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Cuvier’s History of the Natural Sciences

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Georges Cuvier

5. Seventeenth-century Advances in Chemistry, Physiology, and Anatomy

15. Advances in Comparative Anatomy

Texte intégral

Embryology of the chick Plate from Malpighi’s Formatione pulli… (1687) Cliché Bibliothèque centrale, MNHN.

1Messieurs,

  • 1 [Wepfer, see Lesson 14, note 95]
  • 2 [Schneider, see Lesson 14, note 103
  • 3 [Thomas Willis, see Lesson 12 note 60]
  • 4 [Vesalius, see Lesson 1, note 45].

2We saw in our last session how anatomy took a new impetus during the second half of the seventeenth century. We listed some of the major anatomists who contributed to it with their discoveries. We talked in particular about the various studies that were done on the lymphatic vessels. Then we talked about the discoveries related to the brain; we talked especially about those by Wepfer1 and Schneider,2 observations that changed completely the old ideas on the use of the ventricles of the brain, the nature of the olfactory nerve, and on the supposed connection between the brain and the cavity of the nostrils. We also talked about Willis’s3 observations and the way he dissected the brain, and how he developed each part of it in order to recognize them more easily than with the method indicated by Vesalius.4

  • 5 [Raymond Vieussens (born c. 1635, Vigan; died 16 August 1715, Montpellier), a French anatomist, re (...)

3We must add to the anatomists who handled such works during the second half of the seventeenth century the man who contributed the most to progress in this area of knowledge. His name is Raymond Vieussens,5 doctor in Montpellier where he died in 1715; thus, he also lived during the beginning of the eighteenth century.

  • 6 [Franciscus Sylvius, see Lesson 13 note 90.]
  • 7 [Neurographia universalis, hoc est Omnium corporis humani nervorum, simul & cerebri, medullaeque s (...)
  • 8 [Malpighi, see Lesson 14, note 121].
  • 9 [Frederik Ruysch, see Lesson 6, note 123]
  • 10 [Varolius, see Lesson 2, note 44.]

4With regard to physiology, he was still sectarian to Sylvius’s ideas,6 to chemical ideas. What he was looking for in the fluids of the human body were the salts, acids, and alkalis; but we do not have to talk about him too much since his system fell apart, like those of the others. His true merit is in his observations and discussions of the nervous system. His discoveries are recorded in a book called Neurographia universalis, published in Lyon in 1685.7 To be honest, he still wanted to support the idea of the glandulous structure of the brain such as Malpighi8 had supported, and as it was fought by Ruysch,9 an opinion which, indeed, is not sustainable; but he had the merit to dissect the brain according to Varolius’s method.10

  • 11 [Vieussens, see note 5, above.]
  • 12 [Gall, see Lesson 2, note 46; lesson 14, note 105.]

5The continuity of the pyramids with the fascicles of the brain, the clusters of fibers of these fascicles with the optic fascicular fibers, the dentate nuclei, basically all the interior structure of the brain, as much as it could be discovered and assessed by the naked eye, had already been represented by Vieussens,11 much earlier than Gall,12 as this anatomist had to admit when his work was reviewed by the Academy of the Sciences. But Gall greatly improved the method of dissecting the brain from downward up and from upward down, by following the direction of the fibers, and he drew some particular conclusions out of it.

  • 13 This centrum semiovale does not really exist, since it is not separate from the rest of the medull (...)

6Vieussens is the one who gave the name centrum semiovale13 to the white matter that can be seen once the upper part of the hemispheres is removed all the way to the level of the upper surface of the corpus callosum. He provided many new details on all the parts of the encephalon that are located between the brain and the cerebellum, and where all these different productions—the various grooves that seem to be the result of the various directions of the fibers—are located. However, the nature of these fibers remains problematic, even today, after the latest observations that were done on the brain. It is only by adding more to what we see, and by hypothesizing about what is going on inside these fibers, that we can understand their functions and effects; yet, it still requires that the facts be known. The knowledge that is contributed about the structure of the organs is the basis for any good physiology and all the progress we contribute to it must be gathered with gratitude, especially in such a difficult science as this one; since the brain, despite the various efforts that were made during the eighteenth century to learn about it remained almost unknown, and is still today almost a blank slate.

7Willis is extremely valuable for his description of the distribution of the nerves; however, Vieussens’s nervous structure is superior to his. It is based on observations of man, whereas Willis mixed various observations he made on animals to the ones he had made on the human species. Vieussens also goes into much more detail; however, his method of dissecting nerves, or better, of representing them, is as wrong as the presentation of Willis or Vesalius. Vieussens shows the nerves like a skeleton separate from the organs they are innervating, which does not give a clear and accurate idea of them.

8In addition to the important discoveries that we just mentioned, Vieussens added other observations that were worth being noticed at that time.

  • 14 [Antonie Philips van Leeuwenhoek (born 24 October 1632, Delft; died 26 August 1723, Delft), a Dutc (...)

9I am now going to talk about a third kind of anatomical discovery, one that deals with the intimate structure of the parts. So far, studies on organs, muscles, and bones had only been done in a general manner. No study had yet focused on their mechanical elements or, if it had been done, it was only in a very superficial manner. This accurate study of the parts that compose an organ was not possible for the brain; it was only applicable to the cortical substance, with the help of injections. It is during the time that began the study of the intimate structure of the parts whose knowledge is necessary in order to understand their role. When the study of the anatomy of the living body began to be done more in depth, it was easy to notice that each glandulous mass, each organ did not operate within itself only, but that each one of the small vessels, of the small fibers, the small glands, and the smallest elements that were found there had a role in its action; thus, the action was more detailed, deeper, and more delicate than it was first imagined. Those who handled these studies more successfully were Malpighi, Ruysch, and Leeuwenhoek.14

  • 15 [Malpighi, see Lesson 14, note 121.]
  • 16 [Innocent XII (born 13 March 1615, Spinazzola, now Puglia; died 27 September 1700, born Antonio Pi (...)

10The first of these is Marcel Malpighi;15 he was born in 1628 in Crevalcuore, near Bologna. He was first a professor in Messina, then he came back to Bologna where he was appointed professor in 1666. He was also a professor in Pisa, and became physician to Pope Innocent XII16 in 1691; he died in Rome in 1694 at the age of sixty-seven. He is one of the men who studied, with the most determination and tenacity, all the smallest and the most delicate parts of the anatomy of plants and animals. He spent most of his life in the countryside, surrounded only by bodies that he prepared with all kinds of methods in order to discover their structure; he used maceration, ebullition, and even sometimes injection, though he did not master the processes as well as Ruysch did.

11Malpighi is one of the first to use the microscope to discover the intimate structure of the parts. He had also adopted, in terms of physiology, a chemical system similar to that of Sylvius, but it is not in this regard that we will talk about him. His work on the intimate structure of the parts led him to include small glands in the composition of almost all these parts. The reason was that he did not use injections enough; then he used the process of ebullition too much. As a result, all the parenchyma seemed to be mere small corpuscles, and these corpuscles seemed to be of a glandulous nature. This opinion is found in almost all his books; it is not really supported and he made it too much of a general statement. However, each of his books includes very valuable information that even today belongs essentially to the corpus of delicate anatomy, to the anatomy of intimate structure.

  • 17 [Borelli, see Lesson 2, note 73.]
  • 18 [De pulmonis observationes anatomicae in which Malpighi described his discovery of capillary circu (...)

12Malpighi’s first work is a treatise on lungs that he addressed to Borelli.17 It is dated 1661.18 In warm-blooded animals, like the mammals and the birds in which the quantity of blood that goes to the lungs is huge and where the cells whose walls must host the vessels that contain this blood are extremely small, it is rather difficult to see them clearly. But in coldblooded animals like frogs and snakes, in which there is only a small portion of blood that enters the lungs at each pulsation of the heart, and where the cells are much larger and less numerous (since they do not need walls as thick to host the small blood vessels), the cell structure of the lungs is easier to analyze. Thus, Malpighi used the frog to describe the structure of the lungs, which, so far, was very vaguely known; then he applied the theory to warm-blooded animals.

