Ulisse Aldrovandi

Ulisse Aldrovandi (11 September 1522 – 4 May 1605) was an Italian naturalist, the moving force behind Bologna's botanical garden, one of the first in Europe. Carl Linnaeus and the comte de Buffon reckoned him the father of natural history studies. He is usually referred to, especially in older literature, as Aldrovandus; his name in Italian is equally given as Aldroandi.[a]

Ulisse Aldrovandi
Ulysse Aldrovandi
Born11 September 1522
Died4 May 1605 (aged 82)
Alma materUniversity of Padua
Scientific career
Notable studentsVolcher Coiter
Title page of Ornithologiae, 1599


Aldrovandi was born in Bologna to Teseo Aldrovandi and his wife, a noble but poor family. His father was a lawyer, and Secretary to the Senate of Bologna, but died when Ulisse was seven years old. However, when Pope Gregory XIII, a member of Ulisse's mother's family was elected in 1570, the family's fortune improved.[1] His widowed mother wanted him to become a jurist.[2] Initially he was sent to apprentice with merchants as a scribe for a short time when he was 14 years old, but he found his vocation, after studying mathematics, Latin, law, and philosophy, initially at the university of Bologna, and then in Padua in 1545 and becoming a notary. His interests successively extended to philosophy and logic, which he combined with the study of medicine.[3]

In June 1549, Aldrovandi was accused and arrested for heresy on account of his espousing of the anti-trinitarian beliefs of the Anabaptist Camillo Renato. By September, he had published an abjuration, but was transferred to Rome, and remained in custody or house arrest until absolved in April, 1550. During this time, he befriended many local scholars. While in light captivity there, he became more and more interested in botany, zoology, and geology (he is credited for the invention/first written record of this word[4]). From 1551 onward, he organized a variety of expeditions to the Italian mountains, countryside, islands, and coasts to collect and catalogue plants.

He obtained a degree in medicine and philosophy in 1553 and started teaching logic and philosophy in 1554 at the University of Bologna. In 1559, he became professor of philosophy and in 1561 he became the first professor of natural sciences at Bologna (lectura philosophiae naturalis ordinaria de fossilibus, plantis et animalibus).[3] Aldrovandi was a friend of Francesco de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (1574 – 1587), visiting his garden at Pratolino and travelling with him, compiling a list of the most valuable plants at Pratolino.[b] He also formed fruitful associations with botanical artists such as Jacopo Ligozzi, to further develop illustrated texts.[5] He died in Bologna on 4 May 1605, at the age of 82.


Ulisse aldrovandi, monstrorum historia, per nicola tebaldini, bologna 1642, 191 bambino ipertricotico
Monstrorum Historia

Over the course of his life, he would assemble one of the most spectacular cabinets of curiosities: his "theatre" illuminating natural history comprising some 7000 specimens of the diversità di cose naturali, of which he wrote a description in 1595. Between 1551 and 1554, he organized several expeditions to collect plants for a herbarium, among the first botanizing expeditions. Eventually, his herbarium contained about 4760 dried specimens on 4117 sheets in sixteen volumes, preserved at the University of Bologna. He also had various artists including Jacopo Ligozzi, Giovanni Neri, and Cornelio Schwindt, compose illustrations of specimens.

Botanic garden

At his demand and under his direction, a public botanic garden was created in Bologna in 1568, now the Orto Botanico dell'Università di Bologna.[6] Due to a dispute on the composition of a popular medicine with the pharmacists and doctors of Bologna in 1575, he was suspended from all public positions for five years. In 1577, he sought the aid of pope Gregory XIII (a cousin of his mother), who wrote to the authorities of Bologna to reinstate Aldrovandi in his public offices and request financial aid to help him publish his books.


His vast collections in botany and zoology he willed to the Senate of Bologna; until 1742 the collections were conserved in the Palazzo Pubblico, then in the Palazzo Poggi, but were distributed among various libraries and institutions in the course of the nineteenth century. In 1907 a representative part were reunited at Palazzo Poggi, Bologna, where the 400th anniversary of his death was memorialized in a celebrative exhibition in 2005.


