Agricola, George

, a German physician, eminent for his knowledge of metallurgy, was born at Glaucha in Misnia, March 24, 1494. The discoveries which he made in the mountains of Bohemia after his return from Italy, whither he went to pursue his studies, gave him such a taste for examining every thing that related to metals, that when engaged in the practice of physic at Joachimstal in Misnia, he employed all the time he could possibly spare in the study of fossils; and at length removed to Chemintz, that he might wholly devote himself to this pursuit. He is said to have applied to it with such disinterested zeal, that he riotonly spent the pension procured for him from Maurice, | duke of Saxony, but a considerable part of his own estate; and when duke Maurice and duke Augustus went to join the army of Charles V. in Bohemia, Agricola attended them, in order to demonstrate his attachment, although this obliged him to quit the care of his family and estate. He died at Chemiutz, Nov. 21, 1555. He was a zealous Roman Catholic, but was considered by the Lutherans as in some respects an apostate from the reformed, religion, and they carried their rancour against him so far as to refuse his body the rites of burial. It was therefore obliged to be removed from Chemintz to Zeits, where it was interred in the principal church. Bayle thinks that he must have irritated the Lutherans by some instances of excessive aversion to them, and Peter Albinus represents him as an intolerant bigot. His works are “De ortu et causis Subterraneorum. De natura eorum, quae effluunt ex terra. De natura Fossilium. De Medicatis Fontibus. De Subterraneis Animantibus. De veteribus et novis Metallis. De re Metallica.” This last has been printed at Basil four times, in folio, 1546, 1556, 1558, and 1561, which shews the very high esteem in which it was held. His work “De ortu et causis Subterraneorum” was printed at Basil, 1583, fol. Bayle mentions a political work of his, “De bello Turcis inferendo,Basil, 1538, and a controversial treatise, “De Traditionibus Apostolicis.” His principal medical work, “De Peste,” was printed at Basil, 1554. He wrote also “De Ponderibus et Mensuris” against Budeus, Leonard Portius, and Alciati, which the latter endeavoured to answer, but without success. His life is written by Melchior Adam. 1