  • 19 [Tetras anatomicarum epistolarum. De lingua et cerebro…, Bologna: Vincenzo Benati, 1665, [20] + 42 (...)
  • 20 [De cerebro epistola, in Malpighi (Marcello), Tetras anatomicarum epistolarum. De lingua et cerebr (...)

13Another of Malpighi’s works is called Tetras anatomicarum epistolarum.19 The first of these four epistles treats the brain20 and he studies the fibers of the marrow and the vessels of the cortical substance. He again considers this substance to be composed of a glandulous mass.

  • 21 [Xiphias, a genus of teleost fish containing only Xiphias gladius, the swordfish.]
  • 22 [Descartes, see Volume 1, Lesson 6, note 7.]

14He presents in the same epistle a very unique structure of the optic nerve of a specific fish. We know that the optic nerve has different structures. In some animals it consists of a certain number of ducts filled with marrow in such a way that once the marrow is removed, the neurileme (or theca) is left like a sieve. But in other fishes, the optic nerve has a wide ribbon-like form, folded on itself and ensheathed in dura mater; this is, for example, what we see in Xiphias.21 When Malpighi described this singularity for the first time, he overthrew Descartes’s22 theory on the passage of the luminous rays through the optic nerve to reach the brain, since there is nothing in this description that looks like a duct. The optic nerve uses other means to carry the images of vision up to the brain. The proof is in the structure, so extraordinary and barely conceivable a priori, that we observe in a few fishes.

  • 23 [De lingua epistola, in Malpighi (Marcello), Tetras anatomicarum epistolarum. De lingua et cerebro (...)
  • 24 [Marie François Xavier Bichat (born 14 November 1771, Thoirette, France; died 22 July 1802, Paris) (...)

15The second epistle of Malpighi focuses on the tongue.23 Not only does he describe its nerves and vessels, but he also observes its tegumens; he considers the tongue to be the sense organ of taste and as part of the general sense organ of touch. This is where he analyzed everything that constitutes the skin, the epidermis, the cellular tissue, the Malpighian layer that still bears his name, and the dermis itself. He discovered all these parts, not only in the tongue of humans, but also in the tongue of animals, especially those whose structure of the tongue is more developed than in man. Malpighi mainly used the method of maceration and of ebullition to separate all the parts of the general envelope that prior anatomists considered to be only one layer. Similar experiments were recently reproduced and improved by Bichat;24 but the principle, as you can see, already existed in the authors of the period I am reviewing now.

  • 25 [De omento, pinguedine, et adiposis ductibus, in Malpighi (Marcello), Tetras anatomicarum epistola (...)

16The third of Malpighi’s treatises is about the epiploon, also called the great omentum, and about the various fat deposits.25 He examines the way fat is deposited in the cellular tissue; the analysis of this tissue, as composed of light membranes like the epiploon appears for the first time. But in this work he might still have been too general.

  • 26 [De externo tactus organo, in Malpighi (Marcello), Tetras anatomicarum epistolarum. De lingua et c (...)
  • 27 [Albinus, see Lesson 1, note 78.]

17Malpighi’s fourth epistle is about the exterior sense organ of touch.26 He shows the analogies between the layer of the tongue with the general layer of the body. He shows what Albinus27 proved later, that the color of black people does not reside in their epidermis, which is as white as ours, but in the secretion of the mucous tissue that is right above the skin and under the epidermis. The same applies to all colored animals; a similar mucous tissue creates the color to everything that covers the surface of their skin, either scales or hair.

18Malpighi examined the mucous tissue under the scales of the feet of birds, like the turkey for example, and even the hoof of quadrupeds, such as, among others, under the nails of the pig. In the same book, he studies also the many small glands of the skin to which he attributes the production of sweat. He also describes the structure of the thick horny parts whose nature is almost similar to the one of the epidermis.

19These books written by Malpighi are from 1665. You see that we are still moving forward in the history of the seventeenth century and that, at each step, we find great discoveries; because, as I told you several times, the seventeenth century was the most fruitful for the sciences.

  • 28 [De viscerum structura exercitatio anatomica, Bologna: Jacobi Montii, 1666, [4] + 172 p., in-4°.]

20In 1666, Malpighi published a small treatise called On the structure of the organs.28 In this book, he applies his theory about glands to the conglomerate glands, in particular of the liver. According to him, the liver is composed of lobules, each one of which has its own excretory duct; the hepatic duct would be the main excretory duct. He establishes the true statement that the bile is not formed in the gallbladder, as Sylvius had stated, but within the liver tissue itself. In this book, he talks again about the structure of the layer of the brain and affirms again that it is composed of small glands. He describes the spleen as being composed of small cells in which blood spreads out and which contains as well some small glands.

  • 29 [De structura glandularum conglobatarum consimiliumque partium: epistola, Regiae Societati Londini (...)

21This idea of glands is an obsession with Malpighi, which he never gave up. He even wrote in 1689 a small treatise called De glandulis conglobatis,29 in which he perhaps presents more hypotheses than real observations. He mentions cells, fibers, and muscles. He even claims that he found an excretory duct for the adrenal glands, which, of course, does not have any; but it is already a book from his old age.

  • 30 [De viscerum structura exercitatio anatomica, see note 28, above.]
  • 31 [Dissertatio epistolica de bombyce (London: Joannem Martyn & Jacobum Allestry, 1669, 1 vol. ([10] (...)
  • 32 [Cuvier refers here to Willis’s 1672 De anima brutorum quae hominis vitalis ac sentitiva est exerc (...)
  • 33 [The silkworm is the larva or caterpillar of the domesticated silkmoth, Bombyx mori, an economical (...)

22Three years after the publication of his “treatise on organs,”30 Malpighi described the anatomy of the silkworm and of the moth of that same worm.31 It is the first book on the anatomy of an insect, since it was written before the book of the same kind that I talked about during our last session.32 Everything in it appeared somewhat new; this is at that time when we learned that insects breathe through holes or spiracles that are located along each side of their body; that each of these openings leads to a spiral-shape like network of tubes that are called the trachea of insects; and that these trachea, instead of going to a specific organ like the lungs, are distributed among all parts of the body. His book also mentions for the first time the so-called heart of insects, a tube that runs longitudinally through their back that expands and contracts, almost like a real heart, but from which we are convinced no vessels originate. We find in it for the first time the double nerve cord, the ganglia, the brain, the layers of the esophagus and the nervous collar around it, and the cords in the fetus that, from space to space, feature rounded ganglions located close to where the nerves exit and extend toward the parts of the living animal. Malpighi described for the first time the vessels that produce silk in the silkworm.33 He gave a rather accurate idea of the anatomy of these unique animals. He went farther and followed them in their transformation into moths. He showed the new organs that exist in that state such as the ovaries and seminal receptacles, and he showed the changes that the organs that are not new go through, such as the nervous and the digestive systems. When I said earlier “new organs,” I meant those that are visible for the first time, since these organs existed as a sprout in the caterpillar.

  • 34 [Fabricius d’Aquapendente, see Lesson 1, note 66; and Volume 1, Lesson 9, note 38].
  • 35 [Harvey, see Lesson 2, note 72.]
  • 36 [For Malpighi’s 1669 treatise on the silkworm moth, see Lesson 14, note 12.]
  • 37 [Dissertationes Epistolicae duae, una de Formatione pulli in ovo, altera de Bombyce utraque regiae (...)