He was the first to have extensively documented the neurofibromatosis[7] disease, a type of skin tumour. Recently, however, it has been observed that in a work by Andrea Mantegna's, this type of disease had been pictured 80 years earlier than in Androvandi's work.[8]

List of selected publications

Of the several hundred books and essays he wrote, only a handful were published during his lifetime:



Basilisk aldrovandi

Basilisk from Serpentum, et draconum historiae libri duo (1640)


Harpy from Monstrorum Historia (1642)

Aldrov tatzelwurm

Two headed lizard from Historia serpentum et draconum (1640)

Ulisse Aldrovandi - Specimens of Nature - WGA00143

Specimens of Nature

Aldrovandi Owl


Ulisse Aldrovandi - Blue-Headed Quail-Dove - WGA00142

Blue-Headed Quail-Dove

Gallina patavina

Paduan Hen

Gallus patavinus

Paduan Rooster

Gallus turcicus

Turcicus Rooster

Ulisse Aldrovandi - Blackbuck - WGA00139


Ulisse Aldrovandi - Red Hartebeest and Blackbuck - WGA00136

Red Hartebeest and Blackbuck

Ulisse Aldrovandi - Red Hartebeest and Mountain Coati - WGA00140

Red Hartebeest and Mountain Coati


  1. ^ As in the title page of his Le antichita de la citta di Roma brevissimamente raccolte, 1556.
  2. ^ Observationes variae (Tomasi & Hirschauer 2002, footnote 52)


  1. ^ Westfall 1995.
  2. ^ Castellani 1970.
  3. ^ a b EB 1998.
  4. ^ Vai & Cavazza 2003.
  5. ^ Tomasi & Hirschauer 2002.
  6. ^ Conan 2005, p. 96.
  7. ^ Ruggieri, M. (2003). "From Aldrovandi's "Homuncio" (1592) to Buffon's girl (1749) and the "Wart Man" of Tilesius (1793): Antique illustrations of mosaicism in neurofibromatosis?". Journal of Medical Genetics. 40 (3): 227–232. doi:10.1136/jmg.40.3.227. PMC 1735405.
  8. ^ Bianucci 2016.
  9. ^ IPNI.  Aldrovandi.


External links


Aldrovanda is a genus of carnivorous plants encompassing one extant species (Aldrovanda vesiculosa, the waterwheel plant) and numerous extinct taxa. The genus is named in honor of the Italian naturalist Ulisse Aldrovandi, the founder of the Botanical Garden of Bologna, Orto Botanico dell'Università di Bologna. Aldrovanda vesiculosa has been reported from scattered locations in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.


Aldrovandi is a family name of the Emilia-Romagna in Italy, and especially famous for the aristocratic and Senatorial family from Bologna. The Palazzo Aldrovandi in central Bologna was built by the family. Among its famous members are:

Cardinal Pompeo Aldrovandi (1668–1752), Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church

Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522–1605), an Italian botanist and naturalist, after which the genus Aldrovanda is named

Luigi Aldrovandi Marescotti, Count of Viano (1876-1945) Italian politician and diplomat

Carlo Filippo Aldrovandi- 19th century art patron

Aldrovandi Villa Borghese

Aldrovandi Villa Borghese is a luxury 5-star hotel at the edge of Villa Borghese in Rome, Italy.

A member of The Leading Hotels of the World. It is also adjacent to Bioparco, a zoological garden located on part of the original Villa Borghese estate.


Ardenna is a genus of seabirds in the family Procellariidae.

It comprises a group medium-sized shearwaters. The species were for a long time included in the genus Puffinus, but this genus was split based on the results of a phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA. The genus had been introduced by Ludwig Reichenbach in 1853, although the name was first used to refer to a seabird by Italian naturalist Ulisse Aldrovandi in 1603.The genus contains these seven living species:

Wedge-tailed shearwater (Northern and Western Australia), A. pacifica

Buller's shearwater, A. bulleri

Sooty shearwater or muttonbird (New Zealand), A. grisea

Short-tailed shearwater or muttonbird (Southern Australia), A. tenuirostris

Pink-footed shearwater, A. creatopus

Flesh-footed shearwater, A. carneipes

Great shearwater, A. gravis

Bartolomeo Ambrosini

Bartolomeo Ambrosini (Bologna, 1588 - Bologna, Feb. 3, 1657) was an Italian botanist, physician and naturalist, for over thirty years prefect of the Botanical Garden of Bologna and editor of many of the posthumous works of Ulisse Aldrovandi.

Civico Orto Botanico "Ulisse Aldrovandi"

The Civico Orto Botanico "Ulisse Aldrovandi", also known as Civico Giardino Botanico "Ulisse Aldrovandi", is a municipal botanical garden located at Vicolo Baciadonne 1 I-40017 San Giovanni in Persiceto, Emilia-Romagna, Italy.

