Fabricius ab Aquapendente, Geronimo Fabrici (1537-1619) Anatomist

Fabricius ab Aquapendente
Fabricius ab Aquapendente

Geronimo Fabrici, Girolamo Fabrizio or Fabrizi (Hieronymus Fabricius ab Aquapendente)

Born May 20, 1537 in Aquapendente, Italy. Died May 21, 1619 in Padua, Italy.

An outstanding surgeon and Renaissance anatomist which helped found modern embryology. The majority of his life was spent at the University of Padua where after a course of philosophy, he studied medicine under the anatomist Gabriel Fallopius. As successor to Fallopius to the chair of surgery and anatomy (1562-1613), Fabricius built a reputation that attracted students from all over Europe.

Among his pupils there was the English anatomist, William Harvey, who later elaborated the circulation of the blood. In De Venarum Ostiolis (1603); "On the Valves of the Veins," Fabricius gave the first clear description of the semilunar valves of the veins, which later provided Harvey with a crucial point in his famous argument for circulation of the blood.

Fabricius ab Aquapendente

Fabricius' De Formato Foetu (1600); "On the Formation of the Fetus", summarizing his investigations of the fetal development of many animals, including man, contained the first detailed description of the placenta and opened the field of comparative embryology. He also gave the first full account of the larynx as a vocal organ and was first to demonstrate that the pupil of the eye changes its size.

When he gave up his chair of surgery in 1609, Fabricius maintained a large practice so that he might continue to develop improved surgical techniques. His Opera Omnia Anatomica et Physiologica "Complete Anatomical and Physiological Works" was first published in 1625.

Fabricius ab Aquapendente


  • Encyclopedia Britannica Micropedia, ©1984
  • Girolamo Fabrici, AKA Hieronymus Fabricius ab Aquapendente
  • Fabricius, ab Aquapendente, ca. 1533-1619
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