23Malpighi’s observations of the steps nature follows to transform the silkworm from its initial shape into its final shape, which would seem unbelievable if we had not followed the steps one by one—since there is nothing more different than a caterpillar and a moth—led him to examine vertebrates in the same way. He made observations on the chicken that were similar to those made by Fabricius34 and Harvey.35 His work on the silkworm is from 166936 and the one on the chicken is from 1673.37

  • 38 [Aristotle, see Volume 1, Lessons 7 and 8.]
  • 39 [Haller, see Lesson 1, note 16.]
  • 40 [Gaspard Wolf, see Lesson 7, note 159.]
  • 41 [Opera omnia Malpighi / figuris elegantissimis in aes incisis illustrata; tomis duobus comprehensa (...)

24Neither Aristotle,38 nor Fabricius, nor Harvey had used the microscope for their observations of the development of the chicken. Malpighi used it a lot; thus, his representations of the fetus of the chicken in its various phases are more accurate than those of his predecessors; however, his figures are still somewhat rough. We could not compare his work to that done recently, but Malpighi’s effort has been, so to speak, the same kind as those that followed him, and remained a classical product of its kind until the time of Haller.39 Haller made more precise and more detailed observations than Malpighi, but since he did not include illustrations, his book is very difficult to read. Wolf40 later undertook other experiments, but they occurred in the middle of the eighteenth century, thus we should not talk about them yet. Malpighi’s treatise can be considered, after those by Harvey and Fabricius, and after the first observations by Aristotle, like a milestone for almost all of the seventeenth century. Malpighi’s book that I just talked about, along with several others, are gathered in two folio volumes that were published in London in 1686 under the title Opera omnia Malpighi.41

  • 42 [Opera posthuma, figuris aeneis illustrate, quibus praefixa est ejusdem vita a seipso scripta (edi (...)

25Furthermore, there is also a volume of posthumous works published by Regis in London in 1697.42 Among other things is the life of Malpighi written by himself, a very peculiar book since he writes in it the progress of his ideas and of his discoveries, how he reached each idea, how he followed it, and the cases when his experiments did not result in what he thought they would. It is a kind of treatise on experimental psychology that, being written by a man of merit like Malpighi, is also worthy of merit.

  • 43 [Ruysch, see Lesson 6, note 123.]

26Ruysch,43 the man who contradicted Malpighi in almost everything and whose work contributed in a unique way to the progress of this branch of anatomy, which deals with the intimate structure of the parts, survived him for a long time, although he was older than Malpighi.

  • 44 [Peter the Great, see Lesson 12, note 129.]

27Ruysch was born at The Hague in 1638. He started as an apothecary apprentice and even set up his business as such, but his taste for injections and for all the anatomical preparations won him over. He practiced medicine and surgery and was appointed professor of anatomy in Amsterdam in 1665 in the establishment called the College of Surgeons. He remained in this college where he spent all his time making anatomical preparations and publishing the results until 1731, when he died at the age of ninety-three. He was mostly helped in his injections and the arrangement of his preparations by his wife and his daughters who shared the same taste. He thus created very unique collections that he sold to various establishments and kings, but as soon as he sold one of his collections, he immediately created a new one. Each of these collections was published in an individual small treatise that he called a “treasure.” Each time he obtained something new, he wrote its description in these “treasures,” or catalogues raisonnés, and included figures that were very well engraved. He contributed regularly to the enrichment of anatomy with his discoveries. We know that Peter the Great,44 Emperor of Russia, bought at a very high price one of Ruysch’s collections that he took to St. Petersburg but which no longer exists today. However, some of Ruysch’s preparations are still kept today with great care in several cabinets of Europe. Leiden and Amsterdam, for example, own some that are very valuable; in general, all of his collections are admirable for their refinement.

  • 45 In 1666 [Frederik] Ruysch [see Lesson 6, note 123] undertook, under the orders of the General Stat (...)

28It is said that, through his work, Ruysch discovered secrets that none of his successors ever knew. It is also said that he hid them from his contemporaries, and that nobody could ever find them, as some of Ruysch’s preparations were never imitated. For example, his injections had the merit of filling up accurately all the vessels that, in their natural state, contained a colored blood-like fluid, while, at the same time, not overdoing it. Thus, he gave cadavers a natural color that they could keep for a very long time.45

29The result of Ruysch’s research was the opposite of Malpighi’s. Ruysch thought that organs never had glands; everything, according to him, was related to vessels. His injections penetrated every single solid part of the animal body and one could see every ramification of all vessels covering and ending everything, to the point that arteries came back as veins and secretory vessels. Thus, the small glandules that Malpighi considered to be the initial part of the tissue composition —and the last end points of the blood vessels in the conglomerate glands and in many other organs— did not exist for Ruysch.

  • 46 [Boerhaave, see Lesson 1, note 78.]
  • 47 [Haller, see Lesson 1, note 16.]

30Ruysch supported his thesis with success in spite of the most skilled antagonists who, under all other aspects, would have been much superior to him since he was not very well educated. He started, as I said, as a mere apothecary apprentice; he did not study, and even hired people to record his observations and to write his books in Latin. Many times, he had discussed with Boerhaave,46 the most educated and eloquent man of his time, one of those who showed the most genius in any discussion related to physiology. However, Boerhaave often had to concede to Ruysch. Haller,47 who is, without a doubt, the most competent critic on almost all things, approved of Ruysch on many occasions. Haller was much younger than Ruysch and Boerhaave; he was their student and he attended Ruysch’s experiments and Boerhaave’s presentations; thus, he knew all the necessary elements to judge them well.

31Ruysch’s various writings, which consist of two volumes in quarto, were published under the format of small dissertations, like those by Malpighi. But Ruysch’s dissertations are less focused on a specific topic; they deal mostly with isolated questions and conclusions that he immediately drew from them.

  • 48 [Dilucidatio valvularum in vasis lymphaticis et lacteis: Cum figuris aeneis: Accesserunt quaedam o (...)

32The first of his books is dated 1665; you see that all the great anatomists I am talking about were, so to speak, contemporaries. It is a time when all parts of anatomy were studied with the highest emulation. From all over Europe people exchanged correspondences about it and as soon as an author made a discovery, he recorded it in writing and sent it to all universities, which then responded to these authors. The study of anatomy at that time brought the same emulation as we saw with the chemists forty years ago; it was the time when science expanded rapidly and studies were carried out with the most zeal. Ruysch’s first treatise, as I said, is from 1665. It treats the valves of the lymphatic vessels which were then a topic of study; it is called Dilucidatio Valvularum in vasis lymphaticis et lacteis.48

33Then the first catalogue of his cabinet was published. At that time, Ruysch had a large number of skeletons of fetuses that he had gathered for his study of osteogenesis, which is one of the most interesting branches of anatomy.

  • 49 [Govert Bidloo or Govard Bidloo (born 12 March 1649, Amsterdam; died 30 March 1713, Leiden), a Dut (...)

34Bidloo,49 who was a professor of anatomy in Leiden, but not as much of a practicing anatomist as Ruysch, attacked his works. Bidloo had systems rather than positive knowledge, and often his students asked Ruysch questions to which he responded; this led to the writing of sixteen epistles or responses from Ruysch to Bidloo’s students, in which he treats him quite lightly. However, almost all his epistles are filled with interesting information on anatomy.

  • 50 [Thesaurus anatomicus, a series of short numbered treatises published at Amsterdam from 1701 to 17 (...)
  • 51 [Curae posteriores seu thesaurus anatomicus omnium praecedentium maximus. Cum figuris aeneis…, Ams (...)
  • 52 [Curae renovatae seu thesaurus anatomicus, post curas postiores, novus, Amsterdam: Janssonio Waesb (...)

