In publica commoda

Ulrich Jasper Seetzen (1767 to 1811)

From 1785 to 1789 Ulrich Jasper Seetzen (1767 to 1811) studied medicine and natural sciences at the University of Göttingen. He visited in particular lectures by the universal academic Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752 to 1840) and gained his Doctorate with a thesis on plant diseases. Encouraged by the travels of previous fellow students Alexander von Humboldt and Friedrich Hornemann to South America and Africa, Seetzen set out for research travels to the Orient and Africa in 1802. His stations included Constantinople and Aleppo, Damascus, Jerusalem and Cairo, additionally he visited Medina and Mecca. On his travels he learnt the Arabic language, obtained oriental manuscripts, collected plants and minerals and recorded his observations on oriental society as well as experiences in the bazaar. His collection of objects, drawings, diaries and letters became an important foundation of oriental studies.