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Ignaz Edler von Born


Ignaz Edler von Born (December 26, 1742 - July 24, 1791), Austrian mineralogist and metallurgist, was born of a noble family at Cavnic, in Transylvania.

Educated in a Jesuit college in Vienna, he was for sixteen months a member of the order, but left it and studied law at Prague. Then he travelled extensively in Germany, the Netherlands and France, studying mineralogy, and on his return to Prague in 1770 entered the department of mines and the mint.

In 1776 he was appointed by Maria Theresa to arrange the imperial museum at Vienna, where he was nominated to the council of mines and the mint, and continued to reside until his death.

He introduced a method of extracting metals by amalgamation (Uber des Anquicken der Erze, 1786), and other improvements in mining and other technical processes. His publications also include Lithophylacium Bornianum (1772-1775) and Bergbaukunde (1789), besides several museum catalogues.

Von Born attempted satire with no great success. Die Staatsperücke, a tale published without his knowledge in 1772, and an attack on Father Hell, the Jesuit, and king's astronomer at Vienna, are two of his satirical works. Part of a satire, entitled Monachologia, in which the monks are described in the technical language of natural history, is also ascribed to him.

Von Born was well acquainted with Latin and the principal modern languages of Europe, and with many branches of science not immediately connected with metallurgy and mineralogy. He took an active part in-the political changes in Hungary. After the death of the emperor Joseph II, the diet of the states of Hungary rescinded many innovations of that ruler, and conferred the rights of denizen on several persons who had been favorable to the cause of the Hungarians, and, amongst others, on von Born.

At the time of his death in 1791, he was employed in writing a work entitled Fasti Leopoldini, probably relating to the prudent conduct of Leopold II, the successor of Joseph, towards the Hungarians.

As an active free mason in catholic lodge "Benevolence" introduced and tutored Mozart into the lodge. Was a possible prototype of Sarastro in Mozart's opera "The Magic Flute".


  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
  • Museum guide of Mozarthaus in Vienna (Prestel museum guide)


  • Note regarding personal names: Edler is a rank of nobility, not a first or middle name. The female form is Edle.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ignaz_Edler_von_Born". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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