Famous 16th Century Physicians

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 1 
Paracelsus
(Physician, Botanist, Astrologer)
Paracelsus
5
Birthdate: December 17, 1493
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Einsiedeln, Switzerland
Died: September 24, 1541
German-Swiss physician and alchemist Paracelsus, son of a poor chemist, grew up into a key figure of the German Renaissance. Known as the "father of toxicology," he explored the importance of chemistry in medical science. His interest in chemistry was ignited by his stint at the Bergschule in childhood. 
 2 
William Harvey
(Physician)
William Harvey
4
Birthdate: April 1, 1578
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Folkestone, England
Died: June 3, 1657

The first to discover the entire process of human blood circulation, physician William Harvey was a Royal College of Physicians fellow. He also served as the personal physician of James I. He later worked at the Bartholomew’s Hospital but was replaced for being a staunch monarchist.

 3 
Andreas Vesalius
(Founding Father of the Modern Human Anatomy)
Andreas Vesalius
5
Birthdate: December 31, 1514
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: October 15, 1564

Renaissance physician Andreas Vesalius is credited with illustrating the first anatomy textbook. Born into a family of physicians, he studied at the University of Paris medical school and often dissected corpses retrieved from cemeteries. He was the first to reject Galenic anatomy and to introduce human dissection in anatomy.

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 4 
Nostradamus
(French Astrologer and Physician Best Known for His Book 'Les Prophéties')
Nostradamus
4
Birthdate: December 21, 1503
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France
Died: July 2, 1566

Nostradamus was a French physician, astrologer, and respected seer whose book Les Prophéties is viewed as a document that predicts future events. Since the publication of the book, Nostradamus has been praised for his accurate predictions of major world events. His life has been the subject of several films and hundreds of books.

 5 
Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa
(German Polymath and Occult Writer Known for His Book 'Three Books of Occult Philosophy')
Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa
3
Birthdate: September 14, 1486
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cologne, Germany
Died: February 18, 1535

Sixteenth-century German scholar Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa was known for his expertise in philosophy and the occult. He also taught at the universities of Pavia and Dôle. His De occulta philosophia suggested magic as a way to reach God. He was eventually branded a heretic and imprisoned.

 6 
Girolamo Fracastoro
(Italian Physician, Poet and Scholar in Mathematics, Geography and Astronomy)
Girolamo Fracastoro
2
Birthdate: 1478 AD
Birthplace: Verona, Italy
Died: August 6, 1553

Girolamo Fracastoro was an Italian poet, physician, and scholar in astronomy, geography and mathematics. He is credited with authoring a theory, which is regarded as a precursor to germ theory; his theory was influential for almost three centuries. He is also credited with inventing terms, such as syphilis. 

 7 
Gerolamo Cardano
(South African Politician and Zulu Tribal Leader Who Was Home Minister of South Africa from 1994 to 2004)
Gerolamo Cardano
3
Birthdate: September 24, 1501
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Pavia, Italy
Died: September 21, 1576

Italian polymath Gerolamo Cardano is best known for his iconic work Ars magna, or The Great Art, which contributed immensely to the field of algebra. Throughout his illustrious life, he had been a physician, a math lecturer, and an astrologer. He was also the first to describe typhus fever clinically.

 8 
Michael Servetus
(Spanish Physician and Theologian Who was the First European to Correctly Describe the Function of Pulmonary Circulation)
Michael Servetus
3
Birthdate: September 29, 1509
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tudela, Spain
Died: October 27, 1553

Michael Servetus was a Spanish physician, Renaissance humanist, cartographer, and theologian. In 1553, he published a book titled Christianismi Restitutio in which he described the function of pulmonary circulation, becoming the first European to describe it accurately. A polymath, Michael Servetus was well-versed in many fields, such as mathematics, geography, meteorology, astronomy, human anatomy, pharmacology, medicine, poetry, jurisprudence, and translation.

 9 
Ambroise Paré
(French Barber Surgeon and a Pioneer in Surgical Techniques)
Ambroise Paré
3
Birthdate: 1510 AD
Birthplace: Laval, France
Died: December 20, 1590

Ambroise Paré was a French surgeon remembered for his service as barber surgeon for Henry II, Henry III, Charles IX, and Francis II. Regarded as one of the fathers of surgery, Paré is also considered a pioneer in surgical techniques. He specialized in battlefield medicine and in the treatment of wounds. Ambroise Paré is credited with inventing several surgical instruments.

