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Type of Item
Account of the Composition of the Human Body
Juan Valverde was a Spanish medical anatomist who was born in Amusco, in the present-day province of Palencia, around 1525. He left for Italy around 1542, and later practiced medicine and taught in Rome. He was the great Spanish follower of the new anatomy established by Andreas Vesalius in 1543 with his work De humani corporis fabrica (On the fabric of the human body). Vesalius was responsible for a new vision of the human body in the modern world. Valverde helped to spread this vision through the 16 editions in ...
Chart of the Organs Revealed by Inward Illumination
This medical text shows the five major organs (heart, liver, spleen, lungs, and kidneys) and six minor organs (gall bladder, stomach, small intestines, large intestine, bladder, and triple heater meridian) of the human body, as defined in Chinese traditional medicine. The triple heater meridian is one of 12 basic meridians used in Chinese medicine to understand the functioning of the body. Also shown are other concepts from Chinese medicine, for example, the cinnabar field. In Taoist thought, the cinnabar field is the root of the human being, the place in ...
The muscles of the left leg, seen from the front, and the bones and muscles of the right leg seen in right profile, and between them, a patella. Drawing by Michelangelo Buonarroti, ca. 1515-1520.
These drawings of the human leg are by the artist Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564), whose studies of anatomy are recorded by his earliest biographers, Vasari (1550) and Condivi (1553). Michelangelo reportedly first dissected a cadaver in Florence around 1495, after he had been commissioned to sculpt a crucifix of wood for the church of Santo Spirito. The prior of the church gave him rooms in which he could, by dissection, learn how to render convincingly the muscles of the dying Christ. His last witnessed dissection occurred in Rome in 1548. Such ...
Anatomical Fugitive Sheets of a Skeleton, Male Figure and a Female Figure
These woodcut anatomical sheets of male and female figures, published in Germany in 1573, reflect the state of anatomical knowledge at that time. The explanatory texts on each sheet are in Latin, with some names of anatomical parts also given in Greek. The sheets use movable flaps that can be raised to show cut-aways of the viscera attached beneath. The sheets have accessory figures that depict various parts of the body, with corresponding explanatory texts.
The Quintessence of Medicine
The author of this treatise, Isma‘īl ibn Muhammad al-Husayn al-Jurjānī (circa 1042–1136), also known as al-Sayyid Isma‘īl, was one of the most-famous physicians and prolific writers on medicine of his time. He was a student of the noted Persian physician Ibn Abī Sādiq Al-Nīšapūrī, who followed the teachings of Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna) and was nicknamed Buqrāt al-tāni (The second Hippocrates). Thanks to his proficiency in medicine, al-Jurjānī was employed by the shahs of Khvarazm, Qutb al-Dīn Muhammad (1097–1127) and ‘Azīz b. Muhammad (1127–56). The former ...
On Anatomical Procedures
The Greek physician Galen (Jālīnūs in Arabic, circa 131–201) was one of the greatest medical writers in classical times, and one of the most prolific. He was born in Pergamon, in present-day Turkey, and spent much of his life in Rome, where he promoted the ideas of Hippocrates. He emphasized dissection (of apes and pigs), clinical observation, and thorough examination of patient and symptoms. Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq al-ʻIbādī (circa 809–73), a renowned translator of Greek medical texts, translated Galen's major work, On Anatomical Procedures, from Greek into ...
The Persian physician Manṣūr ibn Muḥammad ibn Ilyās, who flourished around 1384, came from a family of physicians and other intellectuals living in the city of Shiraz in present-day Iran. Tashrīḥ-i badan-i insān (The anatomy of the human body), usually known as Tashrīḥ-i Manṣūrī (Manṣūr’s anatomy), is his best-known work. It contains the earliest surviving Islamic anatomical illustrations of the whole human body. They include full-page figures, drawn in pen using various colors of ink. The treatise consists of an introduction followed by chapters on the bones, nerves, muscles ...