Lazarus Colloredo and Joannes Baptista Collerado were conjoined twins from Genoa, Italy. The records are of suggestion that they were born around 1617 and died sometime around or after 1646. They toured Europe exhibiting their condition in order to make a living. Their exact date of death does not appear to have been recorded.
The upper body of Joannes and his left leg stuck out of his mobile brothers torso. Joannes did not speak, his eyes were kept closed and his mouth was always open. An account from an anatomist, later on, said that if his breast was pushed it would make him move his hands, ears and lips. Another visitor noted that Joannes had three fingers on each hand, six toes on one foot and seemed only to survive because of the nourishment from his brother.
It is said that Lazarus was a handsome man and when not exhibiting he would cover up his brother with a cloak. Later accounts have him married, siring several children and none of them experienced any unusual medical conditions.
One account suggests that Joannes made non-verbal noises and often at shows was seen to heavily salivate. It seems that Joannes was mainly considered to be a parasitic twin as he hadn’t got fully developed organs. It seems if he had any cognitive abilities that they were very limited and mostly based on responses to it being touched or prodded.
A letter from Dr Augustin Pincet, of Genoa, stated the brothers were born 20th March 1617 to parents Baptista and Pellegrinna Colloredo. Lazarus ate and had normal bowel movements, but Joannes did not suckle but if her milk hit his lips he would lick them as if he was attempting to swallow it. Their mother apparently died in 1620.
In 1638 they toured France and it was recorded that Lazarus had said Joannes head had been much smaller, now it was twice as large as his own. It seems they had also been unwell on more than one occasion, Lazarus had been subject to 20 bleedings but medics never hazarded purgation. They worried it might be too much for the two men sharing the one digestive system.
Another story is that Lazarus had been so fiercely teased in a pub that he struck the man a fatal blow. The man had been killed but Lazarus said that if he were sentenced to death it would in turn kill his innocent brother.
There doesn’t seem to have been any talks about separating them either, perhaps because from the descriptions they would have shared a liver and other vital organs. The area of joining may well have had several main arterial points too. Today it is highly likely they would have separated them early on to give Lazarus a chance at a normal life, the 17th Century techniques however would not have been capable of dealing with such a complicated matter.