Christian Theodor Georg Ruete (see Figure 1) was born in Scharmbeck near Bremen on May 2nd, 1810. He was the rare individual uniting a good researcher, a good clinician and a good surgeon in one person. In 1841 he became extraordinary and in 1847 ordinary professor of nervous disorders in Göttingen. At that time, ophthalmology did not yet exist as a separate specialty, but Ruete, inspired by Dieffenbach (1839)1 and Cunier (1840)2, who performed the first strabismus operations in October 1839, and by the discussions in Göttingen at the time about the controversial existence of ocular counterrolling (Alexander Hueck, 18383), was an active strabismus surgeon and already published the first book on strabismus surgery in 1841 (see Figures 2a & 2b).4 For a better understanding of strabismus surgery, he constructed his first ophthalmotrope in 1845.5 In this model, the eye was suspended in gimbals, i.e. the model eye rotated in a ring that itself could rotate about an axis that was perpendicular to the first axis, this method of suspension having been invented by Cardano in the sixteenth century.

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Strabismus (London)
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Simonsz, H.J. (2004). Christian Theodor Georg Ruete: the first strabismologist, coauthor of listing's law, maker of the first ophthalmotrope and inventor of indirect fundoscopy. Strabismus (London), 12(1), 53–57. Retrieved from