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Paulli, Simon

1. Dates
Born: Rostock, 6 Dec 1603
Died: Copnehagen, 23 Apr 1680
Dateinfo: Dates Certain
Lifespan: 77
2. Father
Occupation: Academic, Physician
His father, Heinrich Paulli (1565-1610), was professor of medicine and town physician in Rostock (1594-1604), but later moved to Nykjöbing when he became personal physician to the Queen-Widow Sophie of Denmark.
3. Nationality
Birth: Rostock, Mecklenburg
Career: Rostock, and Copenhagen
Death: Copenhagen, Denmark
4. Education
Schooling: Rostock, Leiden, Paris, Copenhagen; Wittenberg, M.D.
Studied at Rostock (1617) and Leiden.
Studied later at Paris, where Jean Riolan taught anatomy and Rubius taught botany.
Between 1626-9, matriculated at the University of Copenhagen.
1630, after a trip to England, he attended Wittenberg for half a year and received his M.D.
Dansk Biografisk Leksikon gives slightly different dates in connection with education; for my purposes they do not matter.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Lutheran (assumed)
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Botany, Anatomy
Subordinate: Medicine, Geography.
He made notable contributions to the technical literature of anatomy and botany. His major work is Quadripartitum botanicum de simplicium medicamentorum facultatibus (Rostock, 1640), in which he arranged plants according to the seasons, in the form of a floral almanac.
He also published works on medicine and geography.
7. Means of Support
Primary: Academia, Medicine, Patronage
1626-9, while a student at Copenhagen, he was a tutor to young nobles in Sfrf.
1634-9, practiced medicine in Rostock and Lübeck.
1639-48, professor of medicine, University of Rostock.
1648- , appointed professor of anatomy, surgery, and botany at Copenhagen. Simultaneously, he became physician in ordinary to the Danish King, who granted him the income from the Bishopric of Aarhus.
In 1655, he gave a series of botany lectures in Rostock, though I do not know how this fit into his career. I suspect it was a sort of visiting position.
1656, physician in ordinary to Frederik III, and after 1670 to Christian IV. He received money from several bishoprics as part of this arrangement.
Again the dates differ somewhat in Dansk Biografisk Leksikon, but the facts are the same.
8. Patronage
Type: Court Official
Queen Sophie of Denmark, who had employed his father, paid for Paulli's medicial studies in Rostock.
King Christian IV of Denmark, to whom Paulli was physician in ordinary, was his major patron. The King granted Paulli the income from a Bishopric and Paulli did his major work in the anatomical theater (the Domus anatomica) established by the King.
Dansk Biografisk Leksikon has some interesting details about his situation in Denmark, and on this subject must be accepted. According to DBL Paulli became professor of anatomy, surgery and botany at the Univ. of Copenhagen in 1639, but then lost the professorship in 1648 through political intrigue in the university as Thomas Bartholin moved into this position from the philosophy department. Already in 1650, however, Paulli was appointed royal physician. Lack of Danish (I am relying on a graduate assistant in Danish) bars me from deep knowledge here, but the prospects are full of fascination. Is it conceivable that the Bartholins could have had a position independent of the King? I don't find it conceivable, but I don't see how to interpret these events.
9. Technological Involvement
Type: Medical Practice
He practiced medicine. He is known more as a practioner than as a theorist, in part because of his recommendation of simple medications.
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
  1. C. Krause, Allgemeine deutsche Biographie, 25, 274.
  2. A. Hirsch, Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Aerzte aller Zeiten und Voelker (3rd ed., Munich, 1962), 4, 531.
  3. Dansk Biografisk Leksikon.
Not Available and Not Consulted
  1. A. Blanck, Die mecklenburgischen Aerzte (Schwerin, 1874), 30.
  2. J. Krey, Andenken an die Rostocker Gelehrten, 6, 8f.
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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