During the 16th and 17th centuries, several important discoveries were accomplished by anatomists whose contribution has enlightened the most important anatomic structures of the pancreas. Following the earliest discoveries, researchers of several medical specialities further investigated the ductal pancreatic system. The accessory pancreatic duct with its minor papilla, the main pancreatic duct and the papilla major along with the confluence of the main pancreatic duct with the bile duct and pancreas divisum, have been the objects of interest of several personalities of the medical history. Eponyms in pancreatic anatomy were given to remember some of them, although anatomical misattributions are frequent and controversial. The aim of the authors was to dedicate a small tribute to the researchers who have written, during the last 500 years, important chapters of the medical history and who dedicated their lives to study the pancreatic ducts and their duodenal endings. Furthermore, a brief outlook was dedicated to the impact of anatomic variations and of embryologic anomalies of the pancreatic ducts in our clinical practice and in our actual understanding of duct-related diseases. The authors are confident that the genial curiosity of few extraordinary personalities of the past and the opportunities provided by modern technology continue to play a major role that may finally add wisdom to decision-making in dealing with duct-related biliopancreatic diseases and safety to diagnostic and therapeutic procedures employed.

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