As Porzionato et al, note, there had been a chair of anatomy and surgery at the University of Padua since the thirteenth century but it was really in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries that Padua assumed its preeminent place as the most important site of anatomical instruction in Europe. Undoubtedly the catalyst was the appointment of the Flemish anatomist, Andreas Vesalius (1514–64), who was appointed as lecturer in Surgery in 1537. During his relatively short time there (he left in 1544 to return to Brussels), he taught anatomists who would continue his vision for anatomical discovery at Padua: scholars such as Realdo Colombo (1516–69) and Gabriele Fallopio (1523–62). Vesalius’s gloriously illustrated ground-breaking De Humani Corporis Fabrica libri septem (Basle, 1543), depicts the great anatomist, surround by his students, in the act of dissecting.
Andreas Vesalius, Opera omnia anatomica & chirurgica cura Hermanni Boerhaave …, & Bernardi Siegfried Albini (Leiden, 1725), i, portrait of Vesalius.
Wysocki et al. point to six great Vesalian anatomists at the University of Padua: Vesalius himself (1514–64), Realdo Colombo, Gabriele Fallopio, Fabricius of Acquapendente (1533–1619), Giulio Cesare Casseri (fl, 1552–1616), and Adriaan van den Spiegel (1578–1625). Worth owned books by five of the six (the only author he did not collect was Colombo), and their many anatomical discoveries (and those of their students), permeate the webpages of this online exhibition. In this section on teaching, we investigate the careers of Fallopio, Fabricius and Casseri in sixteenth-century Padua; Van den Spiegel and the German anatomist Johann Vesling (1598–1649), in seventeenth-century Padua; and Giambattista Morgagni (1682–1771), who dominated anatomical teaching in eighteenth-century Padua.
Text: Dr Elizabethanne Boran, Librarian of the Edward Worth Library, Dublin.
Porzionato, Andrea, et al. ‘The Anatomical School of Padua’, The Anatomical Record, 295, no. 6 (2012), 902–16.
Wysocki, Michal et al., ‘Iulius Casserius: revolutionary anatomist, teacher and pioneer of the sixteenth and seventeenth century’, Anal. Sci. Int., 91 (2016), 217–25.
 Porzionato, Andrea, et al. ‘The Anatomical School of Padua’, The Anatomical Record, 295, no. 6 (2012), 902.
 Wysocki, Michal et al., ‘Iulius Casserius: revolutionary anatomist, teacher and pioneer of the sixteenth and seventeenth century’, Anal. Sci. Int., 91 (2016), 217.