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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

16. Further Advances in Comparative Anatomy

Texte intégral

Chimpanzee
Plate from Tyson’s Orang-outang, sive Homo Sylvestris… (1699) Cliché Bibliothèque centrale, MNHN.

1Messieurs,

  • 1 [Redi, see Lesson 12, note 80.]
  • 2 [Perrault, see Lesson 12, note 113.]

2During our last session, I introduced you to the primary authors who contributed to the improvement of anatomy as they focused on the details of the morphology and on the intimate structures of the human body parts. I also began to talk about some of the men who approached anatomy in a more general way, who studied anatomy in all living beings in order to learn about the anatomical phenomenon that can be found in all forms created by nature. We saw that among these men, Francesco Redi d’Arezzo1 is one of those who contributed the most to our knowledge of the natural history of animals by comparing the different phenomenon that each class presents. Then we saw that Claude Perrault2 studied the anatomy of various animals, especially under the physical and mechanical angles, by showing how muscles and the other parts that are attached to the various organs play their role.

  • 3 [Duverney, see Lesson 12, note 114.]
  • 4 [Jardin du Roi, later, following the French Revolution, the Jardin des plantes; see Lesson 7, note (...)

3We still need to mention several other authors who created works of the same kind. We will mostly look at Joseph Guichard Duverney3 who was, for sixty years, professor of anatomy at the Garden of the King4 and who, during that time, had all the anatomists of most of the eighteenth century as his students.

4Duverney was born in Feurs, in the province of Forez, in 1648. He was appointed professor at the Garden of the King in 1670 and died in Paris in 1730. He dedicated his life to the observation of the various anatomical phenomena; he neglected medicine in favor of this kind of study. He would have probably been one of those who would have contributed the most to the advancement of science if he had not been so preoccupied with the constant search for new things, going from one observation to the next before finishing the first and writing about it in a complete manner. Thus, he left behind many manuscripts that contain very valuable information, which, however, cannot be published because they lack organization and are too incomplete.

  • 5 [Traité de l’organe de l’ouie, contenant la structure, les usages et les maladies de toutes les pa (...)
  • 6 [Cerumen glands are sebaceous glands in the ear canal of humans and other mammals, responsible for (...)
  • 7 [Tympanichord or chorda tympani, a branch of the facial nerve that carries taste from the anterior (...)

5The first book that Duverney published is a treatise on the sense organ of hearing; it covers the structure, functions and diseases of all parts of this organ; it is dated 1683.5 Duverney discovered the cerumen glands6 that are located in the outer canal of the ear; he followed the path of the auditory nerve better than any of his predecessors, as well as that of the tympanichord7 and all the particularities of this part of the ear.

  • 8 [Memoires de l’Académie des Sciences de Paris, the scientific journal of the French Academy of Sci (...)
  • 9 [French Academy of Sciences or Académie Royale des Sciences, see Lesson 12, note 101.]
  • 10 [For Perrault and Lahire, see Lesson 12, notes 77 and 115.]

6We have from him many observations that were published in the Memoirs of the Academy of Sciences.8 He is also one of the main authors of the memoirs related to the natural history of animals that were published by the French Academy of Sciences, most of which were written before the new organization of this Academy in 1699.9 As I told you, Duverney carried out the dissections and Perrault and Lahire drew the illustrations.10

  • 11 [Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire naturelle des animaux, comprising volume 3, parts 1 to 3, of Me (...)

7This work, whose publication was partly paid by the king and done in a rather magnificent way, was not continued, but it was later reproduced in a smaller format, in three volumes in quarto.11 The first publications were folio volumes.

  • 12 [Jean Mery (born 6 January 1645, Vatan; died 3 November 1722, Paris), a French physician and anato (...)

8These memoirs contain many interesting things on the blood circulation of the fetus. There was a discussion between Duverney and Mery12 about this circulation, and in order to support their opinions, they had looked for analogies in animals, in particular the tortoise, since reptiles, in the way their vessels go in the direction of the lungs, usually show a few similarities with the human fetus.

  • 13 He [Duverney] spent his nights in the Garden of the King (Jardin du Roi; see note 4, above), layin (...)
  • 14 [“Observations sur la circulation du sang dans le fœtus et description du cœur de la tortue et de (...)

