The 17th century

During the 17th century, the number of students enrolling with the university increased, exceeding one thousand. In the last part of the century, there were twice as many artists as jurists. Italy’s first university library was established in the “Sala dei Giganti” (“Hall of Giants”). During the first decade of the 17th century, Galileo Galilei taught and lived in Padua. During this period, he observed the rings of Saturn, he built his telescope and held a series of lectures on the “new star” that he had observed, publishing his “Sidereus Nuncius” in 1610.

As part of the counter-reformation, the Republic of Venice began to defend itself against professors suspected of heresy and students who were targeted because they were either Lutherans or Calvinists or belonged to other ‘confessions’ or faiths. Through various legislative instruments, efforts were made to create a State university in an attempt to preserve its cosmopolitan character and prevent religious homogenisation. In 1678, the Sacred College of philosophers and doctors awarded the world’s first degree to a woman, the Venetian patrician Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia.

1602

WILLIAM HARVEY GRADUATED IN PHILOSOPHY AND MEDICINE FROM PADUA

harvey

William Harvey, the man who discovered blood circulation, graduated in philosophy and medicine from Padua and was later depicted in Palazzo Bo’s Hall of the Forty (Sala dei 40)

1604

GALILEO FORMULATED THE LAW OF FALLING BODIES

Galileo indicated his formula for the law of falling bodies in a letter he wrote to Paolo Sarpi. The scientist observed the “Stella Nova” (new star) and held public lectures

1610

GALILEO GALILEI’S LAST YEAR IN PADUA

Ferruccio Ferrazzi, “Galileo Galilei”

During his last year in Padua, Galileo observed the rings of Saturn and published his “Sidereus Nuncius”

1611

THE TRADITION OF “SPUPILLAZIONE”

Captain Angelo Correr denounced the tradition of “spupillazione” among students (“spupillazione” refers to freshmen having to pay to free themselves from the ‘supervision’ of older students) as this in turn led to “risse et omicidi gravi” (brawls and murders)

1628

Joahnn Wesling

“Joannes Vesling"

The annual demonstration of anatomy was entrusted to Joahnn Wesling, who went on to write anatomy manuals and was the prefect of the Botanical Garden

1629

ITALY’S FIRST UNIVERSITY LIBRARY

ITALY’S FIRST UNIVERSITY LIBRARY

Italy’s first university library was established in the “Sala dei Giganti” (“Hall of Giants”)

1642

Joahann Georg Wirsung

wirsung

While dissecting a body, Joahann Georg Wirsung discovered the major pancreatic duct

1655

Gregorio Barbarigo

Gregorio Barbarigo

Gregorio Barbarigo graduated in law. He became bishop of Padua in the 60s and denied Lucrezia Cornaro her degree in theology, instead granting her the one in philosophy

1664

James Gregory

While studying in Padua, the British man James Gregory published “Geometriae pars universalis”, thought to be the first attempt to write a document on infinitesimal calculus

1678

ELENA LUCREZIA CORNARO PISCOPIA GRADUATED IN PHILOSOPHY

ELENA LUCREZIA CORNARO PISCOPIA GRADUATED IN PHILOSOPHY

The world’s first degree awarded to a woman: Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia became a “magistra et doctrix” in philosophy

1681

FIRST AMERICAN STUDENT TO GRADUATE IN Padua

FIRST AMERICAN STUDENT TO GRADUATE IN Padua

Edmund Davie is the first American student to graduate at the University of Padova in medicine