The garden was established in 1985, and named in honor of celebrated natural historian Ulisse Aldrovandi. It now contains about 300 types of plants local to the Po Valley and Emilia-Romagna, as well as an astronomical observatory, planetarium, museum with collection of meteorites and other stones, all of which form part of the Museo del Cielo e della Terra.


Cosmorhaphe is an ichnogenus representing grazing feeding behavior (pascichnia).The Renaissance naturalist Ulisse Aldrovandi discussed and described a specimen of Cosmorhaphe, which is therefore among the first fossils to be illustrated.


Dorsa Aldrovandi

Dorsa Aldrovandi is a wrinkle ridge system at 23.6°N 28.7°E / 23.6; 28.7 in Mare Serenitatis on the Moon. It is about 127 km long and was named after the 16th century Italian naturalist Ulisse Aldrovandi. The north end of the feature is at the crater Le Monnier, and the south end is close to the craters Clerke and Abetti.

Southeast of the ridge is Catena Littrow. West of the southernmost part of the ridge are the crater Borel and the nearest other wrinkle ridge Dorsa Lister.

Gillian Riley

Gillian Riley is an English food writer. She was born and brought up in Yorkshire, read History at Cambridge, and after obtaining a diploma in education went to live in London where she worked as a designer in print and publishing, combining this with part-time teaching. Study trips to Italy in pursuit of lettering and inscriptions fuelled a passion for the history of Italian gastronomy which gradually took over her life. Her illustrated translation of Giacomo Castelvetro's The Fruit, Herbs & Vegetables of Italy was published by Viking Penguin in 1989, and in paperback, text only, by Prospect Books in 2012. Then followed three titles in the Painters & Food series for Pomegranate Books: Renaissance Recipes, Impressionist Picnics, and The Dutch Table. A ''Feast for the Eyes, the National Gallery Cookbook, involved the lateral thinking needed to use art to illuminate the story of food, and food to shed light on hitherto ignored aspects of painting. Food in Art, Reaktion Books 2015, covers earliest times to the Renaissance. The Oxford Companion to Italian Food, OUP 2007 describes contemporary Italian food in its historic background. She is currently working on a biography of Ulisse Aldrovandi, the sixteenth century naturalist.

Great shearwater

The great shearwater (Ardenna gravis; formerly Puffinus gravis) is a large shearwater in the seabird family Procellariidae. Ardenna was first used to refer to a seabird by Italian naturalist Ulisse Aldrovandi in 1603, and gravis is Latin for "heavy".The great shearwater's relationships are unclear. It belongs in the group of large species that have been separated as genus Ardenna; within these, it might be allied with the other black-billed, blunt-tailed species, the short-tailed shearwater and especially the sooty shearwater. Alternatively (Austin 1996, Austin et al. 2004), it could be a monotypic subgenus (Ardenna sensu stricto), an Atlantic representative of the light-billed Hemipuffinus group (pink-footed shearwater and flesh-footed shearwater).

This species breeds on Nightingale Island, Inaccessible Island, Tristan da Cunha, and Gough Island. It is one of only a few bird species to migrate from breeding grounds in the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern Hemisphere, the normal pattern being the other way around. This shearwater nests in large colonies, laying one white egg in a small burrow or in the open grass. These nests are visited only at night to avoid predation by large gulls.

This shearwater, like the sooty shearwater, follows a circular route, moving north up the eastern seaboard of first South and then North America, before crossing the Atlantic in August. It can be quite common off the southwestern coasts of Great Britain and Ireland before heading back south again, this time down the eastern littoral of the Atlantic.

This bird has the typically "shearing" flight of the genus, dipping from side to side on stiff wings with few wingbeats, the wingtips almost touching the water. Its flight is powerful and direct, with wings held stiff and straight.

This shearwater is 43–51 cm in length with a 105– to 122-cm wingspan. It is identifiable by its size, dark upper parts, and under parts white except for a brown belly patch and dark shoulder markings. It has a black cap, black bill, and a white "horseshoe" on the base of the tail. The stiff flight, like a large Manx shearwater, is also distinctive. The only other large shearwater in its range is the all-dark sooty shearwater.

The great shearwater feeds on fish and squid, which it catches from the surface or by plunge-diving. It readily follows fishing boats, where it indulges in noisy squabbles. This is a gregarious species, which can be seen in large numbers from ships or appropriate headlands. They have a piercing eeyah cry usually given when resting in groups on the water.