9Duverney, near the end of his life, spent his time studying the land snail in every detail of its life.13 He made numerous peculiar observations that were not published but whose manuscripts still exist in the archives of the Academy of Sciences. We can see that he discovered at that time many things that have been observed by others since then. We also find in his writings very valuable ideas about the blood circulation of fishes and reptiles. This work was not published but Duverney made the results of his research known. We owe him the knowledge of the operculum and the associated parts of the gills of fishes, how many there are, and what role these parts play.14

  • 15 [Mery, see note 12, above.]
  • 16 [Maria Theresa of Spain (born 10 September 1638, El Escorial; died 30 July 1683, Versailles), Quee (...)
  • 17 [Louis XIV, see Lesson 8, note 86.]
  • 18 [Cuvier correctly attributes Description exacte de l’oreille de l’homme (Paris: Lambert Roulland, 1 (...)
  • 19 [Nouveau système de la circulation du sang par le trou ovale dans le fœtus humain; see note 12, ab (...)
  • 20 [Foramen ovale, an opening present during fetal development that allows blood to pass from the rig (...)

10Jean Mery15 was a contemporary of Duverney, and in some respects, his rival. He was born in 1645 in Vatan in the region of Champagne Berry. He was the surgeon of Queen Maria Theresa of Spain,16 wife of Louis XIV,17 and then, first surgeon at the Invalides and finally, first surgeon at the Hotel-Dieu where he died in 1722. He was a very skilled anatomist and a member of the Academy of Sciences. We have from him some research that he did on aspects of the same topics as the ones studied by Duverney; he wrote a description of the human ear, and another book on the sensitive soul in 1677.18 He was the one who introduced a new system of blood circulation in the fetus. This system is described in the Memoirs of the Academy dated from 1700.19 According to Mery, blood travels from the right auricle to the right ventricle, from where it goes to the lungs by way of the pulmonary artery, and then through the pulmonary veins to the left auricle. There it becomes divided into two parts, one part going to the aorta, which distributes the blood to all the parts of the body; the other part going to the right auricle through the foramen ovale,20 down to the right ventricle and back again by way of the pulmonary artery. To support this hypothesis, he did some research on the heart of the tortoise.

  • 21 [By “monsters” and “monstrosities,” Cuvier is referring to what we would now call “genetic anomali (...)

11After his observations on blood circulation in the fetus, he presented many other observations on monsters and on the causes of monstrosity.21 This work was the result of an argument he had again with Duverney in which each of them claimed a different hypothesis to explain the causes of monstrosity. One thought that there existed germs of monstrosity, the other believed that monstrosities were the result of accidents that occurred during pregnancy. Duverney looked for monsters, for circumstances, for details of monstrosity more or less extraordinary, while the other one tried to explain them. The result of this fight was the description of several very remarkable monsters.

  • 22 [“Remarques sur la moule des estangs”, Memoires de l’Académie Royales des Sciences de Paris, 1710, (...)

12We also owe Mery the anatomy of the mussel; it is one of the first ever done of a mollusk and of a seashell.22

  • 23 [Nehemiah Grew (born 26 September 1641, Warwickshire; died 25 March 1712, London), an English plan (...)
  • 24 [Philosophical Transactions, see Lesson 12, note 65.]

13During the same time, there lived in England Nehemiah Grew who was born in Coventry in 1628 and died in 1711.23 He was a long-time member of the Royal Society of London, eventually serving as secretary of this society and contributing to the contents of some volumes of the Philosophical Transactions.24

  • 25 [Anatomy of Plants, with an idea of a philosophical history of plants, and several other lectures, (...)
  • 26 [Musaeum Regalis Societatis, or a catalogue & description of the natural and artificial rarities b (...)

14He wrote two books that are his own. One is an anatomy of the plants,25 which we will talk about when we study the history of botany; the other, which we are going to discuss now, is a description of the museum of the Royal Society of London, a folio volume that was published in London in 1681.26 It featured several of the anatomical specimens, especially various skeletons that existed at that time in this museum. The hyoid bone of the howler monkey appears in this book for the first time. But what we must mention at this time is that the author gives a comparative anatomy of the stomachs and intestines of a large number of animals. It was a significant effort that was used as ground work for the various ideas about digestion that were offered at that time.

15These are, messieurs, the authors who took comparative anatomy, in a very broad sense, and used it together with regular anatomy to reach the determination of the functions of the organs.

