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Martin, Rudolf


(b. Zurich, Switzerland, 1 July 1864; d. Munich, Germany, 11 July 1925)


Martin, one of Germany’s most important anthropologists, was born to south German parents—his father came from Württemberg and his mother from Baden. For a short time his father worked in Zurich as a mechanical engineer, but he soon established his own machine works in Offenburg in Baden. Martin began his schooling in that city, passed the final secondary school examination there in 1884, and then enrolled in the law faculty of the Baden State University in Freiburg. After two semesters he changed his field to philosophy and left Freiburg in order to continue his studies at Leipzig. He was soon drawn back to the University of Freiburg by the presence of the zoologist Weismann. The latter had developed Darwin’s ideas into a theory known as neo-Darwinism; and his lectures on the theory of evolution, the theory of natural selection, and the continuity of the germ plasm as the foundation of a theory of heredity made an indelible impression on the young Martin.

Weismann emphasized the exact formulation of problems and the scientifically demonstrable axioms of the new biological theories, and this clearly satisfied Martin more than the usual, more speculative theoretical lectures on philosophy. Martin was no doubt especially attracted by the possibilities of uniting scientific conceptions with philosophic views on the origin and destiny of man, possibilities that Weismann had presented to his students in important lectures at Freiburg beginning in 1880. Martin also attended the lectures and anatomic demonstrations of Wiedersheim and enthusiastically took part in the accompanying anatomic sections. With equal interest he followed the lectures of A. Riehl on critical philosophy and positivism, and Martin’s preoccupation with Kant’s ideas in anthropology may have led to his decision not to become a zoologist. His doctoral dissertation was “Kants philosophische Anschauungen in den Jahren 1762–1766,” which he submitted, under the supervision of Riehl, to the philosophy faculty at Freiburg in 1887. These efforts in natural science and philosophy formed the basis of all his later work.

At the conclusion of his studies Martin visited, in 1887–1890, almost all the anthropological collections in Europe. He was especially impressed by the holdings of the École d’Anthropologie in Paris, where he twice worked as a volunteer assistant. He became acquainted with leading researchers such as Duval, P. Topinard, L.-P. Manouvrier, and the Demortillet brothers; it was they who persuaded him to return to France in order to work without the obligation to teach. It was in this period that Martin decided to devote himself to anthropology. In 1890–1891 he prepared his Habilitationsschrift, “Zur physischen Anthropologie der Feuerländer,” which was based on an exact description and comparative anatomical evaluation of five Alkaluf tribesmen from Tierra del fuego who had died in Zurich. With this essay he qualified as privatdocent in physical anthropology on the philosophy faculty at the University of Zurich.

When Georg Ruge was appointed director of Zurich’s Institute of Anatomy in 1897, he immediately provided Martin with several rooms for anthropologic work. From this a separate anthropology institute was soon formed, and recognition for Martin was not long in coming. In 1899 Martin was named extraordinary professor of anthropology at Zurich and full professor in 1905. In 1897 he had made a major research expedition to Malaysia, where he took detailed anthropological measurements of a vast number of individuals of various tribes. He presented his results in 1905 in the monograph Die Inlandstämme der malaiischen Halbinsel. This classic work, which has not become obsolete, dealt with tribes existing at the most primitive level of culture then known. In his investigations of the Senoi and the Semang, Martin not only recorded accurately the anatomical and physiological characteristics of these peoples but also made fundamental observations regarding their dwellings, their history, and the entire complex of their social relationships. In addition he investigated their consanguinity with other primitive populations living in Malaysia. During this project he constructed new, more exact measuring instruments. In general, these instruments, considered the best available at the time, permitted him to obtain the first exact results that could both be employed in comparative studies and be effectively submitted to statistical procedures.

Martin was able to gather around himself in Zurich many gifted students; but his health, already weak at that time, forced him to confine himself to his research. Thus in 1911 he gave up his professorship at Zurich in order to retire to Versailles. There, assisted by his French colleagues and able to draw on the rich material in Paris, he began working on a textbook of anthropology conceived on a grand scale. It appeared in 1914, just before the start of World War I. Taken by surprise by the outbreak of war, Martin managed to flee to Germany from a seaside resort in southern France; however, all his scientific collections and personal assets were impounded. In 1917 he received an appointment as professor of anthropology at the University of Munich, where he remained for the rest of his life.

Martin’s textbook, which is really a sort of handbook, makes it clear that he took into account all the tendencies within the field of anthropology and that he sharply distinguished it from certain other specialties. He thereby elevated this discipline from the status of an auxiliary science and endowed it with a thoroughly autonomous character. In his introduction to the nature and tasks of anthropology he states:

Anthropology is the natural history of the hominids throughout their temporal and spatial distribution. Hence it is established (1) that anthropology is a science of groups, and that as a result human anatomy, physiology, etc. are excluded from its domain as sciences concerned with individuals; (2) that is deals with only the nature of the hominids; and (3) that it encompasses the entire realm of forms of this zoological group without entire realm of forms of this zoological group with out any restriction. Anthropology therefore has the task of distinguishing all the extinct and recent forms occurring among the hominids, with respect to their corporal properties, of characterizing them, and of investigating their geographical distribution.…

In this program Martin placed special emphasis on the technique of anthropological investigation that he had developed. He wrote repeatedly concerning “instructions for body measurements” and “anthropometry.”

