Andrea Cesalpino

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cesalpino, Andrea


(also Andreas Caesalpinus). Born June 6, 1519, in Arezzo; died Feb. 23, 1603, in Rome. Italian physician, naturalist, and philosopher.

Cesalpino was a professor at the universities of Pisa (1555) and Rome (1592). A forerunner of W. Harvey in the study of blood circulation, he was the first to describe systemic circulation. Cesalpino laid the groundwork for plant morphology, anticipating the theories of metamorphosis and the homology of organs. In 1583 he proposed the first system of the plant kingdom, based mainly on the structure of seeds, flowers, and fruits. He distinguished two classes of trees and shrubs, 12 classes of subshrubs and herbs, and one class of aspermous plants. His classification system greatly influenced the development of botany. Cesalpino’s philosophical views on nature were based on the teachings of Aristotle.


Quaestiones peripateticae. Venice, 1571.
De plantis libri XVI. Florence, 1583.


Viviani, U. Vita e opere di Andrea Cesalpino. Arezzo, 1922.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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