16Other authors of the same period took part with great diligence in the dissections of animals, which means that for some species, they did the same as what regular anatomists had done with the human species. It was an even more accurate way of reaching a general knowledge of animal organization and accurate conclusions; indeed, doubts might always remain or questions might arise when an organ is studied individually and not analyzed within the context of the relationship it has with all the other organs that compose an animal.

  • 27 [Stefano Lorenzini (born c. 1652, Florence; date of death unknown), an Italian physician and noted (...)
  • 28 [Osservazioni intorno alle torpedini, Florence: l’Onofri, 1678, [8] + 136 p., illus., pls, in-4°.]
  • 29 [Redi, see Lesson 12, note 80.]
  • 30 [Giovanni Battista Caldesi (born 1650, Arezzo; died c. 1732, Florence), an Italian physician and a (...)
  • 31 [René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur (born 28 February 1683, La Rochelle; died 17 October 1757, Sain (...)

17Among all these authors, we must mention in particular Stefano Lorenzini,27 a doctor from Tuscany who wrote in Florence, in 1678, an anatomy of the torpedo fish.28 At that time, the school of Florence liked very much this kind of research. Redi29 had given the inspiration for it and several men who had the same interest wrote books that are still very valuable today. The one by Lorenzini on the torpedo is good as far as the general anatomy of this animal is concerned; however, with regard to the physiology of the organs with which he tries to explain how the animal gives shocks, it is easy to understand why Lorenzini could not describe it. Indeed, electricity was barely known at that time. Furthermore, people had no idea about galvanic electricity, the electricity that results from the proximity of two bodies of a different nature; thus, the authors of that time and even those from the first half of the eighteenth century, including Caldesi30 and Reaumur,31 attributed the unique effects that the torpedo produces to a purely mechanical shock.

  • 32 [Osservazioni anatomiche intorno alle tartarughe marittime, d’Acqua dolce, e terrestri. Scritte in (...)
  • 33 [Haller, see Lesson 1, note 16.]

18Giovanni Caldesi, another physician from Tuscany, presented the anatomy of tortoises and marine and freshwater turtles.32 It was published in 1687 with plates, and it is so detailed that Haller33 claimed there is no animal, after man, that is known as well as the turtle. I think this compliment is a bit of an exaggeration because its anatomy would be described today in a more accurate fashion.

19Caldesi also described the skeleton in all its known parts, as it was customary at the time. The authors of anatomy described skeletons separately from the arteries, veins, and nerves of each group of organs, by isolating them and separating them from the parts to which they are attached. Thus, we can often arrive at very false ideas about each system; yet Caldesi is of a remarkable accuracy.

  • 34 [Edward Tyson (born 20 January 1651, Clevedon, Somerset; died 1 August 1708, London) an English ph (...)
  • 35 [“Vipera caudi-sona Americana, or the anatomy of a rattlesnake dissected at the repository of the (...)
  • 36 [Phocaena, or the anatomy of a porpess, dissected at Gresham College: with a praeliminary discours (...)
  • 37 [“Carigueya, seu marsupiale Americanum, or the anatomy of an opossum. Dissected at Gresham-College (...)
  • 38 [Orang-outang, sive Homo Sylvestris: or, the anatomy of a pygmie compared with that of a monkey, a (...)
  • 39 [Buffon differentiated chimpanzees from orangutans as “the jocko” and “the pongo,” but initially ( (...)

20An Englishman and member of the Royal Society of London from the same period, named Edward Tyson,34 wrote several anatomical monographs which are studies that review all the organs of only one species. He was the first to present the anatomy of the rattlesnake,35 the llama, the porpoise,36 the opossum,37 and especially the monkey,38 the species that is the most similar to man after the orangutan, that is, the chimpanzee that Buffon called jocko that lives in the Congo,39 while the orangutan lives in the East Indies.

21When young, the orangutan shares more similarities with man than the jocko; however, later in the adult, the jocko also has some similarities with man, thus it is hard to say which one is the closest to man.

  • 40 [Vicq d’Azir, see lesson 14, note 118.]
  • 41 [Gall, see lesson 2, note 46.]

