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Aranzio [Aranzi], Giulio Cesare

1. Dates
Born: Bologna, ca. 1530 (some sources say ca. 1529)
Died: Bologna, 7 April 1589
Dateinfo: Birth Uncertain
Lifespan: 59
2. Father
Occupation: Unknown, Physician
His parents (about whom nothing is known) were poor. He was reared and aided in his medical education by his maternal uncle, Bartolomeo Maggi, lecturer of the university and principal court physician of Julius III. Aranzio tended to call himself Aranzi-Maggi.
Given all this, I gather that he grew up in affluent circumstances.
3. Nationality
Birth: Italy
Career: Italy
Death: Italy
4. Education
Schooling: Bologna
He studied medicine at the University of Bologna, and received both M.D. and Ph.D. at Bologna in 1556.
He was a favorite pupil of his uncle.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Catholic
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Anatomy, Physiology
Subordinate: Medicine, Surgery
He dicovered the pedes hippocamp, the cerebellum cistern, the fourth ventricle, and the arterial duct bewteen the aorta and the pulmonary duct.
Aranzio published De humano foetu libellus in 1563, and Liber anatomicarum observationum in 1579. In these he presented the new direction of anatomy, based not mere on simple description of the organs of the body but also on experimental investigation of their functions.
His work on the foetus led to advice on delivery.
He was the first firm advocate of the lesser circulation of the blood.
7. Means of Support
Primary: Academia, Medicine
Lecturer in medicine and surgery at the University of Bologna, 1556-1570.
Professor of surgery and professor of anatomy at the University of Bologna, 1570-89.
It is said that his works contain the fruits of his medical and surgical practice. I need to add that in the biographies I do not find explicit mention of his practice, however. Nevertheless, by analogy to other doctors, I assume it without hesitation.
8. Patronage
Type: Physician
Obviously he followed his uncle, and it is impossible to imagine his immediate appointment at the university upon the year of his degree apart from the influence of the uncle. This is a case where family and patronage overlap, but I am going to list it as patronage.
9. Technological Involvement
Type: Medical Practice
He performed rhinoplastic surgery.
10. Scientific Societies
Membership: Medical College
Aranzio dedicated his De humani foetu to the College of Medicine in Bologna.
He corresponded with Aldrovandi.
  1. A.L.J. Bayle, et al., Biographie médicale, (Paris, 1855).
  2. G.Fantuzzi, "Aranzio" in Notizie degli scrittori bolognesi, I, (Bologna, 1781) pp. 266-72.
  3. A. Hirsch, Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Aerzte aller Zeiten und Voelker (3rd ed., Munich, 1962), Dizionario biografico degli italiani G.M.Mazzuchelli, Gli scrittori d'Italia, (Brescia, 1753- ), 1, pt. 2, 932.
Not Available and Not Consulted
  1. U. Cesarano, "Giulio Cesare Aranzi", in Comune di Bologna, 1 (1929).
  2. L. Simeoni, Storia dell'Universita di Bologna, (Bologna, 1940), 2, 7, 24-5, 30, 32, 34, 50-4.
Compiled by:
Richard S. Westfall
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Indiana University
Note: the creators of the Galileo Project and this catalogue cannot answer email on geneological questions.
©1995 Al Van Helden
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