Mesmer, Friedrich Anton
Mesmer, Friedrich Anton frē´drĭkh än´tôn mĕs´mər [key], or Franz Anton Mesmerfränts [key], 1734–1815, German physician. He studied in Vienna. His interest in
animal magnetismdeveloped into a system of treatment through hypnotism that was called mesmerism. It seems now that Mesmer was actually treating psychosomatic illness, but an unsympathetic medical and scientific community caused him to be expelled first from Vienna, and in 1778 from Paris. He retired to his native Austria and to obscurity.
See his memoir (1799, tr. 1957); biography by D. M. Walmsley (1967).
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