Page:EB1911 - Volume 01.djvu/983

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[HISTORY
ANATOMY


M. R. Columbus and G. Fallopius were pupils of Vesalius. Columbus, as his immediate successor in Padua, and afterwards Columbus. as professor at Rome, distinguished himself by rectifying and improving the anatomy of the bones; by giving correct accounts of the shape and cavities of the heart, of the pulmonary artery and aorta and their valves, and tracing the course of the blood from the right to the left side of the heart; by a good description of the brain and its vessels, and by correct understanding of the internal ear, and the first good account of the ventricles of the larynx.

Fallopius, who, after being professor at Pisa in 1548, and at Padua in 1551, died at the age of forty, studied the general Fallopius. anatomy of the bones; described better than heretofore the internal ear, especially the tympanum and its osseous ring, the two fenestrae and their communication with the vestibule and cochlea; and gave the first good account of the stylo-mastoid hole and canal, of the ethmoid bone and cells, and of the lacrymal passages. In myology he rectified several mistakes of Vesalius. He also devoted attention to the organs of generation in both sexes, and discovered the utero-peritoneal canal which still bears his name.

Osteology nearly at the same time found an assiduous cultivator in Giovanni Filippo Ingrassias (1545-1580), a learned Sicilian Ingrassias. physician, who, in a skilful commentary on the osteology of Galen, corrected numerous mistakes. He gave the first distinct account of the true configuration of the sphenoid and ethmoid bones, and has the merit of first describing (1546) the third bone of the tympanum, called stapes, though this is also claimed by Eustachius and Fallopius.

The anatomical descriptions of Vesalius underwent the scrutiny of various inquirers. Those most distinguished by the Aranzi. importance and accuracy of their researches, as well as the temperate tone of their observations, were Julius Caesar Aranzi (1530-1589), anatomical professor for thirty-two years in the university of Bologna, and Constantio Varoli, physician to Pope Gregory XIII. To the former we are indebted for the first correct account of the anatomical peculiarities of the foetus, and he was the first to show that the muscles of the eye do not, as was falsely imagined, arise from the dura mater but from the margin of the optic hole. He also, after considering the anatomical relations of the cavities of the heart, the valves and the great vessels, corroborates the views of Columbus regarding the course which the blood follows in passing from the right to the left side of the heart. Aranzi is the first anatomist who describes distinctly the inferior cornua of the ventricles of the cerebrum, who recognizes the objects by which they are distinguished, and who gives them the name by which they are still known (hippocampus); and his account is more minute and perspicuous than that of the authors of the subsequent century. He speaks at large of the choroid plexus, and gives a particular description of the fourth ventricle, under the name of cistern of the cerebellum, as a discovery of his own.

Italy, though rich in anatomical talent, has probably few greater names than that of Constantio Varoli (b. 1543) of Bologna. Varolius. Though he died at the early age of thirty-two, he acquired a reputation not inferior to that of the most eminent of his contemporaries. He is now known chiefly as the author of an epistle, inscribed to Hieronymo Mercuriali, on the optic nerves, in which he describes a new method of dissecting the brain, and communicates many interesting particulars relating to the anatomy of the organ. He observes the threefold division of the inferior surface or base, defines the limits of the anterior, middle and posterior eminences, as marked by the compartments of the skull, and justly remarks that the cerebral cavities are capacious, communicate with each other, extending first backward and then forward, near the angle of the pyramidal portion of the temporal bone, and that they are folded on themselves, and finally lost above the middle and inferior eminence of the brain. He appears to have been aware that at this point they communicate with the exterior or convoluted surface. He recognized the impropriety of the term corpus callosum, seems to have known the communication called afterwards foramen Monroianum, and describes the hippocampus more minutely than had been previously done.

Among the anatomists of the Italian school, as a pupil of Fallopius, Eustachius and U. Aldrovandus, is generally enumerated Volcher Coiter (b. 1534) of Groningen. He distinguished himself by accurate researches on the cartilages, the bones and the nerves, recognized the value of morbid anatomy, and made experiments on living animals to ascertain the action of the heart and the influence of the brain.

The Frutefull and Necessary Briefe Worke of John Halle[1] (1565) and The Englisheman's Treasure by Master Thomas Vicary (1586),[2] English works published at this time, are tolerable compilations from former authors, much tinged by Galenian and Arabian distinctions. A more valuable compendium than either is, however, that of John Banister (1578), entitled The Historie of Man, from the most approved Anathomistes in this Present Age.

The celebrity of the anatomical school of Italy was worthily maintained by Hieronymo Fabricio of Acquapendente, who, in imitation of his master Fallopius, laboured to render Fabricius. anatomical knowledge more precise by repeated dissections, and to illustrate the obscure by researches on the structure of animals in general. In this manner he investigated the formation of the foetus, the structure of the oesophagus, stomach and bowels, and the peculiarities of the eye, the ear and the larynx. The discovery, however, on which his surest claims to eminence rest is that of the membranous folds, which he names valves, in the interior of veins. Several of these folds had been observed by Fernel, Sylvius and Vesalius; and in 1547 G. B. Canani observed those of the vena azygos; but no one appears to have offered any rational conjecture on their use, or to have traced them through the venous system at large, until Fabricius in 1574, upon this hypothesis, demonstrated the presence of these valvular folds in all the veins of the extremities.

Fabricius, though succeeded by his pupil Julius Casserius of Placenza, may be regarded as the last of that illustrious line of anatomical teachers by whom the science was so successfully studied and taught in the universities of Italy. The discoveries which each made, and the errors which their successive labours rectified, tended gradually to give anatomy the character of a useful as well as an accurate science, and to pave the way for a discovery which, though not anatomical but physiological, is so intimately connected with correct knowledge of the shape and situation of parts, that it exercised the most powerful influence on the future progress of anatomical inquiry. This was the knowledge of the circular motion of the blood—a fact which though obscurely conjectured by Aristotle, Nemesius, Mondino and Berenger, and partially taught by Servetus, Columbus, Andreas Caesalpinus and Fabricius, it was nevertheless reserved to William Harvey fully and satisfactorily to demonstrate.

Mondino believed that the blood proceeds from the heart to the lungs through the vena arterialis or pulmonary artery, and that the aorta conveys the spirit into the blood through all parts of the body. This doctrine was adopted with little modification by Berenger, who further demonstrated the existence and operation of the tricuspid valves in the right ventricle, and of the sigmoid valves at the beginning of the pulmonary artery and aorta, and that there were only two ventricles separated by a solid impervious septum. These were afterwards described in greater detail by Vesalius, who nevertheless appears not to have been aware of the important use which might be made of this knowledge. It was the Spaniard Michael Servet or Servetus (born in 1509, burnt in 1553) who in his treatise Servetus. De Trinitatis Erroribus, published at Haguenau in 1531, first maintained the imperiousness of the septum, and the

  1. An interesting article on the character and work of the Maidstone surgeon, John Halle, by E. Barclay Smith, will be found in the J. Anat. and Phys. vol. xxxiv. p. 275.
  2. It has been pointed out by Dr J. F. Payne that Vicary's work is merely an abridged copy of an unpublished English anatomical treatise of the 14th century. The name of the author is unknown, but internal evidence shows that he was a London surgeon. The manuscript was written in English in 1392. See British Medical Journal, January 25, 1896.