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August 4, 1969

Gaspare Aselli (1581-1626) The Lacteals

JAMA. 1969;209(5):767. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03160180113016

Gaspare Aselli, surgeon of Milan and descendant of an ancient noble family, was born in Cremona, Italy. After secondary schooling, he attended the University of Pavia, completed his medical training, and began the experimental study of anatomy and physiology in Milan, his principal home during his short professional life. The exceptions were service in the Spanish Army in Italy as head surgeon and the chair of anatomy and surgery in the Athenaeum of Pavia, to which he was appointed only a few months before his death.

Aselli's contributions, some in Latin, others in the vulgate, or in Italian, exemplified his curiosity and keenness of observations of natural phenomena. They included the study of poisonous drugs, fistula in ano, recurring calculi, and observations in surgery and therapeutics. He classified pharmacological agents of the period on the basis of clinical effects and collateral toxic actions. His observations on the lacteals in the