Thomas Bartholin (/bɑːrˈtoʊlɪn, ˈbɑːrtəlɪn/; Latinized:
Thomas Bartholinus; 20 October 1616 – 4 December 1680) was a
Danish physician, mathematician, and theologian. He is best known for
his work in the discovery of the lymphatic system in humans and for
his advancements of the theory of refrigeration anesthesia, being the
first to describe it scientifically.
Thomas Bartholin came from a family that has become famous for its
pioneering scientists, twelve of whom became professors at the
University of Copenhagen. Three generations of the Bartholin family
made significant contributions to anatomical science and medicine in
the 17th and 18th centuries: Thomas Bartholin's father, Caspar
Bartholin the Elder (1585–1629), his brother Rasmus Bartholin
(1625–1698), and his son Caspar Bartholin the Younger
(1655–1738). Thomas Bartholin's son
Thomas Bartholin the Younger
(1659–1690) became a professor of history at the University of
Copenhagen and was later appointed royal antiquarian and secretary to
the Royal Archives.
1 Personal life
2 Contributions to medical research
3 Selected works
5 External links
Thomas Bartholin was the second of the six sons of Caspar Bartholin
the Elder, a physician born in Malmö,
Scania and his spouse Anne
Fincke. Bartholin the Elder published the first collected anatomical
work in 1611. This work was later augmented, illustrated and revised
by Thomas Bartholin, becoming the standard reference on anatomy; the
son notably added updates on Harvey's theory of blood circulation and
on the lymphatic system.
Bartholin visited the Italian botanist
Pietro Castelli at
1644. In 1663 Bartholin bought Hagestedgaard, which burned down in
1670 including his library, with the loss of many manuscripts. King
Christian V of
Denmark appointed Bartholin as his physician with a
substantial salary and freed the farm from taxation as recompense for
the loss. In 1680 Bartholin's health failed, the farm was sold, and he
moved back to Copenhagen, where he died. He was buried in Vor Frue
Kirke (Church of Our Lady).
The Bartholinsgade, a street in Copenhagen, is named for the family.
Nearby is the Bartholin Institute (Bartholin Institutet). One of the
buildings of the
University of Aarhus
University of Aarhus is named after him.
Contributions to medical research
In December 1652, Bartholin published the first full description of
the human lymphatic system.
Jean Pecquet had previously noted the
lymphatic system in animals in 1651, and Pecquet's discovery of the
thoracic duct and its entry into the veins made him the first person
to describe the correct route of the lymphatic fluid into the
blood. Shortly after the publication of Pecquet's and Bartholin's
findings, a similar discovery of the human lymphatic system was
Olof Rudbeck in 1653, although Rudbeck had presented his
findings at the court of Queen Christina of Sweden in April–May
1652, before Bartholin, but delayed in writing about it until 1653
(after Bartholin). As a result, an intense priority dispute ensued.
Niels Stensen or Steno became his most famous pupil.
Thomas' publication De nivis usu medico observationes variae Chapter
XXII, contains the first known mention of refrigeration anaesthesia, a
technique whose invention
Thomas Bartholin credits to the Italian
Marco Aurelio Severino
Marco Aurelio Severino of Naples. According to Bartholin, Severino
was the first to present the use of freezing mixtures of snow and ice
Thomas Bartholin initially learnt about the technique from
him during a visit to Naples.
Bartholin–Patau syndrome, first described by Thomas Bartholin, is a
congenital syndrome of multiple abnormalities produced by trisomy
Caspar Bartholin the Elder, Thomas Bartholin's father; his brother
Rasmus Bartholin; and his son
Caspar Bartholin the Younger
Caspar Bartholin the Younger (who first
described "Bartholin's glands"), all contributed to the practice of
modern medicine through their discoveries of important anatomical
structures and phenomena. Bartholin the Elder started his tenure as
Copenhagen University in 1613, and over the next 125
years, the scientific accomplishments of the Bartholins while serving
on the medical faculty of the University of
international acclaim and contributed to the reputation of the
Antiquitatum veteris puerperii synopsis, 1676
Historiarum anatomicarum rariorum [...] (Case histories of unusual
anatomical and clinical structures, including descriptions and
illustrations of anomalies and normal structures)
... centuria I et II at Google Books, Amsterdam, 1654.