Museo Civico di Zoologia

The Museo Civico di Zoologia is a natural history museum in Rome, central Italy. It is situated next to the Bioparc (Zoo) and can be entered by the Zoo or through the entrance on via Ulisse Aldrovandi. Founded in 1932, it is said to continue the natural history tradition of the Gabinetto di Zoologia dell'Università Pontificia and the collections date from 1792.

It is a recognized as an institute of national importance by the Ministero per la Università e la Ricerca Scientifica. There are collections of entomology, malacology, osteology, ornithology, herpetology, ichthyology and mammalology.There are five million specimens in total( molluscs, insects, birds and mammals and fossils). The displays are modern, with over 1000 square metres of multi-sensorial or interactive stations exhibitions and three-dimensional reconstructions.

A biodiversity display includes sections on the significance of sex in the animal world; adaptations in borderline environments and ecosystems. other displays are more traditional with two ornithology halls a gallery on "Arrigoni degli Oddi" and two halls of mammals.

The museum contains the zoological collections of Conte Arrigoni degli Oddi.

The museum is the result of a convention made between the municipality of Rome and the Sapienza University of Rome . It is one of three centres, second in the university, conserves specimens of invertebrates and vertebrates including fish, amphibians and small mammals.It is at Museo di Zoologia, Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza, Viale dell'Università 32, 00100 Roma. The third, at Via Catone, contains entomological collections retained by the university.

Orto Botanico dell'Università di Bologna

The Orto Botanico dell'Università di Bologna, also known as the Orto Botanico di Bologna, is a botanical garden operated by the University of Bologna. It is located at Via Irnerio, 42, 40126 Bologna, Italy, and open daily except Sundays.

Established in 1568, the garden is one of Europe's oldest, after those of Pisa, Padua, and Florence. Although early records indicate a Bolognese medicinal herb garden dating to 1365, today's garden arose from the proposals of botanist Luca Ghini (1490-1556), who left to create the Orto botanico di Pisa, and became a reality under his successor Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522-1605). Those first gardens were located in the Palazzo Pubblico, in a courtyard near today's Sala Borsa, but partially moved in 1587 to a larger site in Borghetto S. Giuliano (today's Porta S. Stefano), with an area of about 5000 m². By 1653 the garden's catalog listed approximately 1500 species.

In 1740 the garden moved to Porta S. Stefano, followed in 1745 by the construction of a hybernaculum, where exotic plants were kept during the winter. Neoclassical greenhouses were added in 1765, to designs by Francesco Tadolini, and still stand in Via San Giuliano. In 1803 the garden moved again to its current location. The garden suffered a period of severe neglect in the early 1900s, and indeed was covered with a dense natural forest, and bombing in 1944 destroyed the garden's Napoleonic-era orangerie. Since end of World War II, however, the garden has gradually been restored.

Today's garden contains about 5,000 specimens representing 1200 taxa. Its site is roughly rectangular, about 2 hectares in extent, with the following major features:

Front garden - primarily trees, including Albizia julibrissin, Ginkgo biloba, Ilex aquifolium, Liriodendron tulipifera, Metasequoia glyptostroboides, as well as Musa basjoo, Phyllostachys viridis, and a fountain.

Rear garden - reconstruction of a typical local hardwood forest, with greenhouses, Orto dei Semplici, thematic collections (including those of alpine plants and carnivorous plants), and the forest.

Forest - Carex pendula, Corylus avellana, Equisetum telmateia, Hedera helix, Lonicera xylosteum, Populus alba, Salix purpurea, Sambucus nigra, etc.

Pond / wetlands

Tropical greenhouses - bromeliaceae and orchids, coffee, palm trees, spice and medicinal plants, and plants of economic interest

Succulent plant greenhouse - approximately 5000 succulent specimens from Central and South America, Africa, Madagascar, and the Canary Islands.

Carnivorous plant greenhouse - carnivorous plants from the genera Drosera, Pinguicola, and Utricularia.

Orto dei Semplici - a traditional herb garden, arranged by the plants' most common uses.

Petrus Gonsalvus

Petrus Gonsalvus (Spanish: Pedro González, c. 1537 – c. 1618), referred to by Ulisse Aldrovandi as "

the man of the woods," was born in 1537 in Tenerife, Spain. His life has been well chronicled as he became famous during his lifetime because of his condition (hypertrichosis).

