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Casseri [Casserio], Giulio

1. Dates
Born: Piacenza, ca. 1552
Died: Padua, 8 March 1616
Dateinfo: Birth Uncertain
Lifespan: 64
2. Father
Occupation: Unknown
Luca Casseri, humble and quite poor.
3. Nationality
Birth: Italy
Career: Italy
Death: Italy
4. Education
Schooling: Padua, M.D., Ph.D.
Enrolled in the Facolta Artista and received his doctorate in medicine and philosophy at Padua in 1580.
He studied with Fabrizio and Mercuriale.
He probably went to Padua as the servant of a wealthy student.
In Padua he became the servant of Fabrizio, whom he assisted in dissections.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Catholic
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Anatomy
Subordinate: Physiology, Embryology
His achievemens are collected in three anatomical works: De vocis auditusque organis historia anatomica (Ferrara, 1600- 1601), Pentaestheseion, hoc est de quinque sensibus liber (Venice, 1609), and Tabulae anatomicae LXXIIX, omnes nec ante hac visae (Venice,1627).
He left important illustrations of the formation of the foetus.
7. Means of Support
Primary: Medicine
Secondary: Schoolmastering, Academia
Medical prectice in Padua, 1580-1616, from which he amassed a fortune.
Public lecturer in surgery, 1609-1616.
Lecturer in anatomy, 1614-1616.
Early, after his degree, Casseri gave private lessons, with dissections, in Padua, until 1586. As Fabrizio began to decline with age and suspended his lectures in 95, the students urged Casseri to replace him, which he did (privately) with enough success that Fabrizio resumed lectures. I gather that from about this time Fabrizio's envy of Casseri mounted and changed into hostility. The students wanted Casseri and privately supplied him with cadavers for dissection. Fabrizio continued to get legal prohibitions of the private dissections, and when he finally could lecture no more he blocked Casseri's appointment to replace him. Capparoni says that in 1604 the Riformatori officially approved Casseri as a substitute for Fabrizio when he was unable to lecture. Finally in 1609 the Riformatori separated surgery from anatomy, reserved anatomy to Fabrizio, and appointed Casseri to the chair in surgery. Eventually he did succeed Fabrizio, even though Fabrizio was still alive. The rivalry blocked the publication of Casseri's Tabulae during his life (Fabrizio outliving him).
8. Patronage
Types: Scientist, City Magistrate, Court Official
He served Girolamo Fabrizio, public lecturer in anatomy and surgery at the University of Padua, from 1565, in performing dissections. At that time Fabrizio encouraged Casseri's talent. As Casseri became an indepedent and rival authority, the two fell into conflict.
Venice made Casseri a knight of San Marco. Casseri refused offers to leave Padua for Turin and Parma. However, he did dedicate De vocis to the Duke of Parma. I assume that this is what lead to the offer.
9. Technological Involvement
Type: Medical Practice
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
  1. P.Capparoni, "Giulio Casseri", in Profili bio-bibliografici di medici e naturalisti celebri italiani del secolo XV al secolo XVIII, II, (Rome, 1928), pp. 61-3.
  2. G. Poggiali, Memorie per la storia letterata di Piacenza, (Piacenza, 1789), 2, 91-102.
  3. G. Sterzi, Giulio Casseri, anatomico e chirurgo, (Venezia, 1909).
Not Available and Not Consulted
  1. D.Bertelli, "Giulio Casseri da servo a professore universitario", in Settimo centenario della Universita di Padova, Padua, 1922, pp.9-10.
  2. A. Portal, Histoire de l'anatomie et de la chirurgie, (Paris, 1770), 2, 229-36.
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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