At Italy On This Day you will read about events and festivals, about important moments in history, and about the people who have made Italy the country it is today, and where they came from. Italy is a country rich in art and music, fashion and design, food and wine, sporting achievement and political diversity. Italy On This Day provides fascinating insights to help you enjoy it all the more.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Giovanni Battista Morgagni - anatomist

The father of modern pathological anatomy


Giovanni Battista Morgagni taught at the  University of Padua for 56 years
Giovanni Battista Morgagni taught at the
University of Padua for 56 years
Anatomist Giovanni Battista Morgagni, who is credited with turning pathology into a science, was born on this day in 1682 in Forlì in Emilia-Romagna.

Morgagni was professor of Anatomy at the University of Padua for 56 years and taught thousands of medical students during his time there.

He was sent by his parents to study philosophy and medicine at the University of Bologna when he was 18 and he graduated as a doctor from both faculties.

In 1706 he published his work, Adversaria Anatomica, which was to be the first volume of a series and helped him become known throughout Europe as an accurate anatomist.

He succeeded to the chair of theoretical medicine at the University of Padua in 1712 and was to teach medicine there until his death in 1771.

Morgagni was promoted to the chair of anatomy after his first three years in Padua, following in the footsteps of many illustrious scholars. He brought out five more volumes of his Adversaria Anatomica during his early years in Padua.

Morgagni's Adversaria Anatomica helped establish his reputation
Morgagni's Adversaria Anatomica helped
establish his reputation
In 1761, when he was nearly 80, he brought out the work that was to make pathological anatomy into a science – De Sedibus et causis morborum per anotomem indagatis (Of the seats and cause of diseases investigated through anatomy). This work, which contained the records of 646 dissections, was later reprinted several times in its original Latin and translated into French, English and German.

Morgagni was the first anatomist to understand and to demonstrate the absolute necessity of basing diagnosis, prognosis and treatment on an exact and comprehensive knowledge of anatomical conditions. His precision, thoroughness and freedom from bias are modern scientific qualities and he was also a widely respected clinician who maintained an active practice. His treatise was to lead to steady progress in pathology and practical medicine.

Morgagni had married a noble lady from Forlì during his early years in Padua who bore him three sons and 12 daughters. He died at the age of 89 in Padua.

He is today regarded as the father of modern pathological anatomy as his works helped to make it into an exact science.

Forlì's Palazzo Poste e Telegrafi in Piazza Saffi
Forlì's Palazzo Poste e Telegrafi in Piazza Saffi
Travel tip:

Forlì, where Morgagni was born, is today a prosperous city with a beautiful main square, Piazza Saffi, named after Aurelio Saffi, a radical republican who was a prominent figure in the Risorgimento. The square is dominated by the monumental Palazzo Poste e Telegrafi, designed by Cesare Bazzani in 1932 to celebrate the Fascist regime. Benito Mussolini was born in nearby Predappio and blatantly favoured the area of his birth with imposing new buildings.

Palazzo del Bò in the centre of the city is the main building of the University of Padua
Palazzo del Bò in the centre of the city is the
main building of the University of Padua
Travel tip:

The University of Padua, where Morgagni taught for most of his life, was established in 1222 and is one of the oldest in the world, second in Italy only to the University of Bologna. The main university building, Palazzo del Bò in Via VIII Febbraio in the centre of Padua, used to house the medical faculty. You can take a guided tour to see the pulpit used by Galileo when he taught at the university between 1592 and 1610.

Also on this day:







No comments:

Post a Comment