Borrichius

, or Borch, a very learned physician, son of a Lutheran minister in Denmark, was born 1626, and sent to the university of Copenhagen in 1644, where he remained six years, during which time he applied himself chierly to physic. He taught publicly in his college, and Acquired the character of a man indefatigable in labour, and of excellent morals. He gained the esteem of Caspar Brochman, bishop of Zealand, and of the chancellor of the kingdom, by the recommendation of whom he obtained the canonry of Lunden. He was offered the rectorship of the famous school of Heslow, but refused it, having formed a design of travelling and perfecting his studies in physic. | He began to practise as a physician during a most terrible plague in Denmark, and the contagion being ceased, he prepared for travelling as he intended; but was obliged to defer it for some time, Mr. Gerstorf, the first minister of state, having insisted on his residing in his house in the quality of tutor to his children. He continued in this capacity five years, and then set out upon his travels; but before his departure, he was appointed professor in poetry, chemistry, and botany. He left Copenhagen in November 1660, and, after having visited several eminent physicians at Hamburgh, went to Holland, the Low Countries, to England, and to Paris, where he remained two years. He visited also several other cities of France, and at Angers had a doctor’s degree in physic conferred upon him. He afterwards passed the Alps, and arrived at Rome in October 1665, where he remained till March 1666, when he was obliged to set out for Denmark, where he arrived in October 1666. The advantages which Borrichius reaped in his travels were very considerable, for he had made himself acquainted with all the learned men in the different cities through which he passed. At his return to Denmark he resumed his professorship, in the discharge of which he acquired great reputation for his assiduity and universal learning. He was made counsellor in the supreme council of justice in 1686, and counsellor of the royal chancery in 1689. This same year he had a severe attack of 'the stone, and the pain every day increasing, he wss obliged to be cut for it; the operation however did not succeed, the stone being so big that it could not be extracted. He bore this affliction with great constancy and resolution till his death, which happened in October 1690.

Borrichius died rich, and made a most liberal use of his money. After satisfying his relations (who were all collateral, as he had no family) with bequests to the amount of fifty thousand crowns, he left twenty-six thousand crowns to found a college for poor students, consisting of a house, completely furnished for sixteen students, with library, chemical laboratory, garden, &c. to be called the Medicean college. His principal medical productions consist of observations published in the Acta Haffniensia, and other similar collections, and of the letters sent by him while on his travels, to F. Bartholine, under whom he had been educated. The letters are the most valuable of those published by Bartholine in his “Epistolas Medicse;” but the | works by which he acquired his principal celebrity, were “De ortu et progressu Chemise,” published in 1668, 4to; and his “Hermetis Ægyptiorum et Chemicorum sapientia, ab H. Conringio vindicata,1674. In this very learned and elaborate work, the author defends the character of the ancient Egyptians against the strictures of Conringius: attributing to them the invention and perfection of chemistry, and even of alchemy; persuading himself that among their secrets they possessed the art of transmuting metals. But either from infatuation, or a desire of victory, he cites several manuscripts, since known to be spurious, as genuine, and some written since the time of our Saviour, as of much higher antiquity. He shews, however, from undoubted authority, that the Egyptians were early acquainted with the medical properties of several of their plants j that they used saline, and even mineral preparations, some of them prepared by chemistry; that incubation, or the method of hatching eggs by artificial beat, was first used by them; in fine, that the art of medicine, invented by them, passed from them to the Grecians. Borrichius was also author of “Conspectus prcestantiorum scriptorum linguæ Latinæ;1698, 4to; “Cogitationes de variis linguae Latinas cetatibus,1675, 4to; “Analecta philologica, et judicium de lexicis Latinis Graecisque,1682, 4to; and various other philological works. 1

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Gen. Dict. Borrichius de Vita sua, in vol. II. of Deliciae Poetarum Danorum, Leyden, 1693. —Haller and Man jet. -Saxii Ooomast.Recs’s Cyclopædia.