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 Nicolas Steno

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Nicolas Steno

  • Birth 11 Jan 1638 Copenhagen, Kobenhavns Kommune, Hovedstaden, Denmark
  • Death 25 Nov 1686 Schwerin, Schweriner Stadtkreis, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
  • Burial Florence, Città Metropolitana di Firenze, Toscana, Italy
  • Plot Capella Stenoniana
  • Memorial ID 34154729

Geologist, Anatomist, Theologian. Born as Niels Stensen. After studies at Copenhagen University, he left Denmark in 1660 to study medicine at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. After further studies in Paris and Montpelier, he moved to Florens, Italy in 1665. His studies in anatomy attracted the attention of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Ferdinand II who appointed him to a hospital post that left him ample time for his research which focused at first on the physiology and structure of the heart and the muscles. During travels in Italy he researched the nature of fossils and stated their organic origin. He was a pioneer of modern geology, and his principles of rock layers and the fossils they contain continue to be used today by geologists and paleontologists. In 1667 he converted to Roman Catholicism. In 1675 he was ordained as a priest and two years later as a titular bishop. He spent the rest of his life ministering to the minority Roman Catholic populations in northern Germany, Denmark and Norway. Impact craters on Mars and on the Moon are named after him. In 1988 he was beatified by Pope John Paul II.

Bio by: Erik Skytte





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Erik Skytte
  • Added: 24 Feb 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 34154729
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Nicolas Steno (11 Jan 1638–25 Nov 1686), Find A Grave Memorial no. 34154729, citing Basilica di San Lorenzo, Florence, Città Metropolitana di Firenze, Toscana, Italy ; Maintained by Find A Grave .