Page:EB1911 - Volume 01.djvu/988

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HISTORY]
935
ANATOMY

that the most learned work ever given to the physiologist was also the most abundant in original information.

With the researches of Haller it is proper to notice those of his contemporaries, John Frederick Meckel, J. N. Lieberkühn, and his pupil John Godfrey Zinn. The first, who was professor of anatomy at Berlin, described the Casserian ganglion, the first pair of nerves and its distribution and that of the facial nerves generally, and discovered the spheno-palatine ganglion (1748-1751). He made some original and judicious observations on the tissue of the skin and the mucous net (1753-1757); and above all, he recognized the connexion of the lymphatic vessels with the veins—a doctrine which, after long neglect, was revived by Vincent Fohmann (1794-1837) and Lippi. He also collected several valuable observations on the morbid states of the heart and brain. Lieberkühn published in 1745 a dissertation on the villi and glands of the small intestines. Zinn, who was professor of medicine at Göttingen, published a classical treatise on the eye (1755), which demonstrated at once the defects of previous inquiries, and how much it was possible to elucidate, by accurate research and precise description, the structure of one of the most important organs of the human frame. It was republished after his death by H. A. Wrisberg (1780). About the same time J. Weitbrecht gave a copious and minute account of the ligaments, and J. Lieutaud (1703-1780), who had already laboured to rectify many errors in anatomy, described with care the structure and relations of the heart and its cavities, and rendered the anatomy of the bladder very precise, by describing the triangular space and the mammillary eminence at its neck.

The study of the minute anatomy of the tissues, which had originally been commenced by Leeuwenhoek, Malpighi and Ruysch, began at this period to attract more general attention. Karl August von Bergen had already demonstrated (1732) the general distribution of cellular membrane, and showed that it not only incloses every part of the animal frame, but forms the basis of every organ—a doctrine which was adopted and still more fully expanded (1757) by his friend Haller, in opposition to what was asserted by Albinus, who maintains that each part has a proper tissue. William Hunter at the same time gave a clear and W. Hunter. ingenious statement of the difference between cellular membrane and adipose tissue (1757), in which he maintained the general distribution of the former, and represented it as forming the serous membranes, and regulating their physiological and pathological properties—doctrines which were afterwards confirmed by his brother John Hunter. A few years after, the department of general anatomy first assumed a substantial form in the systematic view of the membranes and their mutual connexions traced by Andrew Bonn of Amsterdam. In his A. Bonn. inaugural dissertation De Continuationibus Membranarum, published at Leiden in 1763, this author, after some preliminary observations on membranes in general and their structure, and an exposition of that of the skin, traces its transition into the mucous membranes and their several divisions. He then explains the distribution of the cellular membrane, the aponeurotic expansions, and the periosteum and perichondrium, by either of which, he shows, every bone of the skeleton is invested and connected. He finally gives a very distinct view of the arrangement of the internal membranes of cavities, those named serous and fibro-serous, and the manner of their distribution over the contained organs. This essay, which is a happy example of generalization, is remarkable for the interesting general views of the structure of the animal body which it exhibits; and to Bonn belongs the merit of sketching the first outlines of that system which it was reserved for the genius of M. F. X. Bichat to complete and embellish. Lastly, T. de Bordeu, in an elaborate essay (1767) on the mucous tissue, or cellular organ, as he terms it, brought forward some interesting views of the constitution, nature and extent of the cellular membrane.

Though anatomy was hitherto cultivated with much success as illustrating the natural history and morbid states of the human body, yet little had been done for the elucidation of local diseases, and the surgical means by which they may be successfully treated. The idea of applying anatomical knowledge directly to this purpose appears to have originated with Bernardin Genga, a Roman surgeon, who published in 1672, at Rome, a work entitled Surgical Anatomy, or the Anatomical History of the Bones and Muscles of the Human Body, with the Description of the Blood-vessels. This work, which reached a second edition in 1687, is highly creditable to the author, who appears to have studied intimately the mutual relations of different parts. It is not improbable that the example of Genga led J. Palfyn, a surgeon at Ghent, to undertake a similar task about thirty years after (1718-1726). For this, however, he was by no means well qualified; and the work of Palfyn, though bearing the name of Surgical Anatomy, is a miserable compilation, meagre in details, inaccurate in description, and altogether unworthy of the honour of being republished, as it afterwards was by Antony Petit.

While these two authors, however, were usefully employed in showing what was wanted for the surgeon, others were occupied in the collection of new and more accurate facts. Albinus, indeed, ever assiduous, had, in his account of the operations of Rau, given some good sketches of the relative anatomy of the bladder and urethra; and Cheselden had already, in his mode of cutting into the urinary bladder, shown the necessity of an exact knowledge of the relations of contiguous parts. The first decided application, however, of this species of anatomical research it was reserved for a Dutch anatomist of the 18th century to make. Peter Camper, professor of anatomy at Amsterdam, published in 1760 and 1762 his anatomic-pathological Camper. demonstrations of the parts of the human arm and pelvis, of the diseases incident to them, and the mode of relieving them by operation, and explained with great clearness the situation of the blood-vessels, nerves and important muscles. His remarks on the lateral operation of lithotomy, which contain all that was then known on the subject, are exceedingly interesting and valuable to the surgeon. It appears, further, that he was the first who examined anatomically the mechanism of ruptures, his delineations of which were published in 1801 by S. T. Sömmerring. Camper also wrote some important memoirs on Comparative Anatomy, and he was the author of a well-known work on the Relations of Anatomy to the Fine Arts.

The attention of anatomists was now directed to the elucidation of the most obscure and least explored parts of the human frame—the lymphatic vessels and the nerves. Although, since the first discovery of the former by Aselli, Rudbeck and Pecquet, much had been done, especially by Ruysch, Nuck, Meckel and Haller, many points, notwithstanding, relating to their origin and distribution in particular organs, and in the several classes of animals, were imperfectly ascertained or entirely unknown. William Hunter investigated their arrangement, and W. and J. Hunter. proposed the doctrine that they are absorbents; and John Hunter, who undertook to demonstrate the truth of this hypothesis by experiment, discovered, in 1758, lymphatics in the neck in birds. As the doctrine required the existence of this order of vessels, not only in quadrupeds and birds but in reptiles and fishes, the inquiry attracted attention among the pupils of Hunter; and William Hewson[1] at length communicated, in December 1768, to the Hewson. Royal Society of London an account of the lacteals and lymphatics in birds, fishes and reptiles, as he had discovered and demonstrated them. The subject was about the same time investigated by the second Alexander Monro, who indeed claimed the merit of discovering these vessels in the classes of animals now mentioned. But whatever researches this anatomist may have instituted, Hewson, by communicating his observations to the Royal Society, must be allowed to possess the strongest as well as the clearest claim to discovery. The same author, in 1774, gave the first complete account of the anatomical peculiarities of the lymphatic system in man and other animals, and thereby supplied an important gap in this department. Hewson is the first who distinguishes the lymphatics into two orders—the superficial and the deep—both in the extremities and in the internal organs. He also studied the structure of the

  1. Hewson was a partner with William Hunter in the Windmill Street School of Anatomy.