 10 
William Gilbert
(Physician)
William Gilbert
3
Birthdate: May 24, 1544
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Colchester , England, United Kingdom
Died: November 30, 1603

William Gilbert was a 16th-century English physician, physicist, astronomer, and natural philosopher. He earned his MD from Cambridge and practiced medicine in London. He was a much-respected figure and was made the president of the Royal College of Physicians. He served as Queen Elizabeth I's and King James VI and I’s personal physician. 

 11 
Johann Weyer
(physician, writer)
Johann Weyer
3
Birthdate: February 24, 1515
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Grave, Netherlands
Died: February 24, 1588

Though he studied medicine and was a practicing physician, Johann Weyer is better known as a demonologist. He also offered one of the first scientific explanations of mental illnesses, stating that most witches were actually women who were suffering from mental health issues. He also stongly opposed Malleus Maleficarum.

 12 
Robert Fludd
(British Paracelsian Physician, Astrologer and Mathematician Known for His Compilations in Occult Philosophy)
Robert Fludd
3
Birthdate: January 17, 1574
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Milgate House, Bearsted, Kent, England
Died: September 8, 1637

Best remembered for his study of occult philosophy, Robert Fludd, the son of English diplomat Sir Thomas Fludd, was also a physician. However, he was criticized for being a medical professional who believed in magic and defended Rosicrucianism. His other interests included cosmology, astrology, and Freemasonry.

 13 
Conrad Gessner
(Swiss Physician, Naturalist and Philologist Known for His Systematic Compilations of Information on Animals and Plants)
Conrad Gessner
3
Birthdate: March 26, 1516
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland
Died: December 13, 1565

Born to a poor fur dealer, Conrad Gessner was sent to study under an uncle who dealt in medicinal herbs. He then studied theology but later grew up to become a Renaissance polymath, excelling in subjects such as natural history and medicine. His Bibliotheca universalis remains a major work in bibliography.

 14 
Pietro Bembo
(Former Renaissance cardinal who wrote one of the earliest Italian grammars and assisted in establishing the Italian literary language)
Pietro Bembo
2
Birthdate: May 20, 1470
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: January 18, 1547

Pietro Bembo was an Italian scholar, poet, and literary theorist. He was also a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and a member of the Knights Hospitaller, a Catholic military order. He played a key role in the development of the Tuscan dialect as a literary language. As a priest, he promoted the Christian perfection of Renaissance humanism. 

 15 
Gabriele Falloppio
(One of the Most Important Anatomists and Physicians of the 16th Century)
Gabriele Falloppio
4
Birthdate: 1523 AD
Birthplace: Modena, Italy
Died: October 9, 1562

Sixteenth-century Italian anatomist Gabriele Falloppio was also a Catholic priest. Of his many discoveries, the most well-known are the tubes which link the ovaries to the uterus, named fallopian tubes. He was also the first to offer written description of a condom as a protective measure against syphilis.

 16 
Li Shizhen
(Chinese Pharmacologist and Scholar Who Compiled the Treatise Compendium of Materia Medica)
Li Shizhen
2
Birthdate: July 3, 1518
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Qizhouzhen, Huanggang, China
Died: 1593 AD

Chinese pharmacologist and scholar of the Ming dynasty Li Shizhen is remembered for his elaborate compilation Compendium of Materia Medica, which offered descriptions of over 1,000 drugs and provided instructions for about 11,000 prescriptions. His book was a benchmark in Chinese medicine and was translated into several languages.

 17 
Leonhart Fuchs
(German Physician and Botanist)
Leonhart Fuchs
2
Birthdate: January 17, 1501
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Wemding, Germany
Died: May 10, 1566

Sixteenth-century German physician and botanist Leonhart Fuchs is best known for his extensive research on the medicinal properties of plants and herbs. His work Historia Stirpium is an invaluable treatise on the history of plants. The plant Fuchsia found in the Caribbean was named in his honor.

