Forestus, Petrus

, or Peter Van Foueest, an eminent physician, was born at Alcmaer in 1522. He was sent by his father to Louvain, in order to study with a view to the profession of the law; but, preferring that of medicine, cultivated it in the universities of Bologna, Padua, and Rome; at the former of which he graduated, and afterwards proceeded to complete his studies at Paris. He settled, at the request of his friends, in his native town; but at the end of twelve years removed to Delft, in consequence of a petition from the inhabitants of that place, which was at that time ravaged by a fatal contagious epidemic. Forestus in obeying the call of humanity, not only preserved his own health, but was so successful in his administration of remedies to others, that the town of Delft retained him in the capacity of physician, with a considerable pension, for nearly thirty years; after which he was invited to Leyden, to give the first lectures on medicine at the opening of the university in 1575. He afterwards returned to Delft, and resided there about ten years more, when his attachment to his native city impelled him to visit Alcmaer, where he terminated his life in 1597, in the seventy-fifth year of his age.

Forestus (for by his Latin name he is best known), was one of the most expert physicians of his time: he was extremely industrious, and his principal views were directed to the observation of diseases, in which he manifested, in numerous instances, a considerable degree of penetration and judgment. Mailer, indeed, has thrown out some | suspicions against the histories of djsease which he has detailed; and apprehends that he was occasionally more anxious to prove the justness of his“prognostics, and the felicity of his cures, than to relate a true account of the symptoms: but Boerhaave has praised him highly for the care and attention which he has evinced in the collection of so large a number of histories of disease. The following are the titles of his works: 1.” Observationum et Curationum Medicinalium sive Medicinae Theories et Practicae, libri 28,“Francofurti, 1602, 2 vols. folio. 2. A third volume of the same work in 1604; and 3. A fourth volume, consisting of the 30th, 31st, and 32d books in 1607. 4. In 1610 a fifth volume was printed under the title of” Observationum et Curationum Chirurgicarum, libri quinque. Accesserunt de incerto ac fallaci Urinarum judicio adversus Uromentas et Uroscopos, libri tres’' ir> which the fallacy and absurdity of the pretensions of the uroscopists are clearly pointed out. 5. A sixth and last volume of these treatises was published at Francfort in 1611, with the title of “Observationum et Curationum Chirurgicarum libri quatuor posterius,” folio. All these books of observations were printed separately at Leyden, between 1589 and 1610, in 8vo. The three books relative to the urine, in 1583. Complete collections of the works of Forestus have been subsequently published at various times and places. 1


Rees’s Cyclopædia. —Moreri. Maoget. and —Haller.