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Aromatari, Giuseppe degli

1. Dates
Born: Assisi, 25 March 1587 NBG, Hirsch, and Saccardo all say 1586. However, De Fabris cites the baptismal record for 1587.
Died: Venice, 16 July 1660
Dateinfo: Dates Certain
Lifespan: 73
2. Father
Occupation: Physician
Favorino degli Aromatari was a physician. Giuseppe was educated during adolescence by his paternal uncle, Raniero Paolucci, a learned and wealthy physician.
Since nothing is said about the father's economic status, I will assume affluence.
3. Nationality
Birth: Italy
Career: Italy
Death: Italy
4. Education
Schooling: Perugia, Padua; M.D.
He studied medicine and philosophy initially in Perugia; he left for Montpellier but stopped in Padua on the way and never left. In Padua he attended Fabricius' lectures. After graduating M.D in 1605 (at 18), he remained at Padua until 1610.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Catholic
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Botany, Medicine
Aromatari is remembered today for his hypothesis of the preformation of the germ in seeds. The hypothesis was published in Epistola de generatione plantarum ex seminibus (1625), which immediately made him famous and established his priority on the doctrine of the preformation of the germ. I should note that the Epistola is all of two pages long; one short paragraph mentions chickens, but he does not appear to have made any investigation of them.
He also investigated the so called permeability of the interventricular septum of the heart, but on this subject no writing exists.
He also wrote on rabies.
7. Means of Support
Primary: Medicine
Medical practice at Venice, 1610_1660.
8. Patronage
Type: Aristrocrat
He was requested as personal physician by King James I of England, the Duke of Mantua, and Pope Urban VIII, but he declined, not wanting to leave Venice. I do not count invitations declined as patronage.
The Epistola de generatione was addressed to Count Arundel, whom I take to have been Thomas Arundell, Baron Arundell of Wardour and Count of the Holy Roman Empire.
9. Technological Involvement
Type: Medical Practice
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
Aromatari carried on active correspondence with physicans throughout Europe.
  1. L. Leonelli, ed., Memorie di Giuseppe Aromatari letterato medico e naturalista, (Asisi, 1887). This slender pamphlet contains the Epistola and Giovanni Battista De Febris, Vita dell'eccellentissimo Gioseppe degli Aromatari, (Venice, 1661), both published in full.
  2. Nouvelle biographie générale.
  3. A. Hirsch, Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Aerzte aller Zeiten und Voelker (3rd ed., Munich, 1962).
  4. P.A. Saccardo, "La botanica in Italia," Memorie del Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, 26 and 27 (1895 and 1901).
  5. Dizionario biografico degli italiani.
  6. G.M. Mazzuchelli, Gli scrittori d'Italia, (Brescia, 1753- ), 1, pt. 2, 1115-17.
  7. Biographie medicale.
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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