Stages in Mentzel’s life

Christian Mentzel (1622-1701) from Fürstenwalde/Spree was one of the most famous representatives of German science in the world in the 17th century, until he fell into oblivion.

Mentzel was born on June 15, 1622 in Fürstenwalde as the son of the mayor.
Mentzel attended the Electoral Gymnasium in Joachimsthal from 1630 to 1636, then the Cölnische Gymnasium until 1637. Due to plague, he did not complete this until between 1639 and 1643.
1639Death of the father
Christian Mentzel’s father dies of the plague.
Mentzel studied medicine and natural sciences at the universities of Frankfurt/Oder (2 years) and Königsberg in 1646 (winter semester only).
Mentzel was brought to the Gdansk Academic Gymnasium as a teacher by Johann Raue in 1648.
Centuria plantarum circa nobile Gedanum ad elenchum plantarum gedanensis dom
“One hundred plants growing freely around the noble Gdansk”.
Mentzel received his doctorate in philosophy and medicine in Padua.
 1654General practitioner
After his return he practiced as a physician in Fürstenwalde and Berlin.
1658 Marriage
Mentzel marries Ana Eva Falckenhagen, daughter of the bursar of the revenues of the city of Berlin. They have a total of five children, two of whom die of the “black death”. Son Johann Christian (1661-1718) later becomes advisor and personal physician and finally treasurer of the King of Prussia
1658 Appointment as court physician
Elector Friedrich Wilhelm appoints Mentzel as court physician/field physician.
1658Holstein campaign
Mentzel took part in the Holstein campaign and was on the road with Frederick William in Cleves and Königsberg.
1660Appointment as personal physician
Mentzel is appointed personal physician and electoral councilor.
Theatrum rerum naturalium Brasiliae
This four-volume work was published between 1660 and 1664 after the Dutch-Brazilian exploration with Johann Moritz of Nassau and his entourage.
 1661Efforts to reorganize the medical system
Since 1661, Christian Mentzel and the Brandenburg personal and court physicians had been trying to reorganize the medical system.
1665Care of the son of Elector Friedrich
Mentzel is in Cleves with Friedrich Wilhelm. He takes over the care of the teenage son of Elector Friedrich and his spas in Maastricht and Aachen.
1667Order to care for Princess Luise
Princess Luise suffers from consumption in The Hague. Mentzel is commissioned to bring her to Berlin by sedan chair on a long day’s journey. She dies on June 8, 1667.
1672French campaign
Mentzel was on French campaign with the Electors from 1672 to 1674. He made trips to Frankfurt/M. and Kolmar/Alsace.
1674Care of the Elector Karl Emil of Brandenburg
Mentzel receives the order to take care of the Elector Karl Emil of Brandenburg in Strasbourg. He dies of a fever.
1674Accompaniment of the Elector Friedrich Wilhelm
Between 1674 and 1675 the Swedes invade the Mark Brandenburg. Elector Friedrich Wilhelm stays at the gates of Rathenow and is accompanied by Christian Mentzel. Then go to Pomerania for two campaigns.
1675Member of the Leopoldina
Mentzel becomes a member of the Leopoldina with the epithet Apollo.
Lapis Bononiensis In obscuro lucens
1677Trip to Kleve
Christian Mentzel travels with the Elector to Cleves.
[Pinax Botanōnymos Polyglōttos Katholikos] Index Nominum Plantarum Universalis
Flora Japanica
The work is edited by Andreas Cleyer and Christian Mentzel and consists of three volumes.
Sylloge Minutiarum Lexici Latino-Sinico-Cha-racteristici
1685Entry into force of the Prussian Medical Edict
The Prussian Medical Edict comes into force and with it the medical order for which the Brandenburg personal and court physicians fought for 24 years.
Christian Mentzel suffers until the end of his life from a chronic and long-lasting paralysis with a constant trembling of all limbs, especially of the hands and feet.
Copy from the Chinese ‘Four Books’: of Ta-hsüeh
The work was written twice after different editions of the first part of the Lun-yii.
Confuciis primus tetrabiblii liber Ta Hio inter-pretatus
This is a copy of the Ta-hsüeh with transcription and the translation edited by P. Couplet. The work was a gift to Emperor Leopold I from 30. 10. 1688.
1688Death of Elector Friedrich Wilhelm
C.M.D. Ad Indicem Universalem Nominum Plantarum
It forms the 2nd appendix to the “Index Nominum Plantarum Universalis”, which appeared in 1682.
Kurtze Chinesische Chronologia oder Zeit-Register aller chinesischen Kaiser
Clavis sinica : ad Chinesium scripturam et pro-nunciationem mandarinicam, centum & viginti quatuor Tabulis accuratè Scriptis praesentata
Chinensium Lexici characteristici inscripti 字彙 Cú-guéi
The work consists of nine volumes in total, but the manuscript remains unfinished.
Christian Mentzel dies on January 27, 1701.