Furthermore, to improve the teaching of anthropology Martin created first-rate wall charts that were well made and didactically effective. He was constantly preoccupied with adapting his textbook to current developments in the young science, but the second edition was only published posthumously (1928). Prepared by his anthropological co-worker and second wife, Stephanie Oppenheim, it appeared in three volumes. In 1956–1966 a successor to Martin’s chair, Karl Saller, brought out a third edition, in four volumes.

In his later years, Martin turned to the anthropology of European peoples. In particular, prompted by the years of famine in Germany during and after World War I, he undertook important investigations into the influence of hunger on the development of schoolchildren. He also studied the effect of profession and sports on the physique of certain strata of the population. His subjects were students, especially the gymnasts who had gathered for the great German gymnastic festival held at Munich in 1923. In the meantime, however, his activity was severely restricted by heart disease; his death, which was the result of a heart attack, came as a surprise to those other than his close friends.

Martin was named Geheimer Regierungsrat and was an honorary or corresponding member of many scientific societies in Germany, Italy, England, Spain, Austria, France, Holland, and Russia. only one year before his death he founded his own journal, the Anthropologischer Anzeiger. In it he published sensational studies on the reduced physical development of starving Munich schoolchildren in 1921–1923. His findings helped to bring about the introduction of remedial measures financed by American institutions, which were immediately effective.

Martin was extremely tolerant and objected to the use of malicious or polemical language against his scientific opponents. In his later years his favorite field of study was Indian philosophy and art. He was warmhearted to both students and friends. By his first wife he had three sons. During the final period of his life his second wife became his trusted co-worker; she also arranged his posthumous papers. As Martin observed, “We will never be completely finished with the investigation of life, and if occasionally we seek a provisional conclusion, we know very well that even the best we can give is no more than a step towards the better.”


I. Original Works. A complete bibliography of Martin’s works is in Anthropologischer Anzeiger, 3 (1926), 15–17. His most important works and papers are “Kants philosophische Anschauungen in den Jahren 1762–1766” (Ph.D. diss., University of Freiburg im Breisgau, 1887); “Zur physischen Antropologie der Feuerländer,” in Archivfür Anthropologie,22, (1893), 155–217; “Altpatagonishe Schädel,” in Vierteljahrsschrift der Naturforschenden Gesellschaft in Zürich, 41 (1896), 496–537; “Die Ureiwohner der malayischen Halbinsel” in Correspondenzblatt der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Anthropologie Ethnologie und Urgeschichte, 30 (1899), 125–127; “Anthropologisches Instrumentarium,” ibid., 130–132; Anthropologie als Wissenschaft und Lehrfach (Jena, 1901); Wandtafeln für den Unterricht in Anthropologie, Ethnologie und Geographie mit Verzeichnis und Beschreibung (Zurich, 1902); “über einige neue Istrumente und Hilfsmittel für den anthropologischen Unterricht,” in Korrespondenzblatt der Anthropologischen Gesellschaft,34 (1003),127–132; and Die Inlandsämme der malajjschen Halbinsel … (Jena,1905). His textbook, Lehrvuch der Anthropolgie in systematischer darstellung, went through three eds. (Jena, 1914; 2nd ed., 1928; 3rd ed., Stuttgart, 1956–1966).

Martin’s later works include “über Domestikationsmerkmale beim Menschen,” in Naturwissenschaftliche Wochenschrift, 30 , n.s. 14 (1915), 481–483; “Anthropologische Untersuchungen an Kriegsgefangenen,” in Umschau19 (1915), 1017; “Anthropometrie,” in Münchener medizinische Wochenschrift, 69 (1922), 383–389; Körperverziehung (Jena, 1922); “Anthropometrische und ärztliche Untersuchungen an Münchener Studierenden,” in Münchener medizinische Wochenschrift, 71 (1924), 321–325, written with A. Alexander; “Die Körperbeschaffenheit der deutschen Turner” in Monatsschrift für Turnen, Spiel und Sport, 3 (1924),53-61;"“orpermessungen und -wägungen an deutschen Schulkindern,” in Ver“ffentlichungen des K. Gesundheitsamtes, separate supps, (pt. 1, 1922; pt. 1923; pt. 3, 1924); “Die Körpermessungen und Jahre 1921, 1922 und 1923,” in Anthropologischer Anzeiger,1 (1924),76–95; Richtlinien für Körpermessungen und deren statistishe Verarbeitung mit besonderer Berücksichtigung von Schülermessungen (Munich, 1924); “Die Körperentwicklung Münchener Volksschulkinder im Jahre 1924,” in Anthropologischer Anzeiger,2 (1925), 59–78; and Anthropometrie. Anleitung zu selbständigen anthropologischen Erhebungen und deren statistische Veraveitung (Berlin, 1925).

