Caspar Bartholin the Elder (1585-1629) was born at Malmö, Denmark (now Sweden) and was a polymath, finally accepting a professorship in medicine at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1613. He later taught theology at the same university. His work, Anatomicae Institutiones Corporis Humani (1611) was for many years a standard textbook on the subject of anatomy. He was the first to describe the workings of the olfactory nerve.
His son, Thomas Bartholin, was also a physician, and was the father of Caspar Bartholin the Younger (1655-1738). He was born in Copenhagen, and was first to describe the workings of the greater vestibular glands, which came to be known as "Bartholin's glands") and the larger salivatory duct of the sublingual gland ("Bartholin's duct").