Theodor Zwinger

Alternative Name(s) Theodoro Zvingero
Date 1533 - 1588
Biographical NotesSwiss Physician and Humanist. Born in Basel in 1533, Zwinger was the son of Leonhard Zwinger, a furrier. His mother was Christina Herbster, the sister of Johannes Oporinus, the noted humanist printer. Early in life he worked for three years as a printers apprentice in Lyon. He attended university at Paris where he was a student of the logician and reformer Petrus Ramus (1515-1572). He also read medicine at Padua. He joined the faculty of the University of Basel as a member of the Consilium Facultatis Medicae from 1559. At Basel he held successively chairs in Greek (1565), Ethics (1571), and Theoretical Medicine (1580). He was also rector of the University of Basel in 1565 and 1572.

Zwinger was the editor of the humanist encyclopedia 'Theatrum Humanae Vitae' (editions 1565, 1571, 1586, 1604). This project was originally started by the humanist Conrad Lycosthenes (Zwinger was the son of Lycosthenes's wife by a former husband), and was printed by Oporinus. Zwinger's best known apodemic work was the 'Methodus apodemica' (1577). See Justin Stagl, 'A History of Curiosity' (1995), 57-62, and Hubert Steinke, 'Zwinger, Theodor', in 'Historischen Lexikon der Schweiz' www.hls-dhs-dss.ch/textes/d/D14707.php.
Work(s)Author of Qui discendi studio difficiles peregrinations susceperunt. Peregrinationes eruditionis theoricae causa susceptae (1565) in Theatrum vitae humanae, omnium fere eorum, quae in hominem cadere possunt, bonorum atque malorum exempla historica, ethicae philosophiae praeceptis accommodata, & in XIX libros digesta, comprehendens: ut non immerito historiae promptuarium, vitaeque humanae speculum nuncupari poßit. A Conrado Lycosthene iampridem inchoatum. Nunc vero Theodori Zvinggeri studio & labore, eo usque deductum, ut omnium ordinum hominibus ad vitam praeclare instituendam, maiorem in modum utile & iucundum sit futurum
Author of Methodus apodemica in eorum gratiam, qui cum fructu in quocunq[ue] tandem vitae genere peregrinari cupiunt Von: A Theod. Zvingero Basiliense (1577)
Author of Peregrinationes inutilis (1565) in Theatrum vitae humanae, omnium fere eorum, quae in hominem cadere possunt, bonorum atque malorum exempla historica, ethicae philosophiae praeceptis accommodata, & in XIX libros digesta, comprehendens: ut non immerito historiae promptuarium, vitaeque humanae speculum nuncupari poßit. A Conrado Lycosthene iampridem inchoatum. Nunc vero Theodori Zvinggeri studio & labore, eo usque deductum, ut omnium ordinum hominibus ad vitam praeclare instituendam, maiorem in modum utile & iucundum sit futurum
Author of Theatrum vitae humanae, omnium fere eorum, quae in hominem cadere possunt, bonorum atque malorum exempla historica, ethicae philosophiae praeceptis accommodata, & in XIX libros digesta, comprehendens: ut non immerito historiae promptuarium, vitaeque humanae speculum nuncupari poßit. A Conrado Lycosthene iampridem inchoatum. Nunc vero Theodori Zvinggeri studio & labore, eo usque deductum, ut omnium ordinum hominibus ad vitam praeclare instituendam, maiorem in modum utile & iucundum sit futurum (1565)