22The anatomy of the jocko was very important with regard to some organs for which the goal was to know the conformation limits, in particular for the brain; thus, Tyson’s book became very famous. However, he was cited many times because of an error he made, saying that the brain of the chimpanzee looked like the brain of man. Tyson had seen no differences although they are very noticeable, as Vicq d’Azir40 demonstrated and as Gall41 proved in his books.

  • 42 [Johann de Muralto or Johannes von Muralt (born 18 February 1645, Zurich; died 12 January 1733, Zu (...)
  • 43 [Günther Christoph Schelhammer (born 1649, Jena; died 1716, Kiel), a German professor of botany at (...)
  • 44 [Académie Impériale des Curieux de la Nature or Academia Naturae Curiosorum, see Lesson 12, note 9 (...)

23Among those who did some research on individual animals, we still need to mention Johannes de Muralto42 from Zurich, and Günther Schelhammer43 who was a physician in Helmstädt and a long-time professor in Kiel. The work of these two animal anatomists was featured in the memoirs of the Academy of the Curious as to Nature.44

  • 45 [Samuel Collins (born 1618, London; died 11 April 1710, London), a English physician and anatomist (...)
  • 46 [Vicq d’Azir, see lesson 14, note 118.]

24Another book to mention, which dates from the same period, is Samuel Collins’s Anatomical System.45 It is remarkable for containing a large number of plates and, to a certain extent, for their beauty. It was published in 1685 in London in two folio volumes. This book is quite rare. The first volume is rather rough and even quite superficial in its treatment of general anatomy. But the second volume is remarkable for its seventy-three plates of figures of intestines and brains of a large number of quadrupeds, birds, and especially fishes. For a very long time, in fact, up until the time of Vicq d’Azir,46 Collins’s book was the only existing work on the comparative study of the brains of animals of the lower class, in particular fishes.

25Now that we talked about the first authors of monographs on vertebrates, we are going to look at the animal anatomists who published descriptions of invertebrates during the same period.

  • 47 [Martin Lister (born 12 April 1639, Radcliffe, Buckinghamshire; died 2 February 1712, Epsom, Surre (...)
  • 48 [Queen Anne (born 6 February 1665, St. James’s Palace, London; died 1 August 1714, Kensington Pala (...)
  • 49 [Exercitatio Anatomica, in qua de cochleis, maximè terrestribus & limacibus, agitur, omnium dissec (...)

26We will first mention Martin Lister,47 a doctor from York who was physician to Queen Anne48 and who died in 1712. His book called Exercitatio anatomica49 features his research on the anatomy of the land snails, the slugs, the marine univalves, the whelks, the small freshwater univalves, and also the bivalves. It represents the beginnings of the anatomy of mollusks, which is important to mention.

  • 50 [Jan Swammerdam (born 12 February 1637, Amsterdam; died 17 February 1680, Amsterdam), a Dutch biol (...)
  • 51 [Antoinette Bourignon de la Porte (born 13 January 1616, Lille; died 30 October 1680, Franeker, Fr (...)

27However, the most astonishing author on anatomy of small invertebrates is Jan Swammerdam50 who was born in 1637. He studied in Leiden and traveled to France where he met a mystic called Mrs. Bourignon.51 He became a mystic as well and devoted himself entirely to it, which lead him to fall into melancholy and to neglect his domestic affairs. He even neglected the positions he could have secured and he ended up dying of poverty at the age of forty-three in 1680, after he sold for a small price the work of a lifetime.

  • 52 [Historia insectorum generalis, ofte, Algemeene verhandeling van de bloedeloose dierkens: waar in, (...)
  • 53 [Ephemeroptera, mayflies or shadflies, aquatic insects whose immature stage (called “naiad” or “ny (...)
  • 54 [Thévenot, see Lesson 12, note 104.]
  • 55 [The book of nature; or, the history of insects reduced to distinct classes, confirmed by particul (...)

28During his life, he had written a kind of summary on his work on insects that he had prepared, called General History of Insects.52 It is a very small volume in quarto to which he had added a small dissertation on the Ephemeroptera,53 a group of insects very well known for its peculiarity of living in a perfect state only for a day or for several hours. Swammerdam’s true work contained many more things. It was bought by Mr. Thévenot,54 an erudite man who held assemblies in Paris even before the existence of the Academy of Sciences, but it eventually fell into the hands of Boerhaave.55

29When we get to the history of the eighteenth century, we will see that Boerhaave, at the beginning of that period, held a very remarkable and honorable role as a protector of the sciences, thanks to the wealth he gained through his fame. Not only did he financially support those who researched the sciences, but he also spent part of his fortune on the publication of useful books.

