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Prince Alexander Philipp Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied (September 23, 1782 - February 3, 1867) was a Germanmarker explorer, ethnologist and naturalist.


Wied was born in Neuwiedmarker, the second son of the ruling Prince Johann Friedrich Alexander of Wied-Neuwied.Born at the end of the European Enlightenment, Maximilian became friends with two of its major figures: Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, a major comparative anthropologist under whom he studied biological sciences, and Alexander von Humboldt, who served as Maximilian's mentor. He joined the Prussian army in 1802 during the Napoleonic War, rising to the rank of Major-General. He retired from the army in 1815.

Wied led an expedition to south-east Brazilmarker from 1815 to 1817, on his return writing Reise nach Brasilien (1820-21) and Beiträge zur Naturgeschichte von Brasilien (1825-33). In 1832 he travelled to the Great Plainsmarker region of North America, accompanied by the Swiss painter Karl Bodmer on a journey up the Missouri Rivermarker. He wrote Reise in das Innere Nord-Amerikas (1840) on his return. During his travels he studied the cultures of tribes such as the Mandan and the Hidatsa as well as the flora and fauna of the area.

The Genus Neuwiedia Blume (Orchidaceae) was named for him.

See also



Further reading

  • Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied: Reise nach Brasilien in den Jahren 1815 bis 1817, 1820
  • Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied: Beiträge zur Naturgeschichte Brasiliens, 1824
  • Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied: Brasilien, Nachträge, Berichtigungen, Zusätze, 1850
  • Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied: Unveröffentlichte Bilder und Handschriften zur Völkerkunde Brasiliens. Editor: Josef Röder and Hermann Trimborn. Bonn 1954.
  • Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied: Maximilian Prince of Wied’s Travels in the Interior of North America, during the years 1832 – 1834. Achermann & Comp., London 1843-1844
  • Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied: Maximilian Prince of Wied’s Travels in the Interior of North America, during the years 1832 – 1834. In: Early Western Travels, 1748-1848, 1906, (vol. 22-25) from Reuben Gold Thwaites.
  • David C. Hunt, William J. Orr, W. H. Goetzmann (Editor): Karl Bodmer's America. Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha (Nebraska) 1984. ISBN 0-8032-1185-6
  • John C. Ewers: Views of vanishing frontier. Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha (Nebraska) 1984 + 1985
  • Paul Schach, "Maximilian, Prince of Wied (1782-1867): Reconsidered." Great Plains Quarterly 14 (1994): 5-20.
  • Marsha V. Gallagher: Karl Bodmer's eastern views. Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha (Nebraska) 1996
  • Brandon K. Ruud (Editor): Karl Bodmer's North American Prints. Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha (Nebraska) 2004. ISBN 0-8032-1326-3
  • Michael G. Noll, “Prince Maximilian's Other Worlds.” The Pennsylvania Geographer, 43 (2005): 65-83.
  • Nordamerika Native Museum Zürich: Karl Bodmer. A Swiss Artist in America 1809-1893. Ein Schweizer Künstler in Amerika. University of Chicago Press and Scheidegger & Spiess, Zürich 2009 (English and German). ISBN 978-3-85881-236-0


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