Via 8 Febbraio 1848, 2,
35122 Padua PD
The University of Padua is a premier Italian university located in the city of Padua, Italy. The University of Padua was founded in 1222 as a school of law and was one of the most prominent universities in early modern Europe. It is among the earliest universities of the world and the second oldest in Italy. The University of Padua is one of Italy’s leading universities and ranks in the first position in all the recent ranking of Italian large universities. In 2010 the university had approximately 65,000 students and in 2013 was ranked "best university" among Italian institutions of higher education with more than 40,000 students.
The University began teaching medicine in 1222. It played a leading role in the identification and treatment of diseases and ailments, specializing in autopsies and the inner workings of the body.
Since 1595, Padua's famous anatomical theatre drew artists and scientists studying the human body during public dissections. It is the oldest surviving permanent anatomical theatre in Europe. Anatomist Andreas Vesalius held the chair of Surgery and Anatomy (explicator chirurgiae) and in 1543 published his anatomical discoveries in De Humani Corporis Fabrica. The book triggered great public interest in dissections and caused many other European cities to establish anatomical theatres.
On 25 June 1678, Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia a Venetian noblewoman and mathematician became the first woman to be awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree.
Both Sir John FInch and Sir Thomas Baines (buried in Christ's College, Cambridge: http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/4775671.html) became doctors in medicine in Padua in 1657. FInch and Baines only mention one of their teachers at Padua and this was Molinetti, the Professor of Anatomy. In 1649 he succeeded Veslingius in the chair which had been occupied by Vesalius, Fallopius and Fabricius ab Aquapendente. In one of his note-books Finch copied out a Latin poem written by Baines in praise of this Venetian Molinetti. Baines refers to a "theatre", which is probably the one erected in Padua in 1593 by the Seigneury of Venice as a tribute to Fabricius, when thirty years of his professorship had passed.
Finch was made Pro-Rector and Syndic of the University in 1656. Andrich gives an account of Finch's election and of the important events during his tenure of office, and we learn that young Finch was well thought by his contemporaries at Padua.
John Finch, Englishman, 1656-7
On the 1st of August 1656 Master John Finch, "having been elected without opposition, by the consent of all, and with great applause, remained viva voce Prorector and Syndic." On the 23rd of September the University senate, as Faciolati says, "ordered the Chancellors, that if anyone had obtained honours not by the consent of all the voters, but by the greater number only, commonly called "by majority," to declare this in the diploma, but they should give the diploma in a less decorated form, not on parchment but on paper." At the meeting on the 29th of September, there being present the Syndic and Counsellors, it was decreed that the registers (matriculate) should be given out to the students and the Counsellors of the nations should stand faith for each scholar. Wherefore from this year the Counsellors interceded for those who had matriculated (immatriculatio).
On the 7th November, when the Turks had been conquered, it was declared that a book in Latin or Italian should be written to congratulate the Venetian State, and on the 11th of December, that two scholars that had received honours from the Venetian college without payment, since they wished to be paid from the funds of the Gynnasium, should seek from the University that which by favour, but not by law, perhaps it was able to grant. There are two inscriptions dedicated to Finch in the Gynnasium. One in the entrance before the halls E and B with a wreath (stemmate) and monument; the other in hall A (the great hall) with a carved wreath in which he is described, by the decree of the Jurists of the University, as a most zelaous defender and restorer of the privileges of the scholars.
Prof. Darwin, who published a valuable paper "On monuments to Cambridge men in Padua" (http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archiveDS/archiveDownload?t=arch-1895-1/dissemination/pdf/PCAS/1895_XXXVI-VIII-III/PCAS_XXXVI-VIII-III_337-347_Darwin.pdf), gives a plate of the sculptured monument with inscription to Finch in the Aula Magna. Finch's arms were Argent a chevron between three gryphons passant sable, but here there is a mullet on the chevron, and the gryphons are falsely blazoned rampant. One of the three small monuments (all alike) to Baines in the Aula Magna is decipted also. Baines' arms were "sable two bones crosswise argent" (Gwillim) but here, as Prof. Darwin pointed out, the bones are placed saltirewise and really the arms of Newton are represented. Dr. Peile, later Master of Christ's College, very generously restored these monuments at his own expenses.
A letter written in 1657 to his sister Anne Conway describes how Finch and Baines took their degrees in the autumn of that year.
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