  • 56 [Biblia naturae; sive, Historia insectorum, in classes certas redacta, nec non exemplis, et anatom (...)
  • 57 This work also exists in English [published in] 1758 [see note 55, above], and even in French, in (...)

30This is how he published Swammerdam’s work in 1737, only one hundred years after the author’s birth, in two volumes in folio, under the title of Biblia Naturae.56 The text is in Latin and Dutch.57 It contains all the doctrine on the anatomy of insects and of a few mollusks, and everything related to their metamorphosis. It also includes extraordinarily precious and infinite anatomical details.

31The author first separates the insects that do not go through metamorphosis from those that go through only a semi-metamorphosis, which means those that only get wings, such as the grasshopper and the cicadas; and finally, the insects that go through a complete metamorphosis, which means insects whose caterpillar transforms into a chrysalis or an immobile nymph before taking its final shape as a winged insect. Then, those groups are subdivided based on the shape of their chrysalis.

32After his distribution of insects was complete, he took several individuals in each class and described their anatomy. This work must have seemed marvelous because it was unknown how Swammerdam had been able to make the observation he described. The microscope was not much used at the time and Swammerdam’s descriptions were barely believed. Since then, the observations of many authors have confirmed that everything he stated was very accurate. Swammerdam started his research on the anatomy of insects with the lice. He shows its internal structure, the intestinal canal, the organs of breathing, and even its nervous system. Because he had not made a clear distinction between the mollusks and the insects, he mixed the mollusks with the animals that do not go through metamorphosis. For example, he presents the anatomy of the land snail, providing a description of all its parts, the heart, the organs, and the liver. He describes all its muscles and explains all the ways in which this animal is attached to its shell. He describes its eyes, the lens of its eye, and the optic nerve that goes to the eye through its tentacles. These were such delicate things that they appeared as some kind of marvel, a miracle both for those who observed these delicate things as well as for nature itself that created them.

33Swammerdam also described the hermit crab. He described the anatomy of the European rhinoceros beetle that lives under the bark, showing its larvae stage, in which its intestines are very large; then showing it in the chrysalis stage. He shows that once it reaches its final stage, its intestines are thinner, have a completely different shape, and no longer function in nutrition. Since he applied his mystical ideas to all his observations, he concluded that, before the fall of man, humans had smaller intestines and thus they had fewer basic and material needs.

34Then comes his history of the bees. He describes the various species, their unique eye that is composed of a multitude of small lenses placed on the same surface, with a small optic nerve in each one of them. He also presents their anatomy. He shows that what used to be called the king is, on the contrary, a queen, and that the worker bees are aborted females, that is, females whose organs of reproduction failed to develop.

  • 58 [Pierre Lyonnet or Lyonet (born 22 July 1708, Maastricht; died 10 October 1789, The Hague), an art (...)

35Then he does the same examination for the butterfly and the caterpillar. His treatise on the caterpillar was surpassed by Pierre Lyonnet58 who came later. Lyonnet’s work on the goat moth is one of the most amazing works of human industry, but for his time, Swammerdam did very admirable work.

36Swammerdam also described the flies and the black flies; he described their anatomy as well as that of their larva.

37His work ends with the anatomy of the squid, in which he describes many peculiar facts, yet it is incomplete.

38Swammerdam describes the development of the frog and explains how it comes out of the egg in the shape of a tadpole, how it loses its tail, then gets legs, and all the different phases the shape of this animal goes through.

39Swammerdam’s complete work offers a general result, which is the comparison between the development of animals and the development of plants. He shows in particular that from the egg to the perfect shape of insects, organs develop that preexisted in them. The particular fact that metamorphosis is only a development —that the difference between insects and animals of a higher level on the classification scale is only explained by the fact that this development goes further— is a truth that Swammerdam was the first to describe. He showed that the chrysalis already contains the butterfly; indeed, while examining a chrysalis, we can see through the kind of crust that wraps it the threads that form the wings of the butterfly, its legs, its antenna, folded on each other and only waiting for further development. By looking at a caterpillar at the moment when it is about to transform into a chrysalis, he also proves that the chrysalis is contained within the caterpillar. Although at first sight we do not see anything that looks like a chrysalis, a thin envelope that probably already existed soon appears between the skin and the muscles of the caterpillar. It is the envelope of the chrysalis. We just need to open the skin of the caterpillar to recognize underneath all the new shapes of this animal.

