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Moritz Schiff

Moritz Schiff

Frankfurt am Main 1823 - Genève 1896


Pioneer in neurophysiology, he was professor of anatomy in Bern (1854-1863), then of physiology at the Instituto di Studi Superiori in Florence from 1863 to 1876. Due to the polemics and legal proceedings against him in Florence because of his vivisection experiments, he transferred to Geneva, where he taught physiology. His younger brother, Hugo (Ugo) Schiff (1834-1915), chemist, worked for most of his academic career at the University of Florence.

Main works: Untersuchungen zur Physiologie des Nervensystems mit Berücksichtigung der Pathologie (Frankfurt a.M. 1855); Lehrbuch der Physiologie des Menschen: I. Muskel- und Nervenphysiologie (Lahr 1858-59); Contribution à la physiologie: De l'inflammation et de la circulation (Paris 1873); Lezioni di fisiologia sperimentale sul sistema nervoso encefalico (Firenze 1866-72).

Bibliography: A. Herzen, Gli animali martiri, i loro protettori e la fisiologia: udienza pubblica del Tribunale civile della ragione, a cura di G. Landucci, Firenze, Giunti 1996; G. Landucci, Darwinismo a Firenze: tra scienza e ideologia: 1860-1900, Firenze, Olschki 1977; E. Garin, La cultura italiana tra ‘800 e ‘900, Bari, Laterza 1962.



Biblioteca dell'Università di Firenze, fondo Moritz e Mario Schiff

Moritz Schiff’s scientific books were donated in 1917 by his daughter in law, wife of Mario Schiff, a French professor at the Instituto di Studi Superiori in Florence who died in 1915. In the same year, the Instituto acquired the collection of the books and papers of Mario Schiff, which was united to his father’s collection. The two bequests, today kept in a single collection composed of 1,876 volumes from the 18th and 19th centuries, reflect the different interests of the two owners. These are, respectively, human anatomy, comparative anatomy, physiology, animal physics and zoology (Moritz S.), and Italian, French, Spanish and German literatures and philosophy (Mario S.). There is still the original inventory of the collection.

Bibliography: Guida ai fondi speciali delle biblioteche toscane, a cura di S. Di Majo, Firenze, DBA 19962.


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