35Then we have Ruysch’s Treasures; about a dozen were published from 1701 until 1715.50 He continued to write new catalogues, such as one entitled Curae posteriores seu Thesaurus anatomicus that was published in 1724,51 and another entitled Curae renovatae, seu Thesaurus anatomicus novus from 1728.52 In each of these catalogues raisonnés, Ruysch gives representations of anatomical preparations of an extreme refinement that bring up ideas that are much more superior to the ones people had before, on the amazing intimate structure of the parts of the body. There is no book like the one by Ruysch that gives such a complete idea of this analysis, which goes to the infinite, that follows, so to speak, the bodies all the way to their cells, and which always finds everything organized in small vessels, in microscopic vessels, in such a way that neither the imagination nor the sight ever stops.

  • 53 [Opusculum anatomicum de fabrica glandularum in corpore humano. Continens binas epistolas quarum p (...)

36In his treatise on the structure of the glands of the human body, Ruysch challenges both the ideas of Malpighi and of Boerhaave. His writing is actually addressed to Boerhaave, yet, without any hint of bitterness; it was published in 1722.53

  • 54 During his [Ruysch’s] lifetime [see Lesson 6, note 123], midwives were very ignorant; they did not (...)

37His last work from 1726 is less satisfactory than the others; he claims he discovered a muscle at the bottom of the uterus.54

  • 55 [Johann Friedrich Schreiber (born 25 May 1705, Königsberg; died 28 January 1760, St. Petersburg), (...)
  • 56 [Bils, see Lesson 14, note 88.]

38In 1732, a physician from Amsterdam named Johann Friedrich Schreiber55 published a biography of Ruysch in a small quarto volume that includes a very well done analysis of Ruysch’s discoveries that benefited science. This book is very educational, though much less than the similar work by Malpighi on himself, since it is much easier to talk about one’s own thoughts than about someone else’s. Schreiber finds that the only remarkable part of Ruysch’s work is his study on osteogenesis, in which Ruysch examined even in the smallest fetuses as well as everything related to the actual structure of the lymphatic vessels and their valves; and finally, the refutation of all of Bils’s errors, whom I talked about during our last session.56

  • 57 [Galen, see Volume 1, Lesson 16.]

39Here is a singular thing: Ruysch was the first one to give a good knowledge of the distribution of the aorta in man, who is meant to walk upright. In mammals, which are meant to walk in a different manner, the aorta is set up differently; thus, it proves that there is a close relationship between what role an animal is supposed to play in regards to its anatomy; however, almost all the anatomists since Galen57 had described the aorta of man based on animals and this is where the distinction between the ascendant and the descendant aortas came from.

40I do not think that anybody has ever gone so far with injections as Ruysch, without inflating the smallest vessels, expanding them or changing their appearance. He showed, through the injection process, the vessels of the arachnoid and those of the small bones of the ear. He also showed the diversity in the termination of the vessels, in the mutual communication between arteries and veins, depending on the organs where this communication occurs and the secretions that are supposed to occur in these organs.

41Ruysch proved that the cortical substance of the brain was almost entirely composed of vessels, and that the parenchyma of Malpighi, like his glandules, did not exist.

42He was the one who gave the reason for Boerhaave’s division into cryptas, lacunas, and utriculis, which really exist, though they do not compose the tissue of the conglomerate glands.

43Ruysch also discovered in the eye a particular gland that we now call the Ruyschiana gland, which is more noticeable in animals than in men. Ruysch also made several other discoveries that would take too long to describe here. I only need to tell you that Ruysch, along with Malpighi, and even before Malpighi, was the first author to explain well these wonders of anatomy, who made people understand up to what point the body of animals and of man are complex in their structure, how amazing systems exist within these bodies up to the smallest spaces, spaces that are not visible to the naked eye and that require the strongest microscopes to be seen.

  • 58 [Leeuwenhoek, see note 13, above.]
  • 59 [Royal Society of London, see Lesson 8, note 96.]

44Another Dutchman, a contemporary of Ruysch, worked as well on various questions of anatomy and brought his research farther still with the help of the microscope. This Dutchman is Antonie van Leeuwenhoek,58 from Delft, a town of Holland. He was neither a doctor nor a professor in any science; he was not very educated and even less versed that Ruysch. He was born in 1633, while Ruysch was born in 1638 —so you see that they were almost contemporaries. Van Leeuwenhoek also lived a very long life, dying in 1723 at the age of ninety. As a hobby, he polished glasses, and he became so good at it and his work improved so much that he managed to create lenses more perfect than any of those that were used before him. During the fifty years of his work, he used these lenses with an admirable patience to make microscopic observations on all kinds of bodies. He sent his observations as he was making them to the Royal Society of London,59 which, as I said earlier, created great excitement among all those who, in the various parts of Europe, could contribute to the field of the natural sciences. Several works by Malpighi were sent to this journal, and Malpighi’s books were even published in their entirety in London as it was easier to find the means necessary to publish in London than in Italy. Yet, several of Malpighi’s treatises were published separately in Italy.

  • 60 [Philosophical Transactions, see Lesson 12, note 65].

45The first publications by Van Leeuwenhoek, composed of fifty or sixty letters, were all sent to the Royal Society of London, most of which appeared in the Philosophical Transactions.60 They were recorded in Latin and published together; they form four volumes in quarto to which were added several other works that were not included in these letters. This collection is not complete; some letters that were in the Philosophical Transactions are not published in these volumes; however, we find several works on natural history itself, on the intimate structure of the parts, which were at that time the object of general study. Thus, Van Leeuwenhoek was the first to give us knowledge of the fluid globules that mainly pertain to animal physiology. He was also the first to show the spermatic animalcules. In fact, basically all the animalcules were discovered under Van Leeuwenhoek’s microscope; it is a entire kingdom that he revealed to the scholarly world.

46We also owe Van Leeuwenhoek knowledge of the structure of body hair, muscular fibers, and the capsules and fibers of the lens of the eye, which, up until that time, was considered as a homogenous, gelatinous, or cartilaginous substance, while in fact it is composed of laminas wrapping around each other, and consisting of fibers arranged in concentric layers.

47Van Leeuwenhoek also did some research on the fetus; he claimed that he discovered some kind of quadruped in the embryo of a female sheep that was eight times smaller than a pea. It is said that, in that instance, he was led by his imagination since no modern scholar was able to find such a fact again.

48Van Leeuwenhoek discovered the pores of the epidermis, which offered considerable importance to the physiologists. He was also the first to observe, with a microscope, blood circulation in translucent parts of animals. He made his observations on the tail of the frog tadpole and the gills of the salamander tadpole and clearly saw how the blood cells were carried along by the rapid movement of circulation, and how they traveled from the arteries to the veins. Basically, all the details of blood circulation and his latest proofs of it were provided by his microscopic observations.

  • 61 [Abraham Trembley (born 3 September 1710, Geneva; died 12 May 1784, Geneva), a Swiss naturalist, b (...)

49This relentless observer noticed that aphids reproduce without coupling, and he saw the Hydra polyp, with its tentacles multiplying by producing buds. What proves the extent to which luck affects discoveries, however, is that this same man, who observed microscopic objects with such attention, learned about the polyp with tentacles and saw the small polyps being born on each side of its body like branches of a tree, but did not think to cut this animal, thus its multiplication by division remained unknown to him. It was only twenty-eight or thirty years later that it was discovered by Abraham Trembley,61 as we will see during our discussion of the eighteenth century.

50The texture of the spleen, the cellular structure that surrounds the muscular fiber, and everything else in the animal body that can only be seen well with the help of a microscope, was almost discovered and introduced to physiology through Van Leeuwenhoek’s observations. Thus, this author, although he was not exactly an anatomist, must be placed very high on the list of those who contributed to the progress of anatomy, despite the fact that general science, the knowledge of all the body parts, was not very well known to him because of his lack of preliminary studies.

51Now that we have described the main discoveries in anatomy of the three great authors who marked the seventeenth century, we are now going to talk about several other works and discoveries that were done in the field of pure human anatomy. Then we will mention the works of comparative anatomy that were used to try to understand human anatomy. Finally, we will see the conclusions that were drawn from these studies in physiology.

