Anatomist, "one of the most important of the many-sided physicians of the sixteenth century" (Haeser); b. at Modena, Italy, 1523; d. 9 October, 1562, at Padua. Some writers have placed his birth as early as 1490, but contemporary authority is for the date mentioned. His family was noble but very poor and it was only by a hard struggle he succeeded in obtaining an education. He studied medicine at Ferrara, at that time one of the best medical schools in Europe. After taking his degree he worked at various medical schools and then became professor of anatomy at Ferrara, in 1548. He was called the next year to Pisa, then the most important university in Italy. In 1551 Fallopio was invited by Cosmo I, Grand Duke of Tuscany, to occupy the chair of anatomy and surgery at Padua. He held also the professorship of botany and was superintendent of the botanical gardens Though he died when less than forty, he had made his mark on anatomy for all time. This was the golden age of anatomy and Fallopio's contemporaries included such great anatomists as Vesalius, Eustachius, and Columbus. It has sometimes been asserted that he was jealous of certain of the great discoverers in anatomy and that this is the reason for his frequent criticisms and corrections of their work. Haeser, whose authority in medical history is very high, declares that Fallopio was noted for his modesty and deference to his fellow-workers and especially to Vesalius. His purpose in suggesting corrections was the advance of the science of anatomy. Fallopio's own work dealt mainly with the anatomy of the head. He added much to what was known before about the internal ear and described in detail the tympanum and its relations to the osseous ring in which it is situated. He also described minutely the circular and oval windows ( fenestræ ) and their communication with the vestibule and cochlea. He was the first to point out the connexion between the mastoid cells and the middle ear. His description of the lachrymal passages in the eye was a marked advance on those of his predecessors and he also gave a detailed account of the ethmoid bone and its cells in the nose. His contributions to the anatomy of the bones and muscles were very valuable. It was in myology particularly that he corrected Vesalius. He studied the organs of generation in both sexes, and his description of the canal or tube which leads from the ovary to the uterus attached his name to the structure. Another structure, the little canal through which the facial nerve passes after leaving the auditory, is also called after him the aquæductus Fallopii . He was much more than a discoverer in anatomy. His contributions to practical medicine were important. He was the first to use an aural speculum for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the ear. His writings on surgical subjects are still of interest. He published two treatises on ulcers and tumors; a treatise on surgery; and a commentary on Hippocrates's book on wounds of the head. His treatise on syphilis is wonderful in anticipation of what is sometimes thought most modern in this subject. Fallopio was also interested in every form of therapeutics. He wrote a treatise on baths and thermal waters, another on simple purgatives, a third on the composition of drugs. None of these works, except his anatomy (Venice, 1561), was published during his lifetime. As we have them they are from the manuscripts of his lectures and notes of his students. They were published by Koyter (Nuremberg, 1575).
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online