Morgagni, John Baptist

, an eminent pbysiciain and anatomist, was born at Forli, in Rornagna, in February 1682. After a careful education, in which he displayed a proficiency in classical and philosophical acquire ments beyond his years, he studied medicine at Bologna with great ardour, and soon attracted the attention and esteem of his able masters, Valsalva and Albertini; the former of whom availed himself of his assistance in the researches into the organ of hearing, which he was at that time prosecuting, and in drawing up his memoirs upon that subject. Morgagni also acted as substitute during the | absence of professor Valsalva on a journey to Parma, and llustrated his lectures by numerous anatomical preparations. Soon after he travelled for improvement, going first to Venice, where he cultivated several branches of physics, with the assistance of Poleni, Zanicheili, and other scientific men; and afterwards he visited Padua, where he attended the schools, under the direction of distinguished professors, with his accustomed industry. After his return he settled for a short time at his native place, and then by the advice of Guglielmini, returned to Paduaa, where he was appointed professor, in 1711, and taught the theory of physic. He became the intimate friend of the celebrated Lancisi, whom he assisted in preparing for publication the dawings of Eustachius, which appeared in 1714. He had already distinguished himself by the publication of the first part of his own work, the “Adversaria Anatomica,” Bonon. 1706, 4to, which was remarkable for the originality of its execution, and for the accuracy, as well as the novelty, of the observations which it contained. He published, successively, from this time to 1719, five other parts of ths important work, which contains a great many discoveries in different parts of the human body, most correctly detailed.

The progress of this work had extended his reputation thoughout Europe; and in 1715, his talents were rewarded by an appointment to the first anatomical professorship in the university of Padua; and henceforth to the close of a long life he ranked deservedly at the head of the anatomists of his time, and literary honours were accumulated upon him from every quarter of Europe. He was elected a member of the Academia Nature Curiosorum, in 1708; of the Royal Society of London, in 1724; of the Academy of Sciences at Paris, in 1731; of the Imperial Academy of Petersburgh, in 1735; and of the Academy of Berlin, in 1754; and he was one of the first associates of the Institute of Bologna. All the learned and great, who passed through Bologna, visited Morgagni; he was honoured by the particular esteem of three successive popes; and his native city of Forli placed his bust in their public hall during his life, with an honorary inscription. He married a lady of noble family at Forli, by whom he had fifteen children, eight of whom survived him. By his professional labours, and a life of frugality, he accumulated a large | property, and died at the advanced age of ninety years, about the end of 1771, in the possession of his faculties.

In addition to the Adversaria, already mentioned, Morgagni published the following works: “In Aurelium Celsum et Quintum Serenum Sammonicum Epistolce quatuor,1704; “Nova Institutionum Medicarum Idea,” Patav. 1712; which was written upon his appointment to the theoretical chair, and teaches the proper method of acquiring medical science “Vita Guglielmini,” prefixed to an edition of the works of that physician, Geneva, 1719 “Epistolae Anatomicae dua?, novas observationes et anirnadversiones complectentes, quibus Anatome augetur, &c.” which were edited at Ley den by Boerhaave, and relate chiefly to a dispute with J3ianchi on the structure of the liver. “Epistolae Anatomicce XVIII. ad Scripta pertinentes celeb. Ant. Mar. Valsalvye,Venice, 1740, 2 vols. 4to. To these epistles are prefixed a life of Valsalva. “De Sedibus et Causis Morborum per Anatomiam indagatis, Libri quinque,Venice, 1760, folio. This great and valuable work was published when the author had nearly reached his eightieth year. It contains a prodigious collection of dissections of morbid bodies, made by himself and his master, Valsalva; arranged according to the organs of the body in which the diseases were seated. He followed the plan adopted by Bonetus, in his “Sepulchreturn Anatomicum;” but the accuracy and fidelity of his details render this collection of morbid anatomy of very superior value to all that had preceded it. Of this work an excellent translation was published by Dr. Benjamin Alexander, in 1769, 3 vols. 4to. Morgagni’s last publication, in 1763, “Opuscula miscellanea, quorum non pauca nunc primum prodierunt,Venice, folio, contains dissertation* on the lachrymal ducts, on the glands, on gall-stones, urinary calculi, &c. in addition to his first-published critical dissertations on Celsus. In 1765, a complete edition of his whole works was printed at Bassano, 5 vols. folio. 1


Fabroni Vitae Italorum, vol. XII, Rees’s Cyclopædia. —Eloy, —Dict. Hist. de Medicine.