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Casal Julian, Gaspar R. F. N.

1. Dates
Born: 31 Dec 1680
Died: 10 Aug 1759
Dateinfo: Dates Certain
Lifespan: 79
2. Father
Occupation: No Information
No information on financial status.
3. Nationality
Birth: Spanish
Career: Spanish
Death: Spanish
4. Education
Schooling: Siguenza
Somewhat late (1713) he earned a B.A. from the Univ. of Siguenza.
There is no record of his study of medicine at a university. Lopez Pineiro says that he did earn an M.D. Canella appears to think he had to have one for the positions he held, but has no evidence. Otherwise authorities seem agreed that he learned medicine by apprenticeship to an apothecary.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Catholic
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Medicine
Subordinate: Natural History
Casal Julian wrote a natural and medical history of Asturias, a major work.
7. Means of Support
Primary: Medical Practice
Secondary: Governmental Position, Patronage
After his B.A., Casal Julian practiced successfully in Madrid until 1717, including members of the court in his practice.
He left for Oviedo, Asturias, in 1717 because Madrid did not agree with him. In Oviedo he built a great reputation.
In 1720, the Duke of Parque secured his appointment as the city's physician. Later he was physician to local hospitals.
Returned to Madrid in 1752 as physician to the Chamber of Ferdinand VI (i.e, physician to the court). He received a salary of 60,000 reals. He was appointed Protomedico of Castile. (I gather from Canella that there was a board of three Protomedicos who licensed physicians in the province.)
8. Patronage
Types: Court And Aristocracy
9. Technological Involvement
Type: Medical Practice
10. Scientific Societies
Membership: Medical College
Member of the Royal Academy of Medicine.
  1. Jose Maria Lopez Pinero, Ciencia y tecnica en la sociedad espanola de los siglos XVI y XVII, (Barcelona: Labor, 1979).
  2. José Maria Lopez Piñero, et al., Diccionaria historico de la ciencia moderna en España, 2 vols. (Barcelona: Ediciones Peninsula, 1983). Ralph Major, "Don Gaspar Casal . . . ," Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 16 (1944), 351-61.
  3. Fermia Canella, biographical introduction to Casal Julian, Historia natural y medica del principada de Asturias, (Ovieda, 1900--republished in 1959). By all accounts, this is the leading authority on Casal Julian. Note after reading Canella: well over half of it is devoted to speculations about his medical degree. It is not really much.
Compiled by:
Richard S. Westfall
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Indiana University

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©1995 Al Van Helden
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