... centuria III et IV at Google Books. The Hague: Vlacq, 1657.
... centuria V et VI at Google Books, Copenhagen: P. Haubold, 1661
(with Mantissa anatomica, by Johannes Rodius).
De unicornu. Padua, 1645.
De Angina Puerorum Campaniae Siciliaeque Epidemica Exercitationes.
De lacteis thoracicis in homine brutisque nuperrime observatis
historia anatomica at Google Books, Copenhagen: M. Martzan, 1652
(Bartholin's discovery of the thoracic duct).
Vasa lymphatica nuper Hafniae in animalibus inventa et hepatis
exsequiae. Hafniae (Copenhagen), Petrus Hakius, 1653.
Vasa lymphatica in homine nuper inventa. Hafniae (Copenhagen), 1654.
Historarium anatomicarum rariorum centuria I-VI. Copenhagen,
Anatomia. The Hague. Ex typographia Adriani Vlacq, 1655.
Dispensarium hafniense. Copenhagen, 1658.
De nivis usu medico observationes variae. Accessit D. Erasmi
Bartholini de figura nivis dissertatio. With a book by Rasmus
Bartholin. Copenhagen: Typis Matthiase Godichii, sumptibus Petri
Haubold, 1661. (Contains the first known mention of refrigeration
Cista medica hafniensis. Copenhagen, 1662.
De pulmonum substantia et motu. Copenhagen, 1663.
De insolitis partus humani viis. Copenhagen, 1664.
De medicina danorum domestica. Copenhagen, 1666.
De flammula cordis epistola. Copenhagen, 1667.
Orationes et dissertationes omnino varii argumenti. Copenhagen, 1668.
Carmina varii argumenti. Copenhagen, 1669.
De medicis poetis dissertatio. Hafinae, apud D. Paulli, 1669.
De bibliothecae incendio. Copenhagen, 1670.
De morbis biblicis miscellanea medica. Francofurti, D. Paulli, 1672.
De cruce Christi hypomnemata IV, Typis Andreae ab Hoogenhuysen,
Vesaliae (Wesel), 1673.
Acta medica et philosophica. 1673–1680.
^ a b Hill, Robert V. (2007) "A Glimpse of Our Past – The
contributions of the Bartholin family to the study and practice of
clinical anatomy". Clinical Anatomy, Volume 20, Issue 2 (March 2007),
pp. 113 – 115. Retrieved 22 February 2007.
^ Jónsson, Már (2012). Arnas Magnæus Philologus (1663–1730).
[Odense]: University Press of Southern Denmark.
^ Detmar, Michael and Mihaela Skobe (2000). "Structure, Function, and
Molecular Control of the Skin Lymphatic System". Journal of
Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings (2000) 5, 14–19.
Retrieved 22 February 2007.
^ Eriksson, G. (2004). Svensk medicinhistorisk tidskrift,
2004;8(1):39-44. In Swedish. English abstract at Olaus Rudbeck as
scientist and professor of medicine, U.S. National
Medicine. Retrieved 22 February 2007.
^ De nivis, p. 132, p. 132, at Google Books : " nix affricata
induit stuporem. Id me docuit Marcus Aurelius Severinus in Gymnasio
^ synd/1024 at Who Named It?
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Thomas Bartholin.
View digitized titles by
Thomas Bartholin in Botanicus.org
Thomas Bartholin in Whonamedit.com
Bartholin's (1647) De luce animalium – digital facsimile at the
Linda Hall Library
ISNI: 0000 0001 1563 6261
BNF: cb12389110c (data)