  • 62 [Thomas Warton (born 31 August 1614, Winston, County Durham; died 15 November 1673, London), an En (...)
  • 63 [Adenographia sive glandularum totius corporis descriptio, London: typis J. G. Impensis authoris, (...)

52Among the studies that occurred on specific organs only, we must mention those by Warton on glands. Thomas Warton62 was an English doctor who was the first to research the structure of glands in every part of the body and under all angles. His book entitled Adenographia, etc. was published in London in 1656.63

  • 64 [Anthony or Antonius Nuck (born 1650, died 1692,) a Dutch physician and anatomist, the first to pu (...)
  • 65 [Paolo Mascagni (born 25 January 1755, Pomarance, Italy; died 19 October 1815, Chiusdino, Italy), (...)

53Much later, another book on the same topic was published by Anthony Nuck, a German professor from Leiden.64 Nuck is also one of those who utilized injections of the lymphatic vessels with mercury. It is said that he made drawings of all his injections; thus, he preceded Mascagni65 by a century. Boerhaave claimed that he saw Nuck’s illustrations; however, they were not published and we ignore what happened to them.

  • 66 [Adenographia curiosa et uteri foeminei anatome nova. Cum epistola ad amicum, de inventis novis, L (...)

54We have from Nuck another treatise on glands entitled Adenographia curiosa, etc., that was published in Leiden in 1691.66

  • 67 [Walter Needham (born c. 1631, died 5 April 1691), an English physician and anatomist, best rememb (...)

55We have on the envelopes of the fetus an excellent book written by Walter Needham,67 a doctor from London. It is entitled Disquisitio anatomica de formato foetu, and is dated 1667. Needham is definitely one of those scholars who participated in the founding of the Royal Society of London, and who put an extreme determination into all kinds of research. Needham’s book already shows, maybe with slightly less detail, almost all the discoveries done on the same subjects during these times. The various varieties of structure of the envelopes of the fetus, the allantois, the umbilical vesicles, the determination of animals in which the vesicles wrap the allantois and those in which the allantois wraps the vesicles; all these facts that seemed so astonishing to anatomists of those recent times are in the book I am referring to. Needham also talks about the respiration of the fetus.

  • 68 [The flame of life or “vital flame,” must be a reference to chapter 6 (De biolychno et ingressu ae (...)
  • 69 [Stahl, see Lesson 9, note 90.]

56He also wrote another treatise entitled The flame of life,68 which features all the theories that were dominant at that time, those that had already been honored and that had almost been buried by Stahl’s69 work and system.

  • 70 We owe [Regnier] de Graaf [a Dutch physician and anatomist who made key discoveries in reproductiv (...)
  • 71 [Charles Drelincourt (born 1633, died 1697), a French physician, obstetrician, and professor at Le (...)
  • 72 [Bidloo, see note 46, above.]

57Finally, we have on the same topic some books by Regnier de Graaf,70 Charles Drelincourt71 who was a French man who had fled to Holland and worked in Leiden, and Govert Bidloo,72 professor at the same university of Leiden.

58All these writings, which were published as dissertations, constitute twelve small volumes in duodecimo, and represent a wealth of knowledge that left little to do on anything related to the individual organs.

  • 73 [Vesalius, see Lesson 1, notes 45 and 76]
  • 74 [Eustachio, see Lesson 2, note 32; see also Volume 1, Lesson 5, note 17.]
  • 75 [Johannes Wesling or Vesling (born 1598, Minden; died 30 August 1649, Padua), a German physician, (...)
  • 76 [Spigel, see Lesson 2, note 77]

59I will not talk about the various treatises of general anatomy that were published at that time. Each one of the authors who wrote them published them only for students. They recorded the state of science at that time, but these sources are not where descriptions of the great discoveries can be found. However, I must cite among these works, the one by Bidloo. We saw great works by Vesalius,73 Eustachio,74 Wesling,75 Spigel,76 and others, that were published at the end of the sixteenth century and at the beginning of the seventeenth century. At the time of our study, Bidloo’s book was the only one that offered some interest.

  • 77 [William III, see Lesson 8, note 86.]

60Govert Bidloo, a professor at Leiden who wrote several dissertations criticizing Ruysch, was born in Amsterdam in 1649. He became doctor to William III77 who was at that time Stadtholder and who later became king of England. He then returned to Leiden where he died in 1713.

  • 78 [Anatomia humani corporis, centum & quinque tabulis, per artificiosiss. G. de Lairesse ad vivum de (...)
  • 79 [Gerard de Lairesse (born 11 September 1640 or 1641, Liège; died June 1711, Amsterdam), a Dutch pa (...)
  • 80 [Albinus, see Lesson 1, note 78.]
  • 81 [William Cowper (born 26 November 1731, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England; died 25 April 1800, E (...)

61His book is entitled Anatomia humani corporis, etc.78 It includes one hundred and five plates that were drawn by a famous painter named Gerard of Lairesse79 who is known for many other works. His plates are very elegant and the engravings very pretty; they are of much better quality than all those that were done before. However, they might not be appropriate for a scientific book; muscles are too crooked, too out of place. Lairesse did not follow the rigorous method of getting as close to the subjects as possible; thus, in spite of the excellence of the engraving and the beauty of the drawing, Bidloo’s book is inferior to the one by Albinus,80 whom we will talk about later during the history of the eighteenth century. I named him here only because he is the author of the primary book that includes figures published during the time we are now studying. He was the object of a peculiar plagiarism: the coppers that were used to make the figures were used by an English doctor named William Cowper81 for another folio treatise on anatomy that was published in England, which did not cite Bidloo as a source nor indicate that the plates were from Bidloo’s book. As a result, Bidloo wrote a letter in which he attacked Cowper violently. He cited him as plagiarist before the tribunal. Cowper responded that the plates he used did not belong more to Bidloo than to anybody else; that they were the work of an artist. But everybody knows that, whatever the talent of an artist, the main merit of this kind of work belongs to the scholar who directed it, and it was judged that the plates were Bidloo’s property since he had directed their design.

62Here is, messieurs, what we have on human anatomy. But during this century, not enough human bodies were available to enable science to make huge progress. It was understood that animal economy presents a series of phenomenon that are not only specific to the human body; that in order to understand well the laws that rule them and apply the general laws of physics or chemistry, it was necessary to look at the phenomenon in their entirety. Life is a phenomenon that is not unique to the human body. Thus, many authors, either by necessity or by the influence of a better philosophy, spent their time combining human anatomy with that of animals and drawing general explanations. These authors are numerous and I will not cite them all. I will, however, mention only those who merit the most to be consulted because of the wealth of important facts of comparative anatomy they offer, and the various visions they present, and what we can interpret as new. There is indeed no other science than anatomy and physiology in which things that have been available in various authors for more than a century are still introduced as new. The reason is to be found in the difficulty of reading and understanding the numerous observations that constituted the body of doctrines of these sciences.

  • 82 [Redi, see Lesson 12, note 80.]
  • 83 [Ferdinand or Ferdinando II, see Lesson 12, note 78.]
  • 84 [Cosimo III, see Lesson 12, note 84.]
  • 85 [Galileo, see Lesson 11, note 20.]
  • 86 [Academy of Experiment, see Lesson 12, note 77.]
  • 87 [Osservazioni intorno alle vipere, Florence: All’Insegna della Stella, 1664, 91 + [1] + [2] p., in (...)

