Agricola, Georgius

Agricola, Georgius

(jôr`jēə əgrĭk`ələ), Latinized from

Georg Bauer

(gā`ôrk bou`ər), 1494–1555, German physician and scientist, known as the father of mineralogy. He was a pioneer in physical geology and the first to classify minerals scientifically. His celebrated work De re metallica (1556) was a standard in metallurgy and mining for over a century and was translated into English (1912) by Herbert C. Hoover and Lou H. Hoover.

Agricola, Georgius


(latinized from Georg Bauer). Born Mar. 24, 1494; died Nov. 21, 1555. German scholar in the field of mining and metallurgy; a doctor by education.

From 1527 to 1531, Agricola lived in the city of Jachymov, Bohemia, a major center of mining and metallurgy industries, and from 1533 on he lived in Chemnitz, Saxony. Agricola was the first to generalize on the mining and metallurgy industries. He systematized them according to stages of processing: the discovery and prospecting of deposits or sites of useful minerals, the opening and developing of the deposit or site, the dressing of the ore, and finally assaying and metallurgical processing. Agricola’s writings on mineralogy describe 20 new minerals and set forth the methods for distinguishing them by their external characteristics. Agricola was one of the first to look into the question of the effect of working conditions on the health of the workers. He studied the medicinal qualities of metals and minerals.

Agricola’s major work was De re metallica, which was completed in 1550 and first published in Latin in 1556.


De natura corum qual effluunt ex terra. Venice, 1553.
De peste. Basel, 1554.
In Russian translation:
O gornom dele i metallurgii. Moscow, 1962.


Shukhardin, S. V. Georgii Agrikola. Moscow, 1955. (Contains a list of Agricola’s works and of literature about him.)
Georgius Agricola, 1494–1555. Berlin, 1955.