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ASSING, DAVID ASSUR (generally known as David Assing):

German physician and poet; born at Königsberg in 1787; died April 25, 1842. He studied at the universities of Tübingen, Halle, Vienna, and Göttingen. He received his doctorate from the University of Göttingen Aug. 26, 1807 (according to some authorities, from Königsberg University); his thesis being "Materiæ Alimentariæ Lineamenta ad Leges Chemico-Dynamicas Adumbrata" (Foods and Their Relation to Chemico-Dynamical Laws). This was published at Göttingen in 1809. Three years later he went to Hamburg with the intention of settling there as a practising physician; but hardly a year passed before the war occurred for the liberation of Germany from Napoleonic rule, and he entered the army, joining a regiment of cavalry in the capacity of physician. He served first in the Russian, then in the Prussian, army. In 1815 he returned to Hamburg on account of his love for Rosa Maria Varnhagen, the daughter of a physician of that city, and sister of the famous author. He married her the following year. About this time, Assing embraced Christianity and discarded his middle name Assur. He was known as a student of Greek medicine, making a special study of Hippocrates. He also contributed lyric poems to the "Musenalmanach," published by his friends Kerner and Chamisso; to the "Tübinger Morgenblatt"; in "Isidorus Hesperiden." After the death of his wife, June 22, 1840, he published, "Rosa Maria's Poetischer Nachlass," Altona, 1841. The last years of his life were passed in solitude.

Bibliography:
  • Allg. Deutsche Biographie, i. 624;
  • Brockhaus, Conversations-Lexicon, ii. 81;
  • Wernich and Hirsch, Hervorragende Aerzte Aller Zeiten und Völker, i. 213;
  • Brümmer, Deutsches Dichter-Lexicon, p. 22;
  • Schröder, Lexicon der Hamburger Schriftsteller, p. 105.
S. W. S.
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