Bartolomeo Eustachi

Bartolomeo Eustachi (c. 1500–1510 – 27 August 1574), also known by his Latin name of Bartholomaeus Eustachius (/jˈstʃəs/), was an Italian anatomist and one of the founders of the science of human anatomy.

Bartolomeo Eustachio
Bartolomeus Eustachius.jpg
Bornc. 1500–1510
Died27 August 1574
Other namesBartholom(a)eus Eustachius
Known forEustachian tube Eustachian valve
Scientific career
Notable studentsVolcher Coiter
Tabulae anatomicae (Rome, 1783): Table 21
Tabulae anatomicae (Rome, 1783): Title page


Bartolomeo Eustachio (known as Eustacius) Wrote a remarkable series of scientific works on the following subjects: anatomy of the kidney, the hearing apparatus, the teeth, and the circulatory system, during 1562 and 1563. These works were organized and published as Opscula Anatomica in 1564. Bartolomeo's father, Marinao Eustachius, was an affluent physician, in San Severino, Ancona, Italy, where Bartholomeo was born. Bartholomeo received a vast humanistic education, a requirement of the academic formation at that time, and studied Medicine at the Archiginnasio della Sapienza in Rome. He was also well versed in Hebrew, Arabic, and Greek languages, which gave him access to the original medical treatises written in those languages. As a physician, Eustachius enjoyed great prestige among the upper classes, having among his patients the Duke of Urbino, the Cardinal della Rovero, and the Duke of Terranova. He became a member of the Medical College of Rome and was appointed in 1549, Professor of Anatomy at the Papal College, the Archihinnasio dell Sapienza. Eusatachius' anatomical studies of the ear yielded an accurate description of the auditory tube, which to this day is known as the Eustachian canal. Eustachius was deeply interested in understanding the anatomical structures of the human body through direct observation instead of accepting the many A Priori theories current among other physicians. His anatomical investigations were not only vast, but also remarkable, including the structure of the teeth, lover cava vein valve, known as the Eustachian valve, which he described in detail, rightly concluding its functions was to avoid blood reflux. He also discovered the thoracic canal. Trying to understand how diseases affected body structures, Eustachius made comparative anatomical analysis between healthy and disease-altered organs (pathological anatomy). working with Pier Matteo Pini, they produced a series of 47 detailed drawings of the studied organs. these series of illustrations, Tabulae Anatomicae Clariviri, were published in 1714.

He is known as a supporter of Galen[1][2] and extended the knowledge of the internal ear by rediscovering and describing correctly the tube that bears his name. He is the first who described the internal and anterior muscles of the malleus and the stapedius, and the complicated figure of the cochlea. He is the first who studied accurately the anatomy of the teeth, and the phenomena of the first and second dentition. Eustachius also discovered the adrenal glands (reported in 1563). His greatest work, which he was unable to publish, is his Anatomical Engravings. These were completed in 1552, nine years after Vesalius was published.

Published in 1714 by Giovanni Maria Lancisi at the expense of Pope Clement XI, and again in 1744 by Cajetan Petrioli, and again in 1744 by Bernhard Siegfried Albinus, and subsequently at Bonn in 1790, the engravings show that Eustachius had dissected with the greatest care and diligence, and taken the utmost pains to give just views of the shape, size, and relative position of the organs of the human body.

The first seven plates illustrate the history of the kidneys and some of the facts relating to the structure of the ear. The eighth represents the heart, the ramifications of the vena azygos, and the valve of the vena cava, named from the author. In the seven subsequent plates is given a succession of different views of the viscera of the chest and abdomen. The seventeenth contains the brain and spinal cord; and the eighteenth more accurate views of the origin, course, and distribution of the nerves than had been given before. Fourteen plates are devoted to the muscles.

Eustachius did not confine his researches to the study of relative anatomy. He investigated the intimate structure of organs with assiduity and success. What was too minute for unassisted vision he inspected by means of glasses (early microscopes). Structure that could not be understood in the recent state he unfolded by maceration in different fluids, or rendered more distinct by injection and exsiccation.

Eustachius died in Umbria, in 1574, during a trip to meet Cardinal della Rovere.



  1. ^ Eustachi, Bartholomeo. Tabulae anatomicae. (Romae: Ex Typographia Pauli Junchi, 1783).
  2. ^ "Bartolomeo Eustachi: Anatomical Cartographer | the Physician's Palette". Archived from the original on 2013-12-09. Retrieved 2012-12-20.


  • K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner World of Anatomy and Physiology Vol. 1
  • Choulant, L. History and bibliography of anatomic illustration. Trans. and annotated by Mortimer Frank. (New York: Hafner, 1962). pp. 200–204.
  • Dizionario biografico degli italiani. (Roma: Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, 1960- ). Vol. 43, pp. 531–536.
  • Roberts, K. B. "Eustachius and his anatomical plates." Newsletter of the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine, (1979) Apr.: 9–13.

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