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FRANCESCO CAPPELLO

Giovanni Filippo Ingrassia: A five-hundred year-long lesson.

  • Autori: Cappello, F.; Gerbino, A.; Zummo, G.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2010
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Parole Chiave: human anatomy, medicin

Abstract

Giovanni Filippo Ingrassia was born five centuries ago in Regalbuto, a small town in the center of Sicily. After his medical course in Padua, under the guidance of Vesalius and Fallopius, he gained international fame as a physician and was recruited as a Professor of human anatomy in Naples and later in Palermo. He is remembered as "the new Galen" or "the Sicilian Hippocrates." He contributed to the knowledge of human anatomy through the description of single bones rather than the whole skeleton. In particular, he was the first to describe the "stapes," the "lesser wings of the sphenoid" and various other structures in the head (probably the pharyngotympanic tube) as well as in the reproductive system (corpora cavernosa and seminal vesicles). He was also a pioneer in the study of forensic medicine, hygiene, surgical pathology, and teratology. As Protomedicus of Sicily, he developed the scientific culture in this country. During those years, he faced the spread of malaria and plague with competence and authoritativeness. Indeed, he was one of the first physicians to suppose that certain diseases could be transmitted between individuals, therefore, introducing revolutionary measures of prevention. He is remembered for his intellectual authority and honesty. Five-hundred years after his birth, his teaching is still alive. In this article, we survey the life and contribution of this pioneer of early anatomical study.

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