Skip to main content

Anatomy in the Early Modern Period

  • 144 Accesses

Introduction

Anatomy was developed in early modern Europe based on the dissection of human and animal bodies and animal vivisections. The opening and exploration of dead bodies as a means of accessing knowledge began to be practiced in the second half of the thirteenth century, particularly in northern Italy, and became more and more widespread from the end of the fifteenth century. Anatomy then underwent a tremendous expansion, not only becoming central to medical and surgical knowledge but, beyond that, a “branch of natural philosophy,” as Andreas Vesalius wrote in the Preface of his De humani corporis fabrica, published in Basel in 1543. Dedicated to the production of knowledge on the body that has gone beyond the limits of its mere usefulness for medicine, anatomy rapidly came to play a central part in the culture of early modern Europe.

Based on the segmentation of the body, on the exploration of its interior through the use of the anatomist’s hand and eye, anatomy has been a...

Related Topics

  • Medicine
  • Physiology
  • Vivisection
  • Experimentation on life
  • Dissection

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Baglivi G (1700) De fibra motrice et morbosa. Girolamo Costantini, Perugia

    Google Scholar 

  • Benedetti A (1502) Historia corporis humani sive anatomice. Bernardino Guerralda, Venice

    Google Scholar 

  • Berengario da Carpi G (1521) Commentaria cum amplissimis additionibus super anatomia Mundini. Girolamo Benedetti, Bolonia

    Google Scholar 

  • Bertoloni Meli D (1997) Marcello Malpighi: anatomist and physician. Leo S. Olschkierc, Florence

    Google Scholar 

  • Carlino A (1994) La fabbrica del corpo. Libri e dissezione nel Rinascimento. Einaudi, Torino

    Google Scholar 

  • Casseri G (1627) Tabulæ anatomicæ LXXIIX. Evangelista Deuchini, Venice

    Google Scholar 

  • Colombo R (1559) De re anatomica libri XV. Nicolò Bevilacqua, Venice

    Google Scholar 

  • De Angelis S (2010) Anthropologien. Genese und Konfiguration einer “Wissenschaft vom Menschen” in der Frühen Neuzeit. De Gruyter, Berlin

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Du Laurens A (1600) Historia anatomica humani corporis. Jamet Mettayer, Marc Orry, Paris

    Google Scholar 

  • Estienne C (1545) De dissectione partium corporis humani libri tres. Simon de Colines, Paris

    Google Scholar 

  • Fabrici d’Acquapendente G (1603) De venarum ostiolis. Lorenzo Pasquati, Padova

    Google Scholar 

  • Fernel J (1542) De naturali parte medicinæ libri septem. Simon de Colines, Paris

    Google Scholar 

  • Ferrari G (1987) Public anatomy lessons and the carnival: the anatomy theater of Bologna. Past Present 117:50–106

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • French RK (1985) Berengario da Carpi and the use of commentary in anatomical teaching. In: Wear A et al (eds) The medical renaissance of the sixteenth century. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • Galen (1854) De l’utilité des parties du corps. In: Charles Daremberg C (ed) Œuvres anatomiques, physiologiques et médicales de Galien, vol 1. Baillière, Paris

    Google Scholar 

  • Harvey W (1628) Exercitatio anatomica de motu cordis et sanguinis in animalibus. Wilhelm Fitzer, Frankfurt

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Jacquart D, Micheau F (1990) La Médecine arabe et l’Occident médiéval. Maisonneuve et Larose, Paris

    Google Scholar 

  • Klestinec C (2004) A history of anatomy theaters in sixteenth-century Padua. J Hist Med Allied Sci 59(3):375–412

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Klestinec C (2007) Civility, comportment, and the anatomy theater: Girolamo Fabrici and his medical students in Renaissance Padua. Renaissance Q 60:434–463

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Mandressi R (2003) Le Regard de l’anatomiste: dissections et invention du corps en Occident. Le Seuil, Paris

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Mandressi R (2005) Métamorphoses du commentaire: projets éditoriaux et formation du savoir anatomique au XVIe siècle. Gesnerus 62(3–4):165–185

    Google Scholar 

  • Mandressi R (2008) Técnicas de disección y tácticas demostrativas: instrumentos, procedimientos y orden del pensamiento en la cultura anatómica de la primera modernidad. Historia y grafía 30:167–189

    Google Scholar 

  • Mandressi R (2013) Médecine et discours sur l’homme dans la première modernité. Rev Synth 134(4):511–536

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Mandressi R (2015) Of the eye and of the hand: performance in early modern anatomy. TDR: J Perform Stud 59(3):60–76

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Pancino C, Olmi G (eds) (2012) Anatome: Sezione, scomposizione, raffigurazione del corpo fra medioevo e età moderna. Bononia University Press, Bolonia

    Google Scholar 

  • Riolan J (1648) Encheiridium anatomicum et pathologicum. Gaspar Meturas, Paris

    Google Scholar 

  • Vesalius A (1543) De humani corporis fabrica libri septem. Oporinus, Basel

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Rafael Mandressi .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Section Editor information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2020 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this entry

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this entry

Mandressi, R. (2020). Anatomy in the Early Modern Period. In: Jalobeanu, D., Wolfe, C. (eds) Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-20791-9_564-1

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-20791-9_564-1

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-20791-9

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-20791-9

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Religion and PhilosophyReference Module Humanities and Social Sciences