Nervenkrankheiten und Diagnostik nach Romberg, Geisteskrankheiten nach Horn & Heilquellen Deutschland nach Osann

Scope and Content

The manuscript bears the bookplate of the Manchester Medical Society which indicates that it was donated to them by Samelson in November 1864. Further annotations show it to have been allocated the reference O 3240 viz. their 1890 library catalogue. On the flyleaf is a list of the contents, namely four different sets of lecture notes taken during 1838-9 session at the University of Berlin. The first three are found in the body of the main manuscript and the fourth are in a separate booklet inserted into the back of the manuscript.

Lectures of Moritz Heinrich Romberg on diseases of the nervous system cover ff.1-216 with the original pagination pp.1-427. A detailed index is provided at the start of these notes.

A second set of lectures from Romberg on diagnostic techniques cover ff.217-258 with the original pagination pp.1-78. Again a detailed index is provided at the beginning and show the lectures to be split into three main sections, namely diagnose der brustkrankheiten, diagnose der unterleibkrankheiten, and diagnose der nervenkrankheiten or the diagnosis of breast diseases, abdominal diseases, and nervous diseases.

Lectures of Anton Ludwig Ernst Horn on mental illnesses cover ff.259-290 with the original pagination pp.1-59. There is a short index at the start of the notes.

The lectures of Emil Osann entitled on the medicinal waters or spawaters of Germany can be found in the separate booklet inserted into the rear of the main manuscript. These notes are not paginated and there is no index.

Administrative / Biographical History

Moritz Heinrich Romberg (1795-1873) was born in Meiningen on 11 November 1795. He studied medicine in Berlin receiving his doctorate in 1817 after submitting the thesis De rachitide congenita. He continued his studies in Vienna for a period before settling in Berlin in 1820 and working as a physician for the poor. In 1830 he qualified to lecture in special pathology and therapy, from 1834 onwards gave lectures on propaedeutic clinical medicine with practical demonstrations, in 1838 was appointed associate professor, and in 1845 became professor of special pathology and therapy. Romberg also served as director of the university polyclinic in berlin from 1840 and in 1831 and 1837 had headed up military cholera hospitals.

Known primarily as a neurologist he lends his name to a test for neurological function (Romberg's test or Romberg's sign), a syndrome known as progressive hemifacial atrophy (Parry-Romberg syndrome), and a sign used to identify obturator hernia (Howship-Romberg sign). His major publication was a textbook on neurology entitled Lehrbuch der Nervenkrankheiten (1840-6). Romberg died in Berlin on 16 June 1873.

Anton Ludwig Ernst Horn (1774-1848) was born on 24 August 1774 and studied first in Jena before moving to Göttingen where he received his doctorate in 1797 after submitting the thesis Über die Wirkungen des Lichts auf den lebenden menschlichen Körper mit Ausnahme des Sehens. In 1798 he was appointed second garrison physician at the clinic for military surgeons in Brunswick and professor there in 1800. He was appointed professor of medicine at the University of Wittenberg in 1804 and soon after held the same position at the University of Erlangen. In 1806 he was appointed professor at Berlin's Military Academy for Medicine in Surgery and became the second physician in charge at the Charité Hospital from 1818 onwards. He became full professor of medicine at the University of Berlin in 1821.

Horn is generally recognised as the first practising psychiatrist at the Charité and headed up the psychiatric hospital there. He generally favoured old-fashioned treatments of shock, threat, and punishment and employed a number of physical devices to counteract physical suffering. He died in Berlin on 27 September 1848.

See entry MMM/9/2 for biographical details of Emil Osann.


Rudolf Vierhaus & Walther Kelly (eds) Dictionary of German Biography. Vol.8, Plett-Schmidseder (Munich: KG Saur, 2001). Rudolf Vierhaus & Walther Kelly (eds) Dictionary of German Biography. Vol.5, Hesselbach-Kofler (Munich: KG Saur, 2001).