63One of the main authors I want you to know about is Francis Redi;82 he was born in Arrezzo in 1626 and died in 1697. He was first physician to the Grand Duke of Tuscany Ferdinand II83 and of Cosimo III.84 He was not only a doctor, but a poet, a physicist, and a naturalist as well. He belonged to the school of Galileo85 and was inspired by the spirit of the Academy of Experiment,86 to which he belonged. He focused on examining the history and the anatomy of a large number of animals in order to draw general conclusions. We have from him beautiful research on vipers and their venoms, dating from 1664.87 What is very surprising for that time is to find in his work not only the description of the gland that produces the venom, and the teeth that inject the venom into the wound, but also experiments on the venom itself, in particular that the venom can be swallowed without any danger as long as it is not introduced into the blood through a wound. This is an experiment that was reproduced by other authors.

64Redi’s book also offers experiments on the spontaneous generation of insects. This question was very much discussed among the physiologists of that time to know whether the spontaneous generation of insects occurred through the interaction of various elements; whether it was real or whether it was only the transmission of life from a living individual to another one. Many authors supported the peripatetic doctrine about it; they looked for supporting arguments in small animals. They claimed, as they observed putrefied matter become covered with small worms, that decay created insects and worms. They thought that these beings came from the decayed substance itself. Only exact experiments could solve this question. Among the authors who contributed the most to this solution was Redi. His experiments date from 1668; they eventually earned general opinion and destroyed almost all the hypotheses that had been adopted about spontaneous generation.

  • 88 [Esperienze intorno a diverse cose naturali e particolarmente a quelle, che ci son portate dall’In (...)
  • 89 [Torpedo torpedo, the Common Torpedo, a species of electric ray of the family Torpedinidae, found (...)

65In another small book called Experiments on various natural things, dated 1671,88 Redi introduces the anatomy of the torpedo fish;89 the effects it produces were at that time attributed to a mechanical impulsion.

  • 90 [Osservazioni intorno agli animali viventi che si trovano negli animali viventi, Florence: Piero M (...)

66In 1684, he published another book, called Observations on living animals that are in other living animals.90 This book is similar to his experiments on the spontaneous generation of insects. It deals mainly with the worms that live in the intestinal canal. Those who supported the system of spontaneous generation, based their support on the existence of these worms; as they saw these animals born in the intestinal canal of a man or of a quadruped, they did not imagine that the parents of these worms had laid their eggs or germs there. Thus, they claimed that they were born from putrefaction, from the reunion of elements that were found in food. Redi showed that these animals, some of which were male and some female, emerged from eggs as the starting point.

67We also have from the same author epistles on various interesting topics of anatomy, in particular on the way fishes breathe and on the gizzard of birds, the pouch that fills their body and in which air spreads after it goes through the lungs.

68You see, messieurs, how Redi operated; usually he treated questions of physiology under a general point of view and then compared the various classes of animals.

  • 91 [Perrault, see Lesson 12, note 77.]
  • 92 [Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire naturelle des animaux dressez par M. Perrault de l’Académie Roy (...)
  • 93 [Lahire, see Lesson 12, note 115.]

69The same spirit can be found, but in different ways, in the works of Claude Perrault.91 Perrault was born in 1613 and is very famous as an architect. Everybody knows that he was first a doctor and that he almost gave up this profession to become an architect. His talent as an artist is still visible; we see the proof in the two great monuments that he built: the Observatory and the Column of the Louvre. Yet he made some observations in anatomy while still working in architecture. He was a member of the French Academy of Sciences, and wrote Research on the anatomy of animals of the Menagerie.92 Perrault, together with Lahire,93 was one of those who drew almost all the plates of this famous book; he even was victim of his own zeal in comparative anatomy since he died in 1688 of a disease he contracted while dissecting a camel that had scabies.

  • 94 [Essais de physique ou Recueil de plusieurs traitez touchant les choses naturelles, Paris: Jean Ba (...)

70We have from him a book in four quarto volumes entitled Essays in Physics94 in which he examines all the body parts of man or animal, whose function can be explained in a simple way by ordinary mechanics, while still admitting some particular forces in the fibers and other living elements.

71The first one of these Essays treats of the peristaltic movement of the intestines, the valves of the veins, and the contraction of the fibers, as the cause of the general movement of animals.

72The second one is entirely devoted to the sense of hearing in which the author gives excellent figures; he introduces the labyrinth of the cochlea as the main organ of hearing because of its fibers of various lengths that he considers similar to the cords of musical instruments.

  • 95 [Stahl, see Lesson 9, note 90.]

73The third book is about the mechanics of animals. It includes a lot of information on teeth and the various organs of breathing. We find already the role of the soul in its action on muscles, even unwittingly. It is the basis of the whole system of the animists, and of Stahl’s theory,95 whose principle can already be found in Perrault’s book that is dated 1680, while Stahl produced his system only at the end of the seventeenth century and at the beginning of the eighteenth century.

74The fourth one of these Essays is about the organ senses. It is dated 1688, the year of the death of the author. In this book, Perrault sees the soul as living in the whole body.

75We still need to cite several authors before we reach the physiologists, those men who tried to use the general rules of philosophy to explain all the facts gathered by the anatomists. I have talked about until now. But our class is now over and I will have to talk about it during our next session, after which I will discuss the history of zoology.

Notes

1 [Wepfer, see Lesson 14, note 95]

2 [Schneider, see Lesson 14, note 103

3 [Thomas Willis, see Lesson 12 note 60]

4 [Vesalius, see Lesson 1, note 45].

5 [Raymond Vieussens (born c. 1635, Vigan; died 16 August 1715, Montpellier), a French anatomist, remembered for his pioneer work in the field of cardiology, and his anatomical studies of the brain and spinal cord.]

6 [Franciscus Sylvius, see Lesson 13 note 90.]

7 [Neurographia universalis, hoc est Omnium corporis humani nervorum, simul & cerebri, medullaeque spinalis descriptio anatomica: eaque integra et accurata, variis iconibus fideliter & ad vivum delineatis, aeréque incisis illustrata, cum ipsorum actione et usu, physico discursu explicates, Lyon: Apud Joannem Certe, 1684, [8] + 252 + [2] p., 24 pls, illus., in-4°.]

8 [Malpighi, see Lesson 14, note 121].

9 [Frederik Ruysch, see Lesson 6, note 123]

10 [Varolius, see Lesson 2, note 44.]

11 [Vieussens, see note 5, above.]

12 [Gall, see Lesson 2, note 46; lesson 14, note 105.]

13 This centrum semiovale does not really exist, since it is not separate from the rest of the medullar substance of the brain [M. de St.-Agy].

14 [Antonie Philips van Leeuwenhoek (born 24 October 1632, Delft; died 26 August 1723, Delft), a Dutch tradesman and scientist, considered to be the first microbiologist and generally known as the Father of Microbiology; he is best remembered for his work on the improvement of the microscope and for his contributions towards the establishment of microbiology.]

15 [Malpighi, see Lesson 14, note 121.]

16 [Innocent XII (born 13 March 1615, Spinazzola, now Puglia; died 27 September 1700, born Antonio Pignatelli, he was Pope from 12 July 1691 until his death.]

17 [Borelli, see Lesson 2, note 73.]

18 [De pulmonis observationes anatomicae in which Malpighi described his discovery of capillary circulation, presented in the form of two letters addressed to Borelli (see Lesson 2, note 73); it was printed in 1661 (Bologna: B. Ferronius) and reprinted at Leiden and other places in the years following. These letters contained also the first account of the vesicular structure of the human lung, and they made a theory of respiration possible for the first time.]

19 [Tetras anatomicarum epistolarum. De lingua et cerebro…, Bologna: Vincenzo Benati, 1665, [20] + 429 + [3] p. + 3 leaves of fold. pls, illus., in-12.]

20 [De cerebro epistola, in Malpighi (Marcello), Tetras anatomicarum epistolarum. De lingua et cerebro…; see note 19, above.]

21 [Xiphias, a genus of teleost fish containing only Xiphias gladius, the swordfish.]

22 [Descartes, see Volume 1, Lesson 6, note 7.]

