Lancisi, John-Maria

, a celebrated physician, was born at Rome in October 1654. His parents were rather low in rank, but cherished the disposition for learning which he early displayed; and having finished his classical studies, he went through the course of philosophy in the Roman college, and then commenced the study of divinity. He had always evinced a great taste for natural history, | which at length induced him to abandon the study of divinity, and apply himself entirely to that of medicine, and after a regular course he was created doctor in philosophy and medicine in 1672. In 1675, he was appointed physician to the hospital of the Holy Ghost, in Sassia, where he pursued his clinical inquiries with great accuracy and acuteness: but he quitted this situation in 1678, and was received a member of the college of St. Saviour; and his talents and acquirements being soon acknowledged, he was appointed professor of anatomy in the college de la Sapienza, in 1684, and continued his duties as a teacher for thirteen years with great reputation. In 1688, pope Innocent XI. chose Lancisi for his physician and private chamberlain and some time afterwards gave him a canon’s stall in the church of St. Lawrence but on the death of the pope, in 1689, he resigned it. He was now in high public estimation, attended Innocent XII. during his whole illness, was elected physician to the conclave, and was immediately appointed first physician and private chancellor to the succeeding pope Clement XI. He was indefatigable in the discharge of all his duties, as well as in the pursuit of his studies, reading and writing at every interval of leisure, and in his attendance on the learned societies of the time. He died in January, 1720, at the age of 65. He was a man of small stature, with a lively countenance, and cheerful disposition his manners were extremely engaging and he was possessed of much knowledge of mankind. His ardour for the advancement of his art was extreme and unceasing. He collected a library of more than twenty thousand volumes, which he presented in his life -time to the hospital of the Holy Ghost, for the use of the public, particularly the young physicians and surgeons who attended the patients in that hospital. This noble benefaction was opened in 1716. He published an edition of his works, entitled, “Mar. Lancisi archiatri pontificii Opera, qua; hactenus prodierunt omnia, &c. Genevae, 1718,” 2 vols. 4to. The first volume contains the following pieces: “De subitaneis mortibus; Dissertatio de nati vis deque ad ventitiisRomani cceli qualitatibus; Denoxiis Paludum effluviis.” The contents of the second volume are, “Dissertatio historica de Bovilla Peste ex Campaniae finibus, an. 1713;” “Latio iraportata, &c. 1715” “Dissertatio de recta medicorum studiorum instituenda” “Humani corporis anatomica synopsis” “Kpistola ad J. | Baptist. Bianchi de humorum secretionibus et genere ac praecipue bilis in hepate separatione” “An acidum ex sanguine extrahi queat” (the negative had been maintained by Boyle) “Epistolae duse de triplici intestinorum polypo; de physiognomia,” and many small pieces, in Italian as well as Latin. 1


Fabroni Vitas lUlorum.^-—Niceron, vol. XII. —Rees’s Cyclopædia.