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October 21, 1961


JAMA. 1961;178(3):324-325. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040420064018

Probably best known member of the faculty at the Medical School at Bologna was Malpighi (1628-1694), physiologist and anatomist. Thaddeus of Florence, a respected practitioner and the first teacher at Bologna (1260), established a pattern of excellence in the care of the sick but was seriously handicapped by the sterility of science in this dark intellectual era. Original medical texts were unknown; the treatises current at that time were translations from the classical or medieval tomes. The result was a practice of medicine based upon the expositions from the Greek, Latin, and Arabic texts, complemented by clinical experience.

There is little recorded of Malpighi's earlier years. He was born at Crevalcuore, a few miles from Bologna, and entered the University at the age of 17, centuries after the great scholastic center had passed its zenith. His parents, small landowners, presumably encouraged him to seek a professional career. Ties with his

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