Risen Christ (Michelangelo, Santa Maria sopra Minerva)

The Risen Christ, Cristo della Minerva in Italian, also known as Christ the Redeemer or Christ Carrying the Cross, is a marble sculpture by the Italy High Renaissance master Michelangelo, finished in 1521. It is in the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome, to the left of the main altar.

The work was commissioned in June 1514, by the Roman patrician Metello Vari, who stipulated only that the nude standing figure would have the Cross in his arms, but left the composition entirely to Michelangelo. Michelangelo was working on a first version of this statue in his studio in Macello dei Corvi around 1515, but abandoned it in roughed-out condition when he discovered a black vein in the white marble, remarked upon by Vari in a letter, and later by Ulisse Aldrovandi. A new version was hurriedly substituted in 1519-1520 to fulfil the terms of the contract. Michelangelo worked on it in Florence, and the move to Rome and final touches were entrusted to an apprentice, Pietro Urbano; the latter, however, damaged the work and had to be quickly replaced by Federico Frizzi at the suggestion of Sebastiano del Piombo.

The first version, rough as it was, was asked for by Metello Vari, and given him in January 1522, for the little garden courtyard of his palazzetto near Santa Maria sopra Minerva, come suo grandissimo onore, come fosse d'oro translated as "As his greatest honor, as if it were of gold", a mark of the esteem in which Michelangelo was held". There it remained, described by Aldrovandi in 1556, and noted in some contemporary letters as apparently for sale in 1607, following which it was utterly lost to sight. In 2000 Irene Baldriga recognized the lost first version, finished in the early seventeenth century, in the sacristy of the church of San Vincenzo Martire, at Bassano Romano near Viterbo; the black vein is clearly distinguishable on Christ's left cheek. It is now often called the Giustiniani Christ. The parts finished later are the "right hand, parts of the face and the back".Despite all these problems, the second version impressed the contemporaries. Sebastiano del Piombo declared that the knees alone were worthy of more than the whole Rome, which William Wallace has called "one of the most curious praises ever sung about a work of art" Christ is shown by Michelangelo unclothed in a standing pose. Christ's sexual organs are exposed in order to show that his sexuality is uncorrupted by lust and completely controlled by his will, so that in his resurrected body he shows his triumph over both sin and death. During the Baroque period a bronze floating loincloth was added.

A leg is flexed and the head turned back, according to the principle of contrapposto. Compared to the first version, the more active pose allows more varied impressions when the statue is seen from different angles, "not only activating the space around him, but also suggesting an unfolding story". The first version was exhibited in the National Gallery, London in 2017, in the same room as a cast of the second version, drawings for it, and letter relating to it.

Sooty shearwater

The sooty shearwater (Ardenna grisea) is a medium-large shearwater in the seabird family Procellariidae. Ardenna was first used to refer to a seabird by Italian naturalist Ulisse Aldrovandi in 1603, and grisea is medieval Latin for "grey".In New Zealand, it is also known by its Māori name tītī and as muttonbird, like its relatives the wedge-tailed shearwater (A. pacificus) and the Australian short-tailed shearwater (A. tenuirostris).

It appears to be particularly closely related to the great shearwater (A. gravis) and the short-tailed shearwater, all blunt-tailed, black-billed species, but its precise relationships are obscure. In any case, these three species are among the larger species of shearwaters that have been moved into a separate genus Ardenna based on a phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA.

Teodoro Ghisi

Teodoro Ghisi (1536–1601) was an Italian painter and engraver of the Renaissance Period, mainly active in his native Mantua. He specialized in paintings of animal and nature scenes.

Teodoro was known mostly for his drawings and illustration of animals. His brother Giorgio Ghisi, was a well-known engraver. Teodoro was a custodian of the Duchal summer house known as the Palazzo del Te in Mantua. The Duke's extensive natural history collection attracted a visit in 1571 from Ulisse Aldrovandi, for whom he executed some animal paintings, including those of two parrots. At around the same time he created the designs for Giorgio's engravings of Venus and Adonis and Angelica and Medoro. In 1576 he and Giorgio acquired a house in Mantua, where Teodoro worked for Dukes Guglielmo Gonzaga and Vincenzo I. Between 1579 and 1581 he contributed to the decoration of the Galleria dei Mesi in the Palazzo Ducale and probably worked with Lorenzo Costa the younger in the Sala dello Zodiaco there.

