Caspar Bartholin

Caspar Bartholin the elder (1585 - 1629)

Caspar Bartholin the elder (1585 – 1629) was a Danish physician, anatomist, and theologist

  • Born 12 February 1585 in Malmø, Scania
  • 1610 – Doctor of Medicine. Defended thesis Paradoxa CCXL: pathologica, simiotica, diaetetica…at the University of Basel
  • 1613 – Professor of medicine at the University of Copenhagen
  • 1624 – Professor of divinity at the University of Copenhagen; Canon of Roskilde. Surviving a significant illness, Caspar vowed if he should recover he would apply himself solely to the study of divinity
  • Died 13 July 1629 in Sorö, Zeeland

Medical Eponyms

Cranial nerves: introduced the terms nervus olfactorius and nervus vagus.

Key Medical Attributions

Major Publications

Published as Jesper Bertelsen, Casparus Bartholinus, Bartholinus Malmogiensis, Gaspard Bartholinus

The Bartholin family

Caspar Bartholin (the elder); two of his sons (Thomas and Rasmus); and his grandson (Caspar the younger) all served on the medical faculty of the University of Copenhagen. Between 1585 and 1738 they gained international acclaim for the institution with significant contributions to anatomical science, physics and medicine.

  • Thomas Bartholin (1616 – 1680) famous for his description of the lymphatic system (1653); Bartholin-Patau syndrome (1657); and refrigeration anaesthesia (1661). Professor of anatomy at the University of Copenhagen (1649-1661)
  • Caspar Bartholin the younger (1655 – 1738) remembered for Bartholin glands (vulvovaginal) and Bartholin duct (salivary). Professor of philosophy at the University of Copenhagen (1674)


Dr Robert Cowburn LITFL Author 1

Studied at the University of Oxford - BA BM BCh. British doctor working in Emergency Medicine in Poole, Dorset. Special interests include respiratory medicine, critical care, and wilderness medicine.

BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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