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The Paduan tradition of anatomy was shaped by a number of factors: the clear distinction between public demonstrations and private dissections, as well as steady matriculation, institutional support, the research agenda, and the established reputation of the leading anatomist, Girolamo Fabrici (Hieronymus Fabricius of Aquapendente, 1533-1619) and the construction of the permanent anatomy theater (1594-95).
Rolfinck completed his degree in medicine in Padua under the supervision of Adriaan van den Spiegel, who in turn was trained in Padua by Girolamo Fabrici and Giulio Casseri.
In 1603 an Italian physician, Girolamo Fabrici (1537-1619), better known by his Latinized name of Fabricius ab Aquapendente, studied the veins of the legs and noted that they had little valves along their length.