Ulisse Aldrovandi

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Ulisse Aldrovandi

Ulisse Aldrovandi or Ulysses Aldrovandi (Latinized also Ulysses Aldrovandus ) (born September 11, 1522 in Bologna ; † May 4, 1605 ibid) was an Italian doctor and biologist .


Monstrorum Historia

Ulisse Aldrovandi, son of noble parents and nephew of Pope Gregory III. , first learned the trade and then studied law in Bologna , philosophy in Padua and medicine in Rome . There he was suspected of heresy in 1549 and was briefly imprisoned, after which he returned to Bologna. In the same year the Pisan Luca Ghini aroused his interest in botany , in the following year Guillaume Rondelet his interest in zoology .

In 1552 Aldrovandi became a doctor of philosophy, in 1553 a doctor of medicine (both at the University of Bologna), and in 1554 he became a lecturer . In 1555 he became professor of philosophy and in 1556 together with Cesare Odoni for medical botany. The later Marburg university professor Georg Marius was one of his students . From 1571 to 1600 Aldrovandi held the chair of medicine at the University of Bologna, where he founded the Botanical Garden in 1567 , one of the very first.

Aldrovandi went on excursions with his students to the island of Elba , Livorno and the Veronese Alps and set up a herbarium and a natural history cabinet .

Alongside Conrad Gessner , Ulisse Aldrovandi is considered to be one of the founders of modern zoology. Above all, his very detailed systematic investigations made him known.

The main work by Ulisse Aldrovandi is the Historia animalium , which consists of eleven volumes . He himself only worked on the birds , the insects and the invertebrates ; the other volumes were only published after his death by Johannes Cornelius Uterverius († 1619), Thomas Dempster and Bartholomäus Ambrosinus .

The work was published under the following titles:

  • Ornithologiae libri XII (Bologna 1599–1603, 3 vol .; last Bologna 1861);
  • De animalibus insectis libri VII (1602, last 1638);
  • De reliquis animalibus exsanguinibus libri IV (1606, last 1654).


In his honor, the waterfall was given its botanical genus name Aldrovanda . The Dorsa Aldrovandi on the Earth's moon are also named after him .


  • G. Montalenti:  Aldrovandi, Ulisse. In: Alberto M. Ghisalberti (Ed.): Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani (DBI). Volume 2:  Albicante – Ammannati. Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, Rome 1960.
  • Ilse Jahn (Ed.): History of Biology. Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, 2000, p. 762, ISBN 3-8274-1023-1 .
  • Wolfgang Harms : Significance as part of the matter in standard zoological works of the early modern period (Konrad Gesner, Ulisse Aldrovandi). In: Hartmut Boockmann, Bernd Moeller , Karl Stackmann (eds.): Life lessons and world designs in the transition from the Middle Ages to the modern age. Politics - Education - Natural History - Theology. Report on colloquia of the commission to research the culture of the late Middle Ages 1983 to 1987 (= treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen: philological-historical class. Volume III, No. 179). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1989, ISBN 3-525-82463-7 , pp. 352-369.

Individual evidence

  1. Lotte Burkhardt: Directory of eponymous plant names . Extended Edition. Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin, Free University Berlin Berlin 2018. [1]

Web links

Commons : Ulisse Aldrovandi  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Works in the digital library " AMS Historica" ​​of the University of Bologna