Santorini, Giovanni Domenico

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(b. Venice. Italy, 6 June 1681; d. Venice, 7 May 1737)

medicine, anatomy.

The son of an apothecary, Santorini studied medicine at Bologna, Padua, and Pisa, receiving the doctorate in 1701. He began anatomical dissection in 1706 and was demonstrator in anatomy at Venice from 1706 to 1728, when he became physician to the Spedaletto in that city.

Santorini was generally acknowledged as the outstanding anatomist of his time, carefully dissecting and delineating many difficult and complex gross features of the human body, such as facial muscles involved in emotional expression, accessory pancreatic ducts, and duodenal papillae. His name has been given to some of these structures, such as the arytenoid cartilages (1724), the risorius muscle, and the plexus pudendalis venosus.

Santorini’s contributions began with Opuscula medica de structura (1705). His most important work was Observationes anatomicae (1724), a valuable exposition of details of human anatomy that contains “De musculis facies,” “De aure exteriore,” “De cerebro,” “De naso,” “De larynge,” “De iis,” “De abdominae,” “De virorum naturalibus,” and “De mulierum partis procreationes datis,” Santorini was a popular teacher and a pioneer in teaching obstetrics.


See Opuscula medica de structura (Vebucem 1705; Rotterdam, 1718), later repr. in Georgius Baglivi, OperaLeiden. 1710); Observationes anatomicae (Venice. 1724; Leiden, 1739), his most important work; Istoria d’un feto (Venice, 1727); Istruzioni intorno alla febbre (Venice, 1734, 1751), and his Opera (Parma. 1773). His Opuscula quator: De structura et motu fibrae. De nutritione animali, de haemorrhiodibus, and De catamenüs appeared in Baglivi’s Opera omnia medico-practica et anatomica (Leiden, 1745).

Chauncey D. Leake

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Santorini, Giovanni Domenico

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