II. Secondary Literture. See K. Saller, “Rudolf Martin†,” in Münchener medizinische Wochenschrift,72 (1925),1343–1344; and E. Fischer”,Rudolf Martin†,” in Anatomischer Anzeiger,60 (1926), 443–448. Also see the article, “Rudolf Martin,” in I. Fischer, ed., Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden ärzte der letzten fünfzig Jahre, 2nd ed., II (Munich-Berlin, 1962), 998.

H. Schadewaldt

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"Martin, Rudolf." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. . 26 Jun. 2017 <>.

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Martin, Rudolf 1967– (Rudolph Martin)

MARTIN, Rudolf 1967
(Rudolph Martin)


Born July 31, 1967, in West Berlin (now Berlin), West Germany (now Germany). Education: Attended University of Paris; studied with George Loros at Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, New York City, and with Michael Howard.

Addresses: Agent Kohner Agency, 9300 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 555, Beverly Hills, CA 90212. Manager Treusch/Erickson Associates, 8955 Norma Place, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Career: Actor. Appeared in commercials for Levi jeans, 1997, and Phillips high definition television, 1999.


Television Appearances; Series:

Anton Lang, All My Children, ABC, 19931996.

Nicolai "Nicky" Krasnakov, a recurring role, Beggars and Choosers, Showtime, c. 19992001.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Vlad, prince of Wallachia (also known as Dracula, Vlad Dracula, Vlad III, Vlad Tepes, and Vlad the Impaler), Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula (also known as Dark Prince: Legend of Dracula ), USA Network, 2000.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

"Roads Taken," Sliders, SciFi Channel, 1999.

Dracula, "Buffy vs. Dracula," Buffy the Vampire Slayer (also known as Buffy ), The WB, 2000.

Martin Belkin, "12:00 Midnight1:00 a.m.," 24, Fox, 2001.

Jonathan (Martin Belkin's lookalike), "1:00 a.m.2:00 a.m.," 24, Fox, 2001.

Jonathan (Martin Belkin's lookalike), "2:00 a.m.3:00 a.m.," 24, Fox, 2001.

Jonathan (Martin Belkin's lookalike), "6:00 a.m.7:00 a.m.," 24, Fox, 2002.

Jonathan (Martin Belkin's lookalike), "7:00 a.m.8:00 a.m.," 24, Fox, 2002.

Ravis, "Two Days and Two Nights," Enterprise (also known as Star Trek: Enterprise ), UPN, 2002.

Brett, "Just Say Oops," Judging Amy, CBS, 2003.

Cameron Klinefeld, "All for Our Country," CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (also known as CSI ), CBS, 2003.

Cameron Klinefeld, "Assume Nothing," CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (also known as CSI ), CBS, 2003.

Terrorist, "Bete Noir," Navy NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service, CBS, 2004.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Lucien Durand, Prodigy, The WB, 2004.

Film Appearances:

(As Rudolph Martin) Dutch man with pipe, The Dutch Master (short film; also known as Der Flaemische Meister ), Regina Ziegler Filmproduktion/Westdeutscher Rundfunk, 1994, then included in Tales of Erotica (also known as Erotic Tales ), Trimark Pictures, 1996.

(As Rudolph Martin) Spengel, Run for Cover (also known as Run for Cover in 3D ), Pathfinder Pictures, 1995.

Phillipe, Fall, MetroGoldwynMayer, 1997.

Dieter, High Art, October Films, 1998.

Alain, When, Infinity Filmworks, 1999.

Richard Petrovic, Watershed, 1999.

Raoul, Bedazzled (also known as Teuflisch ), Twentieth CenturyFox, 2000.

Axel Torvalds, Swordfish, Warner Bros., 2001.

Gilbert, Punks (also known as P.U.N.K.S. ), Urbanworld Films, 2001.

Neg, The Scoundrel's Wife, Miracle Entertainment, 2002.

Martin, Bloodlines, ALEF Film and Media Group, 2003.

Strassmann, Lautlos, X Verleih, 2004.

Voice of Rutger, Firedog (animated), Entertainment Consulting Group, 2004.

Stage Appearances:

Ford, The Food Chain, Westside Theatre Upstairs, New York City, 19951996.

Also appeared in offBroadway productions of The Dumb Waiter, The Front Page, and The Glines' Murder in Disguise (also known as Murder in Disguise ).



Official Rudolf Martin Website and Fan Club Organization,, April 17, 2004.

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