Famous 16th Century Physicians

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 1 
Paracelsus
(Physician, Botanist, Astrologer)

Paracelsus
4
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
(Astrologer)

Nostradamus
4
Birthdate: December 14, 1503
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France
Died: July 1, 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 

François Rabelais
4
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Chinon, France
Died: 1553 AD

François Rabelais was a French writer, Renaissance humanist, physician, monk, and Greek scholar. Regarded as one of the great writers by Western literary critics, Rabelais is also considered one of the creators of modern European writing. He is remembered for Gargantua and Pantagruel, a pentalogy of novels that are regarded as one of the earliest forms of the modern novel.

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.

 7 
Girolamo Fracastoro
(Physician, Poet)

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. 

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 8 

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.

 9 
William Gilbert
(Physician)

William Gilbert
3
Birthdate: May 24, 1544
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Colchester , England
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. 

 10 

Ambroise Paré
3
Birthdate: 1510 AD
Birthplace: Laval, France
Died: December 20, 1590

 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 
Conrad Gessner
(Physician)

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.

 13 
Robert Fludd
(Physician)

Robert Fludd
3
Birthdate: January 17, 1574
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bearsted, 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.

 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
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 scholar)

Li Shizhen
2
Birthdate: July 3, 1518
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: China
Died: 1593 AD

 17 

Charles Borromeo
4
Birthdate: October 2, 1538
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Arona, Italy
Died: November 3, 1584

 18 
Leonhart Fuchs
(Physician)

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.

 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.

 20 
Santorio Santorio
(Physiologist)

Santorio Santorio
2
Birthdate: March 29, 1561
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Koper, Slovenia
Died: February 22, 1636

Hieronymus Fabricius ab Aquapendente
2
Birthdate: May 20, 1533
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Acquapendente, Italy
Died: May 21, 1619

 22 
Gaspard Bauhin
(Botanist)

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.

 23 
Georg Joachim Rheticus
(Mathematician)

Georg Joachim Rheticus
2
Birthdate: February 16, 1514
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Feldkirch, Austria
Died: December 4, 1574

Having lost his doctor father to an execution after he was charged with stealing from his patients, Georg Joachim Rheticus ditched his paternal surname. The Austrian-born mathematician is best remembered for his tables of trigonometric functions. He was also one of the first to propagate the Copernican heliocentric theory.

 24 
John Caius
(Physician)

John Caius
2
Birthdate: October 6, 1510
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Norwich, England
Died: July 29, 1573

 25 
Thomas Erastus
(Physician)

Thomas Erastus
1
Birthdate: September 7, 1524
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Aargau, 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.

 26 
Realdo Colombo
(Professor)

Realdo Colombo
1
Birthdate: 1515 AD
Birthplace: Cremona, Italy
Died: 1559 AD

 27 
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.

 28 
Andrea Cesalpino
(Physician)

Andrea Cesalpino
1
Birthdate: June 6, 1519
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Arezzo, Italy
Died: February 23, 1603

 29 
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.

 30 
Jean Fernel
(Physician)

Jean Fernel
0
Birthdate: 1497 AD
Birthplace: Montdidier, France
Died: April 26, 1558

 31 
Andreas Libavius
(Physician)

Andreas Libavius
1
Birthdate: 1555 AD
Birthplace: Halle, Germany
Died: July 25, 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. 

 32 
Prospero Alpini
(Scientist)

Prospero Alpini
1
Birthdate: November 23, 1553
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Marostica, Italy
Died: February 6, 1617

 33 
Hieronymus Bock
(Botanist)

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.

 34 
Girolamo Mercuriale
(Philologist)

Girolamo Mercuriale
0
Birthdate: September 30, 1530
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Forli, Italy
Died: November 8, 1606

 35 
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

 37 

Alessandro Achillini
1
Birthdate: October 20, 1463
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bologna, Italy
Died: August 2, 1512

 38 

Joachim Vadianus
1
Birthdate: November 29, 1484
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: St. Gallen, Switzerland
Died: April 6, 1551

 39 

Matthias de L'Obel
1
Birthdate: 1538 AD
Birthplace: Lille, France
Died: March 3, 1616

 40 

Théophraste Renaudot
1
Birthdate: 1538 AD, 1586
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Loudun, France
Died: October 25, 1653

 41 
Andrew Boorde
(Physician)

Andrew Boorde
1
Birthdate: 1490 AD
Birthplace: Sussex, England
Died: March 31, 1549

 42 

Giorgio Biandrata
0
Birthdate: 1516 AD
Birthplace: Saluzzo, Italy
Died: May 5, 1588

 43 

Guillaume de Baillou
0
Birthdate: 1538 AD
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: 1616 AD

 44 
Volcher Coiter
(Physician)

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.

Peter Chamberlen the elder
0
Birthdate: 1560 AD
Birthplace: England
Died: 1631 AD

 46 
Gaspare Aselli
(Physician)

Gaspare Aselli
1
Birthdate: 1581 AD
Birthplace: Cremona, Italy
Died: September 9, 1625

 47 
Siôn Dafydd Rhys
(Welsh grammarian)

Siôn Dafydd Rhys
0
Birthdate: 1534 AD
Birthplace: Llanfaethlu, Wales
Died: 1609 AD