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Gabriele Falloppio Edit Profile

also known as Fallopius

Anatomist , botanist , physician , Surgeon

Gabriele Falloppio, also known as Fallopius, was an Italian anatomist, physician, botanist of the sixteenth century.


Gabriele Falloppio was born in Modena, Italy about the year 1523. He was the son of Girolamo and Caterina (Bergomozzi) Fallopio. His family was noble but poor.


Gabriele Falloppio had to struggle hard to obtain his education. He studied medicine at Ferrara, and after receiving his degree worked and studied at various medical schools of Europe.


Fallopio became professor of anatomy at Ferrara in 1548 and professor of surgery and anatomy at Pisa about a year later. In 1551 Cosimo I, Grand Duke of Tuscany, called him to a similar post at the University of Pisa to succeed Andreas Vesalius, the Belgian anatomist. There he also held the chair of botany and materia medica, and was superintendent of the botanical gardens.

Fallopio's work dealt primarily with the anatomy of the head; he added considerably to the knowledge of the ear. His discoveries included the sphenoidal sinuses; the chorda tympani; the canal through which the facial nerve passes after it leaves the auditory, called the Fallopian aqueduct; and the ducts leading from the ovaries to the uterus known as the Fallopian tubes.

As an anatomist, Fallopio ranks with Vesalius and Bartolommeo Eustachio. He was a skillful surgeon and an excellent teacher. He was distinguished for his merit as a botanist, and he made important contributions to practical medicine.

A strong opponent of the theories of Galen, Greek physician of the second century a. d. , he was forceful in his criticism of them. His writings included two treatises on tumors and ulcers; one on surgery; a commentary on the book on head wounds written by Hippocrates, Greek physician of the fourth and fifth centuries b. c. ; a treatise on the composition of drugs; one on simple purgatives; and another on thermal waters and baths.

His work on syphilis, De morbo gallico (1564), seems almost modern in its views. His best known work was Observationes anatomicae (1561). His complete works appeared for the first time at Venice in 1584.


  • Falloppio was the first investigator to show the connection between the mastoid and the middle ear, and the first to use the aural speculum in diagnosis of the ear. He named the hard palate, the soft palate, the placenta, and the vagina.


Geronimo Falloppio

Caterina Falloppio