Italian physician and botanist whose attempts to create a philosophically grounded system of plant classification helped establish botany as an independent scientific discipline. His De plantis libri XVI (1583), the first textbook of botany, described and classified over 1,500 plants. Cesalpino also wrote about anatomy and practical medicine and some historians believe that his ideas about the heart and blood anticipated William Harvey's discovery of the circulation of the blood. Cesalpino believed that the heart was the most important organ of the body and that observations made in the course of bloodletting could lead to insights into the movement of the blood.
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