Around 1579 he executed a Visitation for the cathedral at Carpi, and in 1586-7 he worked in the Palazzo di Goito (destr.). From 1587 to 1590 he was court painter to Guglielmo Gonzaga's brother-in-law Archduke Charles II of Austria (1564–90), in Seckau and Graz, where he painted the altarpiece Symbolum apostolorum (1588; Graz, Alte Gallery), showing the creation of Eve surrounded by depictions of articles of the Nicene Creed. He received a life pension from the Archduke in 1589 but returned to Mantua in 1590.

There, he and Ippolito Andreasi decorated the cathedral for Bishop Francesco Gonzaga, with frescos that accorded with the dictates of the Counter-Reformation. The evangelists' animal symbols attest to Teodoro's continuing interest in nature. He indulged this further in his illustrations for Pietro Candido Decembrio's De animantium naturis. In general his work is more realistic than imaginative.

Timeline of geology

Timeline of geology

Torlonia Vase

The Torlonia Vase or Cesi-Albani-Torlonia Vase is a colossal and celebrated neo-Attic Roman white marble vase, 1.8 m tall, made in the 1st century BCE, which has passed through several prominent collections of antiquities before coming into the possession of the Princes Torlonia in Rome.The vase is of calyx krater shape, with a high frieze carved with a Bacchic symposium and an everted rim, standing on a gadrooned base imitative of metalwork. It has three handles, joined to the body with bearded satyrs' masks. It stands on three lion's legs, and a triangular base, all provided for it in the 16th century. For centuries, until the discovery of the Tazza Albani, it was the largest in diameter of known antique vases.The whereabouts of the vase can be traced through the interest it incited in artists, starting in the 16th century, when the vase was drilled to serve as a garden fountain. The earliest visual documentation is a drawing by Giuliano da Sangallo in the Barberini Codex, Vatican Library, made after 1488, which bears an inscription of its location, at Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome. Amico Aspertini also made a drawing of the vase, but giving a location a santo francesco in tristeuaro. At any rate, by the time it was drawn by Maarten van Heemskerck in the 1530s the vase had been erected in the garden of Cardinal Paolo Emilio Cesi, on the northern slope of the Janiculum near St Peter's Basilica. A statue of Silenus emptying water from a wineskin into the vase, which had been drilled for use as a fountain, was associated with it. Ulisse Aldrovandi described it in a new, central position in the Cesi garden in 1550, with the Silenus standing inside the bowl of the vase; this revision was probably carried out for Cardinal Francesco Cesi. The Flemish artist Pieter Perret created an engraving of the Fountain with Silenus in the Garden of the Cesi Palace in 1581. Towards the end of the 16th century the contents of the Cesi garden began to be dispersed, and no further artistic record of the vase was made until the 18th century, when both the vase and the Silenus were purchased by Alessandro Albani. Luca Leoncini suggests the possibility that the vase had been in the Palazzo del Drago 'alle Quattro Fontane, which Albani purchased from the heirs of Cardinal Camillo Massimi, with all its contents.In 1760 Albani moved it to his newly built Villa Albani, where the vase at first was a feature in the hall of the caffè, then in the villa's Porticus Romae. There, in Cardinal Albani's much-visited collection, it provided a model for the Piranesi Vase, a pastiche composed of various antique fragments and modern elements created by Giovanni Battista Piranesi.

When the Albani collection was eventually inherited by the Castelbarco family, the vase was resited in the villa's casina. In 1869 Prince Alessandro Torlonia, having inherited the collection, moved the vase to his private museum, leaving the Silenus at the Villa Albani.

A comparable neo-Attic marble vase was unearthed in fragmented condition near the Ospedale Santo Spirito, on the Lungotevere in Sassia, Rome, in 1929. It is conserved in the Museo Nazionale Romano.

Volcher Coiter

Volcher Coiter (also spelled Coyter or Koyter) (1534 – 2 June 1576) was a Dutch anatomist who established the study of comparative osteology and first described cerebrospinal meningitis.

Coiter was born in Groningen. He studied in Italy and France and was a pupil of Ulisse Aldrovandi, Gabriele Falloppio, Bartolomeo Eustachi and Guillaume Rondelet. He became city physician of Nuremberg in 1569. He took part in the French Wars of Religion as field surgeon to Count Palatine Johann Casimir. He died in Champagne during the German forces' return march.

His works included Externarum et Internarum Principalium Humani Corporis Partium Tabulae (1573) and De Avium Sceletis et Praecipius Musculis (1575). His work included detailed anatomical studies of birds as well as a classification of the birds based on structure and habits. He produced an early dichotomous classification key.

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