prepared importan...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Sicily - Messina

Theme Week Sicily - Messina

[caption id="attachment_153038" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Duomo Messina © Pinodario[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Messina is the capital of the province of Messina. It is the 3rd largest city on the island of Sicily, and the 13th largest city in Italy, with a population of more than 252,000 inhabitants in the city proper and about 650,000 in the province. It is located near the northeast corner of Sicily, at the Strait of Messina, opposite Villa San Giovanni on the mainland, has close ties with Reggio Calabria. The c...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Oman

Theme Week Oman

[caption id="attachment_161676" align="aligncenter" width="590"] The traditionell Dhow, an enduring symbol of Oman © Pranav21391[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Oman, is an Arab country in the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Holding a strategically important position at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the nation is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest, and shares marine borders with Iran and Pakistan. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the south...

[ read more ]

Miercurea Ciuc in Transylvania

Miercurea Ciuc in Transylvania

[caption id="attachment_160729" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Petőfi Street © Szabi237/cc-by-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Miercurea Ciuc is the county seat of Harghita County in Romania. It lies in the Székely Land, an ethno-cultural region in eastern Transylvania, and is situated in the Olt River valley. Miercurea Ciuc has 39,000 inhabitants. In 2001 the Sapientia - Hungarian University of Transylvania opened in the building of the former Harghita Hotel. The privately run institution is the first Hungarian univer...

[ read more ]

Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲
Bavaria Statue © Hullbr3ach
Theme Week Munich – Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is a 16-18 day festival held each year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, running from late September to the first...

© Cooper.ch
Gotthard Base Tunnel, Europe’s biggest construction site

The Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) is a railway tunnel beneath the Alps in Switzerland. With a route length of 57...

Munich Panorama © David Kostner
Theme Week Munich – Munich loves you!

Munich is the capital city of Bavaria (Bayern), Germany. It is located on the River Isar north of the Bavarian...

Schließen