Johann Wilhelm von Mannagetta und Lerchenau was an imperial physician to the emperor, a university professor, a historian, a mathematician and a rector of the University of Vienna. In 1661, he set up a family foundation that has survived to this day as the “Johann Wilhelm Ritter von Mannagetta-Stiftung”. This project, incepted at the Institute in July 2019, examines the life and work of the founder in their historical context.
In line with modern approaches to biography, the subject is not interpreted as an individual, isolated self, but is examined in relation to his contemporary lifeworld and his social, cultural and political environment. Hence the focus is on Johann Wilhelm von Mannagetta’s room to manoeuvre and interaction at the university and the Vienna court and his position and role in the conflicts of the first half of the seventeenth century (at the university and beyond) in order to gain an understanding of his social rise and financial prosperity that culminated in the foundation.
Along with personal biographical details such as his birth, marriages and social environment, the university studies and professional career of this broadly educated humanist provide intersections for research on the history of medicine and science. In addition to the sources in the foundation archive, various certificates and files in the Austrian State Archive, the Lower Austrian State Archive and the Vienna University Archive are also taken into consideration. The Austrian National Library also holds writings by Johann Wilhelm von Mannagetta that can provide insights into his wide-ranging publishing activities.
On the basis of the foundation’s archive and other source material, a doctoral thesis will yield a biography of the founder examining his life not only in its historical context, but also in comparison with his contemporaries in the fields of medicine and scholarship.