 18 
Santorio Santorio
(Italian Physician and Physiologist Known for His Discoveries Concerning Metabolism and Invention of Technical Instruments)
Santorio Santorio
2
Birthdate: March 29, 1561
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Koper, Slovenia
Died: February 25, 1636

Santorio Santorio was an Italian physician, physiologist, and professor. He is best remembered for inventing several medical devices during his lifetime. He was the first person to use a water current meter, a wind gauge, and a thermoscope. Among his best known work is De Statica Medicina, which is credited with influencing generations of physicians.

 19 
Gemma Frisius
(Physician)
Gemma Frisius
2
Birthdate: December 9, 1508
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dokkum, Netherlands
Died: May 25, 1555

Gemma Frisius introduced the triangulation method for map-making, that is still an integral part of surveys these days. He also created detailed globes and mathematical instruments and was a co-founder of the Netherlandish school of cartography. He also released the first published drawing of a pinhole camera obscura.

Hieronymus Fabricius ab Aquapendente
2
Birthdate: May 20, 1533
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Acquapendente, Italy
Died: May 21, 1619
 21 
Gaspard Bauhin
(Swiss Botanist Who Introduced a Scientific Binomial System of Classification to Both Anatomy and Botany)
Gaspard Bauhin
2
Birthdate: January 17, 1560
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland
Died: December 5, 1624

Born to a French physician in Switzerland, Gaspard Bauhin was a qualified physician himself and later made some of the most significant contributions to the classification of plants. Known for his Pinax theatri botanica, he also provided one of the initial descriptions of the ileocecal (or Bauhin’s) valve.

 22 
John Caius
(Physician)
John Caius
2
Birthdate: October 6, 1510
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Norwich, England
Died: July 29, 1573
 23 
Thomas Erastus
(Swiss Physician and Calvinist Theologian)
Thomas Erastus
1
Birthdate: September 7, 1524
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Baden, Switzerland
Died: December 31, 1583

While he initially studied theology, the 1544 plague drove him to study medicine, too. He is said to have been a pioneer of Erastianism, a union between the church and the state. In his writings, he also often opposed philosopher Paracelsus and his views.

 24 
Realdo Colombo
(Professor)
Realdo Colombo
1
Birthdate: 1515 AD
Birthplace: Cremona, Italy
Died: 1559 AD
 25 
Paolo Giovio
(Physician)
Paolo Giovio
1
Birthdate: April 19, 1483
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Como, Italy
Died: December 11, 1552

Paolo Giovio was an Italian historian, physician, biographer, and prelate. He is best remembered for his work which chronicles the Great Wars of Italy. Giovio is also remembered for authoring Historiarum sui temporis libri XLV, an acclaimed work of contemporary history.

 26 
Andrea Cesalpino
(Physician)
Andrea Cesalpino
1
Birthdate: June 6, 1519
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Arezzo, Italy
Died: February 23, 1603
 27 
Jean Fernel
(Physician)
Jean Fernel
0
Birthdate: 1497 AD
Birthplace: Montdidier, France
Died: April 26, 1558
 28 
Aloysius Lilius
(Astronomer)
Aloysius Lilius
1
Birthdate: 1510 AD
Birthplace: Cirò, Calabria, Italy
Died: 1576 AD

Aloysius Lilius, also known as Luigi Lilio, is best remembered as the main author of the Gregorian Calendar. Well-versed in medicine and astronomy, Lilius hailed from Calabria, Italy, though not much is known about his life. His calendar was presented to Pope Gregory XIII by his brother Antonio.

 29 
Andreas Libavius
(German Poet and Novelist Known for Practicing Alchemy and Writing a Book Called 'Alchemia')
Andreas Libavius
1
Birthdate: 1550 AD
Birthplace: Halle, Germany
Died: June 30, 1616

Andreas Libavius was a German professor and physician. He was a renaissance man known for practicing alchemy. He wrote a book called Alchemia, one of the first chemistry textbooks ever written. He taught history and poetry at the University of Jena and later became a physician at the Gymnasium in Rothenburg. He also founded the Gymnasium at Coburg. 

