Karl Hugo Kronecker, one of the leading physiologists in the 19th century, was born in Liegnitz, Prussia, into a well-to-do family with scholarly interests.1 His father was a merchant, his older brother, Leopold, a celebrated mathematician. After completing his general education at the Gymnasium in Liegnitz, Hugo studied medicine in Berlin and later at Heidelberg; there he came under the influence of Helmholtz and Wundt. He received the MD degree from Berlin by 1863 and presented his inaugural dissertation on muscle fatigue, a subject of enduring interest. Intending to pursue the practice of medicine, he shared his time as an assistant to Traube in medicine with studies in physiological chemistry under Kühne.
Kronecker's training was interrupted temporarily by a pulmonary infection, and, following advice to seek a warmer climate, he selected Pisa, Italy. Here he acquired proficiency in Italian, which complemented his fluency in French and English. Upon recovering