Georgius Agricola was born in Glauchau, in the Electorate of Saxony. He studied languages, medicine and natural sciences at the universities of Leipzig, Bologna and Padua. Working as a doctor and pharmacist in St Joachimsthal (Jáchymov) Agricola studied a broad variety of subjects and took a particular interest in the mining and refining of metals. He is best known for his pioneering work "De re metallica libri XII", published posthumously in 1556. It is a comprehensive study, classification and methodical guide concerning mining, the mining sciences and metallurgy. Agricola's scholarly work based on innovative methods of production and control has earned him admiration to this day.