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Royal College of Surgeons of England

Scarpa, Antonio (1747-1832)


Reference code(s): GB 0114 MS0102

Held at: Royal College of Surgeons of England

Title: Scarpa, Antonio (1747-1832)

Date(s): Late 18th century

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: 1 volume and 1 letter

Name of creator(s): Unknown


Administrative/Biographical history:

Antonio Scarpa was born in Lorenzaga di Motta di Livenza, in 1752. He studied medicine at Padua, obtaining his doctorate in 1770. He was offered a chair in anatomy and theoretical surgery at the University of Modena, in 1772. He was appointed Professor of Human Anatomy at the University of Pavia, in 1783. He was also appointed director of the surgical clinic, in 1787. He held both chairs until 1804. Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) invited Scarpa to return to teaching surgery, in 1805, giving him a present of a box of silver and ivory surgical instruments. He eventually resigned from the teaching of surgery in 1813, but continued as dean of the faculty and director of medical studies and the anatomical laboratories. Scarpa founded the subject of orthopaedic surgery, first described the anatomy of the clubbed foot accurately and wrote a classic account of hernia. He recognised that atherosclerosis was a disease of the arteries and reported causalgia in 1832. He was also one of the first to give an accurate account of the nerve supply to the heart as well as the anatomy of the membranous labyrinth with its afferent nerves. He also introduced the concept of arteriosclerosis. He died in 1832 and his head was preserved. It is still in the museum of the History of the University [of Pavia?], but it is not known where Scarpa's body was buried.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers relating to Antonio Scarpa, late 18th century, comprising a manuscript translation titled Anatomical Disquisitions on the Organs of Hearing in Man and several Classes of Animals, translated from the Latin of 'Anatomicae Disquisitiones etc Fol. Imp. Ticin. 1789' and 'de structura Fenestra Rotunda etc 4to imp Matin 1782' By Antonio Scarpa, professor of Anatomy etc.


Language/scripts of material: English and Latin

System of arrangement:

As outlined in Scope and Content.

Conditions governing access:

By written appointment only.

Conditions governing reproduction:

No photocopying permitted.

Finding aids:

Catalogue of Manuscripts in the Library of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (1928) by Victor G Plarr.



Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Donated to the Library by Sir Anthony Carlisle.



Archivist's note: Compiled by Anya Turner.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: Aug 2008

Hearing | Sensory systems | Nervous systems | Anatomy | Biology
Translations | Documents | Information sources

Personal names
Scarpa | Antonio | 1752-1832 | Italian anatomist and surgeon

Corporate names