Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Meandering about . . .

Today is the birthday of Ole Worm (May 13, 1588 – August 31, 1655), also known as Olaus Wormius, physician  and polymath.

"Ole Worm's interests covered natural objects, human artifacts, mythical creatures, and ancient inscriptions. He had a special interest in runes, collected texts that were written in runic and wrote a number of treatises on runestones.

Ole Worm built one of the most well-known curiosity cabinets in Europe to house his collection.  After his death in 1655, his collection catalog, Museum Wormianum, or History of Rare Things was published. The catalog described one of the most well-known Wunderkammern or “wonder-rooms” of that period in Europe. 

He was the personal physician to King Christian IV of Denmark and remarkable for a physician of the time, he remained in the city of Copenhagen to tend the sick during an epidemic of the Black Death.

Trivia bit: The Wormian bones (small bones that fill gaps in the cranial sutures) are named after him.  He has been stated that he has as good a claim as anyone tothe title "The Father of Museums" due to his extensive collection and the cataloguing of it.

Ole Worm image source (1)

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