Johannes Heurnius

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Johannes Heurnius
Johannes Heurnius 01.jpg
Johannes Heurnius
Born 4 February 1543
Utrecht, Seventeen Provinces
Died 11 August 1601
Leiden, Dutch Republic
Doctoral advisor Petrus Ramus
Hieronymus Fabricius
Doctoral students Otto Heurnius
Other notable students Nicolaus Mulerius

Johannes Heurnius (Jan van Heurne; 4 February 1543 – 11 August 1601) was a Dutch physician and natural philosopher.


He was born in Utrecht, and studied at Leuven and Paris. He went to the University of Padua to study under Hieronymus Fabricius;[1] and graduated M.D. there in 1566, examined by Petrus Ramus and Fabricius.[2]

He wrote on the Great Comet of 1577; at that time he was town physician in Utrecht. In 1581 he became professor of medicine at the University of Leiden.[3] He had already a reputation and good contacts with humanist scholars; and was appointed as senior to Gerardus Bontius, an earlier physician on the faculty.[4]

He was a pioneer of the bedside teaching of medicine, and has been given credit for his methods.[5] From Padua he brought not only anatomy in the tradition of Vesalius, but anatomical demonstrations and practical clinical work.[1] It is not clear, however, if the 1591 proposal by Heurnius and Bontius to implement practical teaching on the Paduan lines was accepted officially.[4] The physician Otto Heurnius was his son;[6] Heurnius's ideas on teaching were transmitted widely through Otto, Franciscus Sylvius, Govert Bidloo and Herman Boerhaave.[1] After his father's death, Otto put together his lectures, published in the Opera Omnia, covering medicine both in theory and as a practical discipline.[4] He died in Leiden.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c George Newman, Interpreters of Nature (1968), pp. 79–80;Google Books.
  2. ^ Mathematics Genealogy page. Retrieved on 2012-04-16.
  3. ^ Tabitta van Nouhuys, The Age of Two-Faced Janus: the comets of 1577 and 1618 and the decline of the Aristotelian world view in the Netherlands (1998), pp. 189–200; Google Books.
  4. ^ a b c Kathryn Murphy and Richard Todd, "A man very well studyed": new contexts for Thomas Browne (2008), pp. 54–5; Google Books.
  5. ^ The growth of medicine from the earliest times to about 1800. Retrieved on 2012-04-16.
  6. ^ Wiep van Bunge et al. (editors), The Dictionary of Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Dutch Philosophers (2003), Thoemmes Press (two volumes), article Heurnius, Otto, p. 430–2.