BARTHOLINUS, GASPARD [Caspar Berthelsen], (1585–1629), physician, was born in 1585 at Malmö, in Sweden. His precocity was extraordinary; at three years of age he was able to read, and in his thirteenth year he composed Greek and Latin orations and delivered them in public. When he was about eighteen he went to the university of Copenhagen and afterwards studied at Rostock and Wittenberg. He then travelled through Germany, the Netherlands, England, France and Italy, and was received with marked respect at the different universities he visited. In 1613 he was chosen professor of medicine in the university of Copenhagen, and filled that office for eleven years, when, falling into a dangerous illness, he made a vow that if he should recover he would apply himself solely to the study of divinity. He fulfilled his vow by becoming professor of divinity at Copenhagen and canon of Roskilde. He died on the 13th of July 1629 at Sorö in Zeeland.
Of his sons, Thomas (1616–1680) was born at Copenhagen, where, after a long course of study in various universities of Europe, he was appointed successively professor of mathematics (1647) and anatomy (1648). During his tenure of the latter chair he distinguished himself by observations on the lymphatics. In 1661 he retired to Hagestaed. In 1670 his house and library were burnt, and in consideration of his loss he was appointed physician to the king, with a handsome salary, and librarian to the university of Copenhagen. He died at Hagestaed in 1680. Another son, Erasmus (1625–1698), born at Roskilde, spent ten years in visiting England, Holland, Germany and Italy, and filled the chairs of mathematics and medicine at Copenhagen. He discovered double refraction in Iceland spar (Experimenta crystalli islandici disdiaclastici, Copenhagen, 1669). He died at Copenhagen in 1698. In the third generation Caspar Thomeson (1655–1738), son of Thomas, also taught anatomy at Copenhagen, his name being associated with the description of one of the ducts of the sublingual gland and of the glandulae Bartholini, while his younger brother, Thomas (1659–1690), was a student of northern antiquities who published Antiquitatum Danicarum libri tres in 1689.