23 [De lingua epistola, in Malpighi (Marcello), Tetras anatomicarum epistolarum. De lingua et cerebro…; see note 19, above.]

24 [Marie François Xavier Bichat (born 14 November 1771, Thoirette, France; died 22 July 1802, Paris), a French anatomist and physiologist best remembered as the father of modern histology and descriptive anatomy; despite working without a microscope, he was the first to introduce the notion of tissues as distinct entities, and maintained that diseases attacked tissues rather than whole organs or the entire body, causing a revolution in anatomical pathology.]

25 [De omento, pinguedine, et adiposis ductibus, in Malpighi (Marcello), Tetras anatomicarum epistolarum. De lingua et cerebro…; see note 19, above.]

26 [De externo tactus organo, in Malpighi (Marcello), Tetras anatomicarum epistolarum. De lingua et cerebro…; see note 19, above.]

27 [Albinus, see Lesson 1, note 78.]

28 [De viscerum structura exercitatio anatomica, Bologna: Jacobi Montii, 1666, [4] + 172 p., in-4°.]

29 [De structura glandularum conglobatarum consimiliumque partium: epistola, Regiae Societati Londini ad scientiam naturalem promovendam, institutæ, dicata…, London: Richard Chiswell, 1689, [3] + 36 + [1] p., in-4°.]

30 [De viscerum structura exercitatio anatomica, see note 28, above.]

31 [Dissertatio epistolica de bombyce (London: Joannem Martyn & Jacobum Allestry, 1669, 1 vol. ([10] + 100 p. + [12] copper pls engr.), illus., in-4°), Malpighi’s treatise on the silkworm moth; see Lesson 14, note 121.]

32 [Cuvier refers here to Willis’s 1672 De anima brutorum quae hominis vitalis ac sentitiva est exercitationes duæ: prior physiologica ejussdem naturam, partes, potentias, & affectiones tradit…, in which Willis describes the anatomy of an oyster, a crawfish, and an earthworm; see Lesson 14, note 120.]

33 [The silkworm is the larva or caterpillar of the domesticated silkmoth, Bombyx mori, an economically important insect, being a primary producer of silk.]

34 [Fabricius d’Aquapendente, see Lesson 1, note 66; and Volume 1, Lesson 9, note 38].

35 [Harvey, see Lesson 2, note 72.]

36 [For Malpighi’s 1669 treatise on the silkworm moth, see Lesson 14, note 12.]

37 [Dissertationes Epistolicae duae, una de Formatione pulli in ovo, altera de Bombyce utraque regiae societati Londini... dicata, London: John Martyn, 1673, 42 p. + [4] pls, illus., in-4°.]

38 [Aristotle, see Volume 1, Lessons 7 and 8.]

39 [Haller, see Lesson 1, note 16.]

40 [Gaspard Wolf, see Lesson 7, note 159.]

41 [Opera omnia Malpighi / figuris elegantissimis in aes incisis illustrata; tomis duobus comprehensa quorum catalogum sequens pagina exhibet, London: R. Littlebury, R. Scott, Th. Sawbridge & G. Wells, 1686-1687, 2 parts in 1 vol. ([6] + 15 + [5] + 78 + [2] + 35 p. + [1] leaf of pls; [8] + 72 + [4] + 44 + [4] + 20 + 144 p., [121] leaves of pls), illus., in-folio.]

42 [Opera posthuma, figuris aeneis illustrate, quibus praefixa est ejusdem vita a seipso scripta (edited by Petrus Regis, professor at Montpellier), London: Awnsham Churchill & John Churchill, 1697, [2] + 110 + 187 p., [21] leaves of pls, illus., in-folio; a second edition appeared in Amsterdam in 1698, printed by Joannis Antonii Huguetan.]

43 [Ruysch, see Lesson 6, note 123.]

44 [Peter the Great, see Lesson 12, note 129.]

45 In 1666 [Frederik] Ruysch [see Lesson 6, note 123] undertook, under the orders of the General States, to inject the body of an English admiral named [William] Berkeley [an officer of the Royal Navy who saw service during the Second Anglo-Dutch War, rising to the rank of vice-admiral; born 1639, died 1 June 1666, at sea] who had been killed during a battle between the English and the Dutch flotillas. This body, while in very bad state when it was given to Ruysch, was sent back to England so well prepared that it looked like the cadaver of a child. The General States rewarded him generously for his skills as an artist. When Peter the Great went to visit Ruysch’s cabinet, he noticed in particular a small child whose naive grace had been so well preserved that he could not help but give him a kiss [M. de St.-Agy].

46 [Boerhaave, see Lesson 1, note 78.]

47 [Haller, see Lesson 1, note 16.]

48 [Dilucidatio valvularum in vasis lymphaticis et lacteis: Cum figuris aeneis: Accesserunt quaedam observationes anatomicae rariores, The Hague: Harmani Gael, 1665, [xviii] + 94 p. + 7 fold. pls, in-8°.]

49 [Govert Bidloo or Govard Bidloo (born 12 March 1649, Amsterdam; died 30 March 1713, Leiden), a Dutch physician, anatomist, poet, and playwright, the personal physician of William III of Orange-Nassau, Dutch stadholder and king of England (see Lesson 8, note 86.]

50 [Thesaurus anatomicus, a series of short numbered treatises published at Amsterdam from 1701 to 1715, ending with Thesaurus magnus et regius qui est decimus thesaurum anatomicorum, het groote en koninclyke cabinet zynde het tiende der anatomische cabinetten, 1715.]

51 [Curae posteriores seu thesaurus anatomicus omnium praecedentium maximus. Cum figuris aeneis…, Amsterdam: Janssonio Waesbergios, 1724, [10] + 31 + [1] p. + 3 leaves of pls, illus., in-4°.]

52 [Curae renovatae seu thesaurus anatomicus, post curas postiores, novus, Amsterdam: Janssonio Waesbergios, 1728, [10] + 22 p.+ 3 leaves of pls, illus., in-4°.]

53 [Opusculum anatomicum de fabrica glandularum in corpore humano. Continens binas epistolas quarum prior est Hermanni Boerhaave... super hac re, ad Fredericum Ruyschium; altera Frederici Ruyschii ad Hermannum Boerhaave, qua priori respondetur, Leiden: Petri van der Aa, 1722, 81 p., engr. figs., in-4°.]

54 During his [Ruysch’s] lifetime [see Lesson 6, note 123], midwives were very ignorant; they did not wait until the placenta emerged naturally; they pulled it out almost immediately after birth and women often died from it. Ruysch suggested [in his Tractatio anatomica, de musculo, in fundo uteri observato, antehac a nemine detecto, cui, accedit depulsionis secundinarum, parturientium feminarum, instructio, Amsterdam: Janssonio Waesbergios, 1726, [4] + 20 p. + [1] leaf of pls, illus., in-4°] that they should stop this practice because, according to him, there was at the bottom of the uterus an orbicular muscle which role was to expulse the placenta. The existence of this muscle has not been proved, and probably never will be since we do not understand how nature would put a muscle in an organ that is itself only a muscle [M. de St.-Agy].

55 [Johann Friedrich Schreiber (born 25 May 1705, Königsberg; died 28 January 1760, St. Petersburg), a German physician, botanist, and mathematician, author of Historia vitae et meritorum Frederici Ruysch, Amsterdam: Janssonio Waesbergios, 1732, [8] + 80 p. + 1 leaf of pls, illus., in-4°.]

56 [Bils, see Lesson 14, note 88.]

57 [Galen, see Volume 1, Lesson 16.]

58 [Leeuwenhoek, see note 13, above.]

59 [Royal Society of London, see Lesson 8, note 96.]

60 [Philosophical Transactions, see Lesson 12, note 65].

