Indiana University Bloomington

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


Surgery played a diverse role in early modern medicine. It was both an important aspect of the endless wars of the time and a course of study in medical schools. Some practitioners were laymen with little or no university training who acquired their skills through apprenticing with other surgeons, while others were distinguished university professors or important members of royal households. Texts written about surgery allowed the exchange of ideas among the various groups, especially when written in the vernacular.

Guido Guidi. Chirurgia è Græco in Latinum Conversa ... [Paris]: Excudebat Petrus Galterius Lucetiæ Parisiorum, 1544.

The first Latin edition of the Greek surgical texts of Hippocrates, Galen, and Oribasius. The text is based on ancient manuscripts of the Greek originals in the Laurentian Library at Florence and is another example of the influence of humanist practices on medicine. The translator, Guidi, was physician to Francis I of France.

George Bartisch. Ophthalmodouleia, das ist Augendienst ... [Dresden: Matthes Stöckel], 1583.

The first ophthalmology textbook in the vernacular for laymen and non–university–trained practitioners. Bartisch was a German surgeon at the court of Duke August I of Saxony. This work is devoted to surgery on the eye and types of ocular diseases and maladies. It is dedicated to another famous sixteenth–century surgeon, Ambroise Paré. The illustrations portray several techniques for operating on the eye, and specialized instruments used in the procedures.

Gaspare Tagliacozzi. De Curtorum Chirurgia per Insitionem: Libri Duo ... Venice: Apud Gasparem Bindonum Iuniorem, 1597.

The first published work on plastic surgery. Tagliacozzi was a professor of surgery at Bologna. The text describes what we now call rhinoplasty, or surgery for altering the cosmetic appearance of the nose. The procedure was considered frivolous and perhaps even meddling with the will of God at the time, and Tagliacozzi was roundly condemned by many. The illustration shows Tagliacozzi's technique for grafting skin onto the nose.

Johannes Scultetus. Wund Artzneyisches Zeüg–Haüsz ... Frankfurt: In Verlegung Johann Gerlins ... Buchhändlers in Ulm, Gedruckt bey Johann Gerlin, 1666.

This is the earliest printing of the German translation of the Armamentarium Chirurgicum published by the author's nephew. Scultetus (Johannes Schultheiss) had been a student of Fabricius and Adriaan van Spiegel at Padua. He then served as a surgeon in Ulm. His work on surgery, published after his death, was hugely popular throughout the seventeenth century, running through many translations and editions.

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