Fracastoro, Girolamo


Fracastoro, Girolamo
Latin Hieronymus Fracastorius

born с 1478, Verona, Republic of Venice
died Aug. 8, 1553, Caffi, near Verona

Italian physician, poet, astronomer, and geologist.

He is best known for Syphilis, or the French Disease (1530), an account in rhyme of the disease he named. His intense study of epidemic diseases led to his On Contagion and Contagious Diseases (1546). The first scientific statement of the true nature of contagion, infection, disease germs, and modes of disease transmission, it stated that each disease is caused by a different type of rapidly multiplying minute body, transmitted by direct contact, by carriers such as soiled clothing or through the air. Widely praised in his time, Fracastoro's theory, soon obscured by the mystical doctrines of Paracelsus, fell into general disrepute until Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch proved it 300 years later.

* * *

▪ Italian physician
Latin  Hieronymus Fracastorius  
born c. 1478, Verona, Republic of Venice [now in Italy]
died Aug. 8, 1553, Caffi [now Affi], near Verona
 Italian physician, poet, astronomer, and geologist, who proposed a scientific germ theory of disease more than 300 years before its empirical formulation by Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch.

      At the University of Padua Fracastoro was a colleague of the astronomer Copernicus. As a physician, he maintained a private practice in Verona. He is best-known for “Syphilis sive morbus Gallicus” (1530; “Syphilis or the French Disease”), a work in rhyme giving an account of the disease, which he named. He made an intense study of epidemic diseases, and, while in the service of Pope Paul III at the Council of Trent (1545–63), he provided the medical justification for the removal of the council to the papal state of Bologna by pointing out the danger of plague in the north Italian town of Trent.

      Fracastoro outlined his concept of epidemic diseases in De contagione et contagiosis morbis (1546; “On Contagion and Contagious Diseases”), stating that each is caused by a different type of rapidly multiplying minute body and that these bodies are transferred from the infector to the infected in three ways: by direct contact; by carriers such as soiled clothing and linen; and through the air. Although microorganisms had been mentioned as a possible cause of disease by the Roman scholar Marcus Varro in the 1st century BC, Fracastoro's was the first scientific statement of the true nature of contagion, infection, disease germs, and modes of disease transmission. Fracastoro's theory was widely praised during his time, but its influence waned, and it fell into general disrepute until an experimental version was later elaborated by German physician Robert Koch and French chemist Louis Pasteur.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • FRACASTORO, Girolamo — (c. 1478 1553) Girolamo Fracastoro, a prominent Italian humanist, taught logic at the Uni­versity of Padua and later practiced medicine in Verona. He is most famous for his study of syphilis, penning a narrative poem in Latin, Syphilis sive… …   Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary

  • Fracastoro, Girolamo — ► (1478 1553) Médico, matemático y astrónomo italiano. Expuso una teoría de la atracción y repulsión moleculares. Dio nombre a la sífilis. * * * latín Hieronymus Fracastorius ( 1478, Verona, República de Venecia–8 ago. 1553, Caffi, cerca de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Fracastoro, Girolamo — (ca. 1478 1553)    Italian physician and anatomist. Born into a noble family of Verona, he studied at the University of Padua, including not only Aristotelian philosophy and medicine but also classical Latin language and literature. He also had a …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • Fracastoro — Fracastoro, Girolamo …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Fracastoro — Girolamo Fracastoro. Girolamo Fracastoro (* um 1478 in Verona; † 8. August 1553 in Incaffi nahe Verona) war ein italienischer Arzt und Dichter. Er prägte den Krankheitsbegriff der Syphilis. Fracastoro wurde 1478 als Sohn einer vornehmen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Girolamo Fracastoro — Girolamo Fracastoro. Girolamo Fracastoro (* um 1478 in Verona; † 8. August 1553 in Incaffi nahe Verona) war ein italienischer Arzt und Dichter. Er prägte den Krankheitsbegriff der Syphilis. Fracastoro wurde 1478 als Sohn einer vornehmen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Girolamo Fracastoro — Girolamo Fracastoro. Girolamo Fracastoro. Girolamo Fracastoro …   Wikipedia Español

  • FRACASTORO (G.) — FRACASTORO GIROLAMO (1478 1553) Médecin, humaniste et poète véronais, Fracastoro est l’une des figures les plus représentatives du gentilhomme savant de la Renaissance. Après des études à l’université de Padoue, où il a pour condisciple Copernic… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Fracastŏro — Fracastŏro, Girolamo, ital. (neulat.) Dichter und Arzt, einer der bedeutendsten Gelehrten seiner Zeit, geb. 1483 in Verona. gest. 6. Aug. 1553 in Incaffi beim Gardasee, ist berühmt durch sein Lehrgedicht: »De morbo gallico« (neue Ausg. mit… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Fracastoro — Fracastoro,   Girolamo, italienischer Humanist und Arzt, * Verona 1483 (1478 ?), ✝ Incaffi (heute zu Affi, Provinz Verona) 8. 8. 1553; studierte Mathematik und Medizin in Padua, praktizierte und forschte seit 1505 in Verona, war Leibarzt Papst… …   Universal-Lexikon


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.