Project description

The planned conference on the occasion of his 400th birthday by honorary scientists and historians from Berlin/Brandenburg pays new tribute to the life and work of Christian Mentzel, in particular:

  • Mentzel’s multifaceted work from a medical history perspective as personal physician to the Great Elector to his collaboration on the first Brandenburg Medizinal Ordnung,
  • His botanical work with preliminary work on plant systematics, exploration of native plant species and development of new non-European plant worlds,
  • Mentzel’s work as a co-founder of sinology in Germany through his first Latin-Chinese dictionary and his efforts to open up Chinese history and culture.

As the 57th member of the oldest German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina, Christian Mentzel also contributed to the development of scientific standards and the profiling of the first European scientific journal “Miscellanea curiosa” since 1675.

He had lively scientific exchanges with great scholars of his time – such as G.W. Leibniz.

The first cultural-historical colloquium of the 21st century on the occasion of Mentzel’s 400th birthday, based on the already published biography of a collective of authors under the title “Christian Mentzel (1622-1701) – Leibarzt des Großen Kurfürsten, Botaniker und Sinologe” (Christian Mentzel (1622-1701) – personal physician of the Great Elector, botanist and sinologist), is to provide a broader view of Mentzel and the Renaissance in the 17th century and, from a sinological point of view, lead to the establishment of an innovation cluster China in LOS.

The Christian Mentzel author team has been working since 2019 on the rediscovery of the unjustly forgotten great 17th century Fürstenwalde and Berlin scholar Christian Mentzel (1622-1701). The following projects are the focus:

  1. Publication of a popular scientific Christian Mentzel Edition
    • Volume 1 Christian Mentzel Biography (Published in 2021 by the publishing house Die Mark Brandenburg)
    • Volume 2 Christian Mentzel as a botanist (working title, to be published in 2022)
    • Volume 3 Christian Mentzel as a pioneer of sinology (working title for 2023)
    • Volume 4 Christian Mentzel as personal physician (working title for 2023)
    • Volume 5 Christian Mentzel’s correspondence network (working title for 2024)
  2. Christian Mentzel conference on the occasion of the 400th birthday
  3. Christian Mentzel exhibition at the Museum Fürstenwalde June-October 2022
  4. Renaming of a street to Christian-Mentzel-Str. and creation of a Christian Mentzel monument (together with Fach&Werk Projektentwicklung GmbH, Wolfram Seyfert)
  5. Establishment of an innovation cluster with China

Further project ideas are in the works and welcome.

Innovation cluster

© Staatsbibliothek Berlin

Christian Mentzel’s entire oeuvre deserves a nationwide and European appreciation as far as China with exhibitions, lectures and publications in German, English and Chinese and can make an important contribution to the improvement of German-European and Chinese relations. The historical relations of Brandenburg-Prussia to China/Asia from the Great Elector, over Frederick II (“China fashion”, porcelain collections, Kgl.-Preußische Asiatische Compagnie von Emden etc.) to the present and the partnership agreements of the state of Brandenburg with the province of Hebei etc. should be a model. Based on this, it is especially about new business relations in the future-determining connectivity technologies.

With this initiative, the partners of the innovation cluster create impulses for the further development of regional centers of excellence and inter-communal competences of the participating states and regions. The project work in this project cluster is to be financed with the support of public funding from the federal government, the state and EU funds. Innovation labs and think tanks related to the New Silk Road are to be created, which will accompany the development of regional sustainable technical and social competence and become an integral part of innovation and design structures.