Gerard van Swieten
* 07. May 1700, † 18. Jun 1772
Born in Leiden, Gerard van Swieten was a student of the physician Herman Boerhaave and from 1745 personal physician and advisor to Maria Theresa. He supported university reform, improved hospitals, invited important medical experts to Vienna and is regarded as the founder of the ‘Older School’ of Viennese Medicine. He was also director of the Court Library. A representative of the Enlightenment, van Swieten played an important role in the fight against widespread superstition, in particular the vampire myth.