61 [Abraham Trembley (born 3 September 1710, Geneva; died 12 May 1784, Geneva), a Swiss naturalist, best known for being the first to study freshwater polyps or Hydra, and for being among the first to develop experimental zoology; his mastery of the experimental method has led some historians of science to credit him as the Father of Biology.]

62 [Thomas Warton (born 31 August 1614, Winston, County Durham; died 15 November 1673, London), an English physician and anatomist best known for his description of the submandibular duct (one of the salivary ducts) and of Wharton’s jelly, a gelatinous substance within the umbilical cord and also present in the vitreous humor of the eyeball, largely made up of mucopolysaccharides.]

63 [Adenographia sive glandularum totius corporis descriptio, London: typis J. G. Impensis authoris, 1656, [16] + 287 + [1] + 5 leaves of pls, in-8°.]

64 [Anthony or Antonius Nuck (born 1650, died 1692,) a Dutch physician and anatomist, the first to put anatomical injections into extensive use. He injected red colored wax, and other colored substances, mixed with oil to make them sufficiently fluid to reach the finest capillaries. His primary medium, however, was mercury, which he used to thoroughly explore the structure of the secretory and lymphatic glands and of the lymphatic system as a whole. His De ductu salivali novo, saliva, ductibus oculorum aquosis, et humore oculi aqueo, appeared in 1685 (Leiden: apud Petrum van der Aa, [1686 on the front.] 75 p. + 3 pls, in-12).]

65 [Paolo Mascagni (born 25 January 1755, Pomarance, Italy; died 19 October 1815, Chiusdino, Italy), an Italian physician and anatomist, best known for the first complete description of the lymphatic system.]

66 [Adenographia curiosa et uteri foeminei anatome nova. Cum epistola ad amicum, de inventis novis, Leiden: Jordanus Luchtmans, 1691, [16] + 152 + [27] p., [9] leaves of unfold. pls, in-8°.]

67 [Walter Needham (born c. 1631, died 5 April 1691), an English physician and anatomist, best remembered for his work on the structure and function of the human placenta, described in his Disquisitio anatomica de formato foetu, London: William Godbid, 1667, 205 p., pls, in-8°.]

68 [The flame of life or “vital flame,” must be a reference to chapter 6 (De biolychno et ingressu aeris in sanguinem) of Needham’s Disquisitio anatomica de formato foetu (see note 67, above) in which he fully rejects the idea of the flame in the heart, that is, the ancient notion proposed by Democritus and Plato (see Volume 1, Lesson 5) that blood is the “source of fire,” and fire and spirit (air) are the seat of life.]

69 [Stahl, see Lesson 9, note 90.]

70 We owe [Regnier] de Graaf [a Dutch physician and anatomist who made key discoveries in reproductive biology; born 30 July 1641, Schoonhoven; died 17 August 1673 an invention of the utmost importance in anatomy, which is the invention of the injection syringe [described in his Alle de Wercken, so in de ontleed-kunde, als andere deelen der medicine, Amsterdam: Abraham Abrahamse, 1686, [32] + 671 p., illus., pls, in-8°.] [M. de St.-Agy].

71 [Charles Drelincourt (born 1633, died 1697), a French physician, obstetrician, and professor at Leiden university, son of the Huguenot theologian of the same name (born 10 July 1595, died 3 November 1669).]

72 [Bidloo, see note 46, above.]

73 [Vesalius, see Lesson 1, notes 45 and 76]

74 [Eustachio, see Lesson 2, note 32; see also Volume 1, Lesson 5, note 17.]

75 [Johannes Wesling or Vesling (born 1598, Minden; died 30 August 1649, Padua), a German physician, anatomist, pharmacist, and botanist, best known for his Syntagma anatomicum, publicis dissectionibus, in auditorum usum, diligenter aptatum (Padua: Pauli Frambotti, 1641, 194 p., in-8°), a popular textbook based on his anatomical dissections in Padua.]

76 [Spigel, see Lesson 2, note 77]

77 [William III, see Lesson 8, note 86.]

78 [Anatomia humani corporis, centum & quinque tabulis, per artificiosiss. G. de Lairesse ad vivum delineatis, demonstrata, veterum recentiorumque inventis explicata plurimusque, hactenus non detectis, illustrata, Amsterdam: Joannis van Someren, 1685, [68] + [2] + 105 leaves of copper pls engr., in-folio.]

79 [Gerard de Lairesse (born 11 September 1640 or 1641, Liège; died June 1711, Amsterdam), a Dutch painter and art theorist, but talented as well in music, poetry, and the theater; he was perhaps the most celebrated Dutch painter in the period following the death of Rembrandt.]

80 [Albinus, see Lesson 1, note 78.]

81 [William Cowper (born 26 November 1731, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England; died 25 April 1800, East Dereham, Norfolk, England), an English poet and hymnodist; one of the most popular poets of his time, Cowper changed the direction of eighteenth century nature poetry by writing of everyday life and scenes of the English countryside.]

82 [Redi, see Lesson 12, note 80.]

83 [Ferdinand or Ferdinando II, see Lesson 12, note 78.]

84 [Cosimo III, see Lesson 12, note 84.]

85 [Galileo, see Lesson 11, note 20.]

86 [Academy of Experiment, see Lesson 12, note 77.]

87 [Osservazioni intorno alle vipere, Florence: All’Insegna della Stella, 1664, 91 + [1] + [2] p., in-4°; a monumental work in which Redi (see Lesson 12, note 80) rejected many prevailing myths such as vipers drink wine and shatter glasses, the venom is poisonous if swallowed, the head of a dead viper is an antidote, the viper venom is produced from the gallbladder, and so on. He performed a series of experiments on the effects of snakebites, and demonstrated that venom was poisonous only when it enters the bloodstream via a bite, and that the fang contains venom in the form of yellow fluid. He even showed that by tight ligature before the wound the passage of venom into the heart could be prevented. This work marked the beginning of experimental toxicology.] and eastern Atlantic Ocean from the Bay of Biscay to Angola. A benthic fish, typically encountered over soft substrates in fairly shallow, coastal waters, it is capable of delivering a strong electric shock of up to 200 volts, serving to both attack prey and to ward of predators.]

88 [Esperienze intorno a diverse cose naturali e particolarmente a quelle, che ci son portate dall’Indie, Florence: All’Insegna della Nave, 1671, [6] + 152 p., 6 leaves of pls, figs, in-4°.]

89 [Torpedo torpedo, the Common Torpedo, a species of electric ray of the family Torpedinidae, found in the Mediterranean Sea and eastern Atlantic Ocean from the Bay of Biscay to Angola. A benthic fish, typically encountered over soft substrates in fairly shallow, coastal waters, it is capable of delivering a strong electric shock of up to 200 volts, serving to both attack prey and to ward of predators.]

90 [Osservazioni intorno agli animali viventi che si trovano negli animali viventi, Florence: Piero Matini, 1684, [8] + 253 p., [26] leaves of copper pls engr., in-4°; a book containing descriptions and illustrations of more than one hundred internal parasites.]

91 [Perrault, see Lesson 12, note 77.]

92 [Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire naturelle des animaux dressez par M. Perrault de l’Académie Royale des Sciences & médecin de la Faculté de Paris, Paris: Imprimerie Royale, 1676, [14] + 205 + [3] p. + [30] leaves of pls, illus., in-folio; a collection of descriptions based on dissections performed on deceased animals from the menagerie of King Louis XVI at Versailles.]

93 [Lahire, see Lesson 12, note 115.]

94 [Essais de physique ou Recueil de plusieurs traitez touchant les choses naturelles, Paris: Jean Baptiste Coignard, 1680-1688, 4 vols, illus., in-12.]

95 [Stahl, see Lesson 9, note 90.]

Table des illustrations

Légende Embryology of the chick Plate from Malpighi’s Formatione pulli… (1687) Cliché Bibliothèque centrale, MNHN.
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