 30 
Hieronymus Bock
(German Priest, Physician, and Botanist Who Helped the Transition From Medieval Botany to the Modern Science)
Hieronymus Bock
1
Birthdate: 1498 AD
Birthplace: Heidersbach, Germany
Died: February 21, 1554

Hieronymus Bock was a Lutheran minister, credited with helping the philological scholasticism of medieval botany to evolve into modern science by categorizing plants according to their structural similarities. His major work, New Kreuterbuch, not only includes detailed description, but also careful illustrations of around 700 plants. For a time he also served as the physician to the prince of Zweibrücken.

 31 
Prospero Alpini
(Scientist)
Prospero Alpini
1
Birthdate: November 23, 1553
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Marostica, Italy
Died: February 6, 1617
 32 
Rembert Dodoens
(Called the Father of Botany and Known for His Book ‘Cruydeboeck’)
Rembert Dodoens
1
Birthdate: June 29, 1517
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mechelen, Belgium
Died: March 10, 1585

Flemish physician and botanist Rembert Dodoens has been called the father of botany. His herbal Cruydeboeck and its different editions and translations became an important botanical work of late 16th century, and was used as reference book for two- centuries. Dodoens served as court physician of Austrian Emperor Rudolph II and thereafter as professor in medicine at University of Leiden

 33 
Girolamo Mercuriale
(Philologist)
Girolamo Mercuriale
0
Birthdate: September 30, 1530
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Forli, Italy
Died: November 8, 1606
 34 
Jacques Dubois
(Anatomist)
Jacques Dubois
0
Birthdate: 1478 AD
Birthplace: Loeuilly, Ô-de-Selle, France
Died: January 14, 1555
Jacopo Berengario da Carpi
1
Birthdate: 1460 AD
Birthplace: Carpi, Italy
Died: 1530 AD
 36 
Joachim Vadianus
1
Birthdate: November 29, 1484
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: St. Gallen, Switzerland
Died: April 6, 1551
 37 
Alessandro Achillini
1
Birthdate: October 20, 1463
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bologna, Italy
Died: August 2, 1512
 38 
Matthias de L'Obel
1
Birthdate: 1538 AD
Birthplace: Lille, France
Died: March 3, 1616
 39 
Théophraste Renaudot
1
Birthdate: 1586
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Loudun, France
Died: October 25, 1653
 40 
Andrew Boorde
(English Physician and Traveler Who Wrote the First-Known English Guidebook to Europe)
Andrew Boorde
1
Birthdate: 1490 AD
Birthplace: Sussex, England
Died: March 31, 1549

English physician Andrew Boorde was initially a member of the Carthusian order but quit monastic activities later. A traveler and explorer, too, he penned the first English guidebook to Europe. He has also written extensively on subjects such as health and astronomy. He was apparently imprisoned in later life for keeping loose women.

 41 
Giorgio Biandrata
0
Birthdate: 1516 AD
Birthplace: Saluzzo, Italy
Died: May 5, 1588
 42 
Guillaume de Baillou
0
Birthdate: 1538 AD
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: 1616 AD
 43 
Volcher Coiter
(Dutch Anatomist Who Established the Study of Comparative Osteology and First Described Cerebrospinal Meningitis)
Volcher Coiter
0
Birthdate: 1534 AD
Birthplace: Groningen, Netherlands
Died: June 2, 1576

Volcher Coiter was a Dutch anatomist who first described cerebrospinal meningitis. Volcher Coiter is also remembered for his work during the French Wars of Religion where he served as field surgeon to John Casimir, Count Palatine of Simmern.

 44 
Gaspare Aselli
(Physician)
Gaspare Aselli
1
Birthdate: 1581 AD
Birthplace: Cremona, Italy
Died: September 9, 1625
Peter Chamberlen the elder
0
Birthdate: 1560 AD
Birthplace: England
Died: 1631 AD
 46 
Siôn Dafydd Rhys
(Welsh Physician Who Wrote the First Welsh Grammar in Latin)
Siôn Dafydd Rhys
1
Birthdate: 1534 AD
Birthplace: Llanfaethlu, Wales
Died: 1609 AD

Welsh physician and grammarian Siôn Dafydd Rhys penned the first Welsh grammar in Latin. Initially a doctor in Cardiff, he also wrote extensively on bardic poetry. He also wrote a long history of Britain. However, his works have been criticizing for forcibly trying to mingle Welsh language and Latin grammar.