Indiana University Bloomington

Anatomia Animata: Anatomy and Medicine in William Harvey's Century

Animal Anatomy

Animals have played a significant role in anatomical and medical studies throughout most of history, and the seventeenth century was no different. Several examples of seventeenth–century comparative anatomy and other uses of animals are pictured here. On other pages throughout the exhibit, one can see the other ways that animals were used for the benefit of science and medicine. In particular, on the page devoted to experimental techniques, there are several depictions of the vivisection of animals, which was a gruesome but rather effective procedure.

Thomas Willis. Two Discourses Concerning the Soul of Brutes, Which Is That of the Vital and Sensitive of Man. The First is Physiological ... The Other is Pathological ... Englished by S. Pordage. London: Printed for Thomas Dring and John Leigh, 1683.

The Soul of Brutes, originally published as De Anima Brutorum, represents an important advance in seventeenth-century neurological studies. Willis was one of the first to recognize the difference between symptoms of gross brain disease and mental illness. He argued that many disorders in man were actually caused by the neural portion of the corporeal soul and also that everyday occurrences such as sleeping, waking, lethargy, nightmares, vertigo, paralysis, and apoplexy were neurological, rather than humoral or supernatural, in origin. The text is famous for its description of general paralysis and of the deaf woman who could hear only when a drum was beating (paracusis Willisii). The plates include depictions of the anatomy of the lobster, oyster, earthworm, and other animals.

This text is a posthumous translation "Englished" as Two Discourses Concerning The Soul of Brutes by Samuel Pordage (London, 1683), a minor poet and dramatist.

Daniel Le Clerc and Jean-Jacques Manget. Bibliotheca Anatomica, sive, Recens in Anatomia Inventorum Thesaurus Locupletissimus ... Geneva: Sumptibus J. A. Chouët & Davidis Ritter., 1699.

Bibliotheca Anatomica is the most comprehensive collection of anatomical treatises produced in the seventeenth century. It extends to two folio volumes and contains virtually every significant anatomical publication from recent decades. The editors, Daniel Le Clerc and Jean-Jacques Manget, both Geneva physicians, also wrote valuable introductions to the works, along with copious notes.

This plate illustrates one of the most stunning anatomical experiments of all times performed by Regnier de Graaf on a dog: de Graaf managed to collect the pancreatic juice in a flask attached to the belly of the dog and to assay it chymically.

This text is one of the more recent acquisitions of The Lilly Library.

Anton van Leeuwenhoek. Arcana Naturae Detecta ab Antonio Van Leeuwenhoek. Delft: Apud Henricum a Krooneveld, 1695.

Anton van Leeuwenhoek was one of the leading microscopists in his time. After his early experiments with lenses, he began to use the microscope to study minute structures and forms of life. He discovered the red corpuscles in the blood and the minute structure of spermatozoa and was also able to observe protozoa and, later, bacteria. His researches gave evidence against the widely held idea that small organisms arose through spontaneous generation; his discoveries opened up a new era of scientific investigation. Leeuwenhoek became a member of the Royal Society of London, and died in 1723 at the age of 91. This edition is displayed in the section devoted to insects.

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Last Updated: 1 August 2009
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