Skip to main content

Bernhard Rottendorff (1594-1671)

Bernhard Rottendorff was born in 1594, son of the city doctor in Münster, Germany. He studied at the Jesuit school in Münster, then continued his studies in Rostock and Helmstedt. He qualified as a doctor at some point before 1622 (possibly at Padua) and followed his father as city doctor in Münster. In this position, he quickly acquired a good reputation and was consulted by many of the most notable people in Westphalia. He attended several of the envoys who attended the congress leading to the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 (ending the Thirty Years War) and himself wrote an “Appeal for Peace” in 1646.

Rottendorff served as an alderman for the city of Münster from 1642. He was prominent in the fight against the plague and published a number of medical texts. But his interests as a humanist stretched much further and he also composed poetry in Latin as well as editing historical texts and contributing the preface to Fürstenberg’s Monumenta Paderbornensia. He corresponded with other humanists across Europe, including the Bollandists in Antwerp. Rottendorff also collected a substantial library of manuscripts and early printed books. He died in Münster in 1671.