To be more exact, on that day Georg Bauer was born in a Saxon town of Glauchau. Later he translated his name that meant peasant in German into Latin and became Georgius Agricola. Like all scientists of Middle Ages he could boast of a broad scope of education and interests: studying philology in Leipzig and medicine in Bologna and Padua, he achieved fame as founding father of modern mineralogy. He found a job in Joachimsthal, center of mining and metal industry, where the young physician took interest in minerals. The doctor quit practicing medicine and took a plunge into mining and metallurgy. Then, he started describing all that he had observed, studied and thought on paper. It took Agricola over 20 years to write his main scholar work – De Re Metallica (On mining and metallurgy).The book was published after the author’s death. Along with this work, Agricola would write other papers devoted to geology, mining and metallurgy. Among them, there was the one that historians of science believe to be a ground-breaking scholar paper – On Subterranean Origins and Causes. Do you think that it is the lore of ages long gone by? No, it is not so. Among 275 engraving prints illustrating De Re Metallica there are ones with images of miners. Who doesn’t know these miners today? Walt Disney used them as models while drawing his dwarfs for cartoon Snow White.
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