Karl August von Bergen

Karl August von Bergen (11 August 1704 in Frankfurt (Oder) – 7 October 1759 in ibid.) was a German anatomist and botanist.


Title page of Flora Francofurtana, 1750

Karl August von Bergen was the son of anatomy professor Johann Georg von Bergen (died 1738).

He attended the Gymnasium in his home town of Frankfurt an der Oder, he later studied medicine at the local Viadrina University from 1727. There he was taught by his father and by the anatomist Andreas Ottomar Goelicke (1670–1744).[1]

He continued his studies at the University of Leiden, where he worked for the professors Herman Boerhaave (1668–1738), Bernhard Siegfried Albinus.

He also studied in Paris and Strasbourg. He returned to Viadrina University and received his doctorate in medicine in 1732 and took a post as a professor at the university.[1]

After the death of his father, he was awarded the chair of anatomy and botany at the university. His duties included the care of the Botanical Garden, which had been founded in 1678 by Johann Christoph Bekmann.

In 1732 he demonstrated the general distribution of cellular membranes in animals, and showed that they not only enclose every part of the animal frame, but form the basis of every organ. His work was adopted and still more fully expanded (1757) by his friend Albrecht von Haller.[2]

On 2 April 1739 he married Susanna Elizabeth Rhode. They had four children. After Susanna's early death he remarried on 29 September 1749 her sister, Mary Elizabeth Rhode.

Front page and figure of Oratio de rhinocerote, 1746

His most noted work is Flora Francofurtana, Frankfurt (Oder), published in 1750. Among his more unusual works is an essay on the rhinoceros: Oratio de rhinocerote, quam habuit cum tertium deponeret rectoratum, Frankfurt (Oder), 1746.[1]

The botanist Conrad Moench named the plant genus Bergenia in his honor in 1794.


  • Letters 1743 to 1752, The Linnaeus Society.[3]
  • Oratio de rhinocerote, quam habuit cum tertium deponeret rectoratum, Frankfurt (Oder), 1746
  • Flora Francofurtana, Frankfurt (Oder), published in 1750
  • Dissertatio Botanica De Aloide, published 1753 [4]
  • Classes conchyliorum, Published 1760 [5]


  1. ^ a b c Ferguson, John (2002) [Originally printed 1906]. "BERGEN (Karl August von )". Bibliotheca Chemica. Part 1. Kessinger Publishing. p. 97. ISBN 0-7661-2637-4. Retrieved 2011-03-01.
  2. ^ Parsons, Frederick Gymer (1911). "Anatomy" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 935.
  3. ^ Bergen, Carl August von (1704-1759) . German. Doctor of medicine. Professor of botany and anatomy, later of pathology and therapy, Frankfurt/Oder.
  4. ^ Barnes and Noble
  5. ^ Open Library
  • Dictionnaire des sciences médicales. Biographie médicale.Vol second Paris, 1820.
  • Klaus Eichler:History of the Medical Faculty. Annual Report No. 1 of the Society for the Study of the History of the Association Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), 1998.