This year, 1997, marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Pieter Van Foreest (1521-1597) in his native town of Alkmaar. This 16th century physician trained at the universities of Leuven, Padua, Bologna, and Paris. He was town physician in Alkmaar for 12 years and then in Delft for 40 years. The Prince of Orange was one of his patients. On 8 February 1575 he was present, as Professor of Medicine, at the opening of the University of Leiden. His international reputation was based on his Observationes, a large collection of annotated medical case histories. In his therapeutic approach to patients, Van Foreest showed himself to be a typical 'Hippocratic' physician.