LEVISOHN, GEORGE (MORDECAI GUMPEL LEIVE):
German surgeon; born in Berlin of a family known as "Schnaber" ; died in Hamburg Feb. 10, 1797. He evinced an early aptitude for study, and attended the school of David Fränkel, chief rabbi of Berlin. Levisohn chose the medical profession, to which he devoted himself with enthusiasm. He left Germany for England, and, after studying under John Hunter, was appointed physician at the hospital of the Duke of Portland. Being called to Sweden by Gustavus III., he occupied for some time the position of professor at the University of Upsala. Gustavus thought highly of him, and he translated, at the king's command, from English into Swedish his medical and polemical works. Levisohn left the court in 1781 and returned to Germany, where he published German translations of most of his English medical works. Three years later (1784) he went to Hamburg, and, being well received, settled there and followed his profession with remarkable success.
The large number of his daily patients did not prevent him from prosecuting with zeal his medical, philosophical, and theological studies. In 1785-86 he published two medical journals, and during the following years labored at his great work on religious philosophy. He was then engaged for five years in physical researches. His works are: "Ma'amar ha-Torah we-Ḥokmah" (London, 1771), a philosophical treatise (this work caused its author to be regarded in the light of a dangerous innovator); "An Essay on the Blood" (ib. 1776); "Epidemical Sore Throat" (ib. 1778); "Beschreibung der Londonischen Medicinischen Praxis den Deutschen Aerzten Vorgelegt . . . mit einer Vorrede von T. C. A. Theden" (Berlin, 1782); "The Passions and Habits of Man, and Their Influence on Health" (Brunswick, 1797-1801); "Derek ha-Ḳodesh haḤadashah," a Hebrew grammar.
- Schröder, Hamburgische Schriftsteller;
- Carmoly, Les Médecins Juifs, pp. 217, 219;
- Picciotto, Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History, p. 147;
- British Museum Catalogue.