Giovanni Maria Lancisi (1654-1720): Anatomist and papal physician

Zachary Klaassen, Justin Chen, Vidya Dixit, R. Shane Tubbs, Mohammadali M. Shoja, Marios Loukas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Giovanni Maria Lancisi (1654-1720) was an Italian physician who made significant contributions to many fields of medicine. De subitaneis mortibus was the first autoptic manuscript, suggesting that myocardial disease was a factor in a 1706 sudden death epidemic in Rome. His book De motu cordis et aneurysmatibus described the pathology and etiology of aneurysms, and Tractatus de urinis was the first discussion of the physiological mechanism of urine formation. Arguably, Lancisi's most notable medical contribution was the anatomical description of the medial longitudinal striae of the corpus callosum, in addition to other documents he wrote in the field of neurology. Aside from his medical work, Lancisi developed the "stamping out" method for eradication of the cattle plague in Europe, and he contributed to early work in malarial research. Lancisi was a multifaceted man with vast interests outside of medicine including language and literature. Over the course of his life, Lancisi opened his own medical library, was chair of anatomy for 13 years at Sapienza University, and served as papal physician to three popes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)802-806
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Anatomy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • aneurysms
  • corpus callosum
  • heart
  • history of anatomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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