Program of the Cultural History Colloquium on 15.06.2022

June 15, 2022 marked the 400th anniversary of Christian Mentzel’s birth. This event coincided with the 750th anniversary of his birthplace Fürstenwalde/Spree.

The team of authors of the biography “Christian Mentzel (1622-1701) – personal physician of the Great Elector, botanist and sinologist” organized a cultural-historical colloquium in St. Mary’s Cathedral in his hometown to mark the occasion.

Session 1: Christian Mentzel’s family, hometown Fürstenwalde and education in his time

Chair: Guido Strohfeldt, Museum Fürstenwalde

  • Christian Mentzel from Fürstenwalde – The town and his family in the turmoil of the Thirty Years’ War
  • Between the turmoil of war and crisis management: Brandenburg-Prussia in Christian Mentzel’s time

Session 2: Christian Mentzel’s work as a botanist and co-founder of plant geography

Chair: Brigitte Nixdorf, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg

  • Plant knowledge in the past and today: from medicinal healing effects to botanical systematics and genetic classification
  • Described by Mentzel: Plants in and around Fürstenwalde and what they mean today
  • On the crisis of (university) taxonomic education
  • Discussion on Mentzel’s time and work as a botanist

Session 3: Christian Mentzel’s work as an electoral personal physician and co-founder of the Brandenburg medical legislation

Chair: Stefan Koch, Brandenburg Medical School and Helios Klinikum Bad Saarow

  • Christian Mentzel – healer – electoral personal physician – health reformer
  • Black tea and Panax ginseng – The history of two medicinal plants from Mentzel until today
  • The pathological-anatomical observations in the oeuvre of Christian Mentzel
  • Mentzel’s untidy desk
  • Discussion of the thematic block Mentzel as a physician

Session 4: Christian Mentzel as co-founder of Sinology in Germany and Europe

Chair: Markus Mollitor, Bernhardinum Fürstenwalde

  • Christian Mentzel as co-founder of Sinology in Germany and Europe
  • Christian Mentzel: From co-founder of Chinese Studies to pioneer of a regional innovation cluster China
  • The Chinese Language and Worldview in the Changing Times
  • Mentzel’s work as librarian to the Great Elector and Chinese book catalog in the Electoral Library

Session 5: Christian Mentzel as 57th academician of today’s Leopoldina and humorous author

Chair: Astrid Böger, Brandenburg Academy for Health Sciences and Technology (bagut) and Wolf D. Hartmann, European Academy of Sciences and Arts Salzburg

  • Mentzel’s correspondence with contemporary scholars
  • Discussion on Mentzel as sinologist and academician