Casserius, Julius

, a distinguished anatomist, of humble parentage, but of great talents, was born at Placentia in1545. His genius leading him to the study of anatomy, he went to Padua, and became a servant to Fabricius, who made him his pupil and assistant, and at length, coadjutor in the professorship of anatomy. This office, to which he was preferred in 1609, he continued to fill with credit until 1616, when he died. As his diligence and industry equalled his genius, he became in a few years more knowing and skilful in his profession than his preceptor. Fabricius, in the opinion of Douglas, excelled in philosophy, Casserius in anatomy. This excited, however, no jealousy. Fabricius, who was far advanced in years, was well pleased with the prospect of leaving a successor so well qualified to advance the knowledge of the art; but in this he was disappointed, as he survived his pupil by more than three years. Of Casserius’s anxious desire to leave behind him a name, we have numerous proofs. Almost the whole of the revenue he obtained by teaching anatomy was expended in procuring subjects for dissection, and in paying draughtsmen and engravers to delineate figures of such parts of the body as he either discovered, or thought he had juster conceptions of than his predecessors. In the prefaces to his anatomical works he is not backward in affirming that he has furnished future anatomists with delineations of the parts of human and animal bodies, exceeding in elegance, perspicuity, and correctness, all that had preceded them. It will be observed he made use of animals, not as succedanea, but only to enable him to discover minute parts which were not easily distinguishable in the human body. The title of his first work, published in 1600, is “De Vocis | Auditusque Organis Historia Anatomica, &c. Tractatibus duobus explicata,Ferrara, fol. He here lays claim to the discovery of a muscle, moving the malleus, one of the ossiculae auditus. He also improved, Haller says, the anatomy of the larynx. “Pentaesthesejon, id est, de quinque Sensibus Liber, Organorum Fabricam, Actionem, et Usum continens,” Venet. 1609, fol. This is an extension of the former work to the rest of the senses, executed with equal skill. They have both been several times reprinted. It was not until some years after the death of Spigelius, his successor, which happened in 1622, that the remainder of Casserius’s works, consisting of 78 anatomical plates, with the explanations, was published. Bucretius, to whom Spigelius had left the care of his productions, incorporated the works of Casserius with them, and published them together at Venice, 1627, royal folio. Two of the plates by Casserius, viz. one representing the placenta, and another the hymen, are printed with Spigelius’s work, “De Formato Fcetu,1627, folio. 1


Moreri. —Dict. Hist.; but principally —Rees’s Cyclopædia from Douglas, &c.