Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/535

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MICHAEL SERVETUS.

specimens of which were handed around the class. The leading books upon the several families of cryptogams were shown, especially those illustrating the subject by means of large plates.

It was announced in the syllabus that the examination for certificates would be held in the following autumn, and at the close of the last lecture a conference was held with the candidates, about twenty-five, and a short preliminary examination given them upon the matter contained in the syllabus. This portion of the class was instructed to make a careful study of the whole of Gray's Revised Lessons, and encouraged to collect specimens, study and classify them, and make a herbarium of at least fifty species to in part represent the work done in the field.

Thus in six exercises pupils were more than started in the study of plants, and there is no question that a groundwork was laid for an acquaintance with botany that should be one of constantly growing interest as the years succeed each other.


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MICHAEL SERVETUS: REFORMER, PHYSIOLOGIST, AND MARTYR.

By CHARLES McRAE.

THE sixteenth century produced an unusually large number of famous biologists. To it belonged Andreas Vesalius, the incomparable anatomist, and his teachers, Sylvius and Winter of Andernach; Columbus of Cremona, to whom the discovery of the pulmonary circulation of the blood was for a century and a half ascribed; and Fallopius, Eustachius, Arantius, Fabricius of Aquapendente, and Cæsalpinus — men whose names have become familiar to every student of anatomy. Foremost, perhaps, among these illustrious workers stands the name of Michael Servetus, the physiologist and liberal thinker, who was burned to death as a heretic at Geneva in 1553, and whose life and tragic end have ever since excited the interest and sympathy of mankind.

Michael Servetus was born in Aragon or in Navarre about the year 1509. At an early age he entered the University of Saragossa, from which, in 1528, he was sent as a law student to the University of Toulouse. Here he may have read some of Luther's writings, for several of the latter were translated into Spanish soon after their publication. But whether he saw them or not, after staying two or three years at Toulouse he acquired certain views which were antagonistic to some of the generally received dogmas of the Church, and which influenced the whole of his subsequent life.

Quitting the university, he went — in what position it is un-