  • 59 [Buffon, see Lesson 4, note 57; see also Volume 1, Lesson 7, note 39.]

40Thus, Swammerdam’s observations showed the interlocking of the same animal under three different morphologies. It was a new fact of great importance for the theory of the development of the fetus, of reproduction, and everything related to it. It had a very strong influence on the system of evolution that dominated during the eighteenth century despite Buffon’s59 many efforts to overthrow it.

  • 60 [Tractatus physico-anatomico-medicus de respiratione usuque pulmonum. In quo, præter primam respir (...)

41Swammerdam had written other works on human anatomy. He published in Leiden in 1667 a small treatise on breathing60 in which he says that the lungs collapse when air is introduced between them and the pleura. He also shows the movement of the lymph.

42Most of Swammerdam’s numerous works, of which I just gave you a short overview, were published in the memoirs of the academies of that time, in various separate publications, and other periodical works. They were then gathered into two collections that contain almost all the small works I just told you about.

  • 61 [Blasius, see Lesson 14, note 60.]
  • 62 [Anatome compilatitia animalium terrestrium variorum, volatilium, aquatilium, serpentum, insectoru (...)
  • 63 [Severinus, see Lesson 10, note 45.]
  • 64 [Harvey, see Lesson 2.]
  • 65 [Thomas Bartholin, see Lesson 12, note 82.]
  • 66 [Malpighi, see Lesson 14, note 121.]

43One of these collections is by Gérard Blasius61 called Anatomica compilatitia animalium, etc. that was published in one quarto volume in 1681.62 Blasius assembled almost everything that had been published on the anatomy of animals since Severinus63 and Harvey,64 to the time of Bartholin65 and Malpighi.66 However, it does not include everything that is included in the Memoirs of the Academy of Sciences because only part of it had been published. The remaining part was published during the eighteenth century, although the research is from the seventeenth century. This collection makes any research on the original great works, the extracts of which are in these memoirs, almost unnecessary.

  • 67 [Michael Bernhard Valentini or Valentin (born 26 November 1657, Giessen; died 18 March 1729, Giess (...)
  • 68 [Amphitheatrum anatomicum, tabulis aeneis quamplurimis exhibens historiam animalium anatomicam, Fr (...)

44A professor from Giessen named Michael Bernhard Valentini, or Valentin,67 published in 1720 a collection quite similar to that of Blasius entitled Amphitheatrum anatomicum.68 The figures are of a lesser quality but it includes a few works that are not featured in Blasius’s compilation; yet there are some illustrations in Blasius’s work that were not included by Valentin. However, both together can be considered as authors of comparative anatomy of the seventeenth century.

  • 69 [Observationes anatomicae selectiones Collegii Privati Amstelodamensis figuris aliquot illustratae (...)
  • 70 [Pyloric caeca, part of the digestive system of bony fishes: finger-like out-pouchings of the gut, (...)

45Blasius wrote books of his own that I could have mentioned regarding each treatise on human anatomy. There is in particular an anatomy of the bone marrow and several other small dissections. He collaborated with Swammerdam and a few others on a small collection of topics entitled Observationes anatomicae selectiones, published in two small volumes in duodecimo, the first in 1667 and the other in 1673.69 They feature good observations on comparative anatomy, especially regarding fishes; their pyloric caeca,70 for example, are described for the first time in a rather complete way.

46Here is, messieurs, a summary of the particular observations that were done on different animals during the period of our study. Everything that had been discovered in man and animals had led to more general ideas of a higher level on human anatomy itself and on all the organic systems. Thus, it made sense that research would continue on these phenomenon with the establishment of general principles. Researchers went back to what the Ancients had said about the power of muscle fibers and their contractions in all parts of the organized structure of the body.

  • 71 [Francis Glisson (born c. 1599, Bristol; died 14 October 1677, London), an English physician, anat (...)
  • 72 [Anatomia hepatis, cui praemittuntur quaedam ad rem anatomicam universe spectantia, et ad calcem o (...)
  • 73 [Glisson’s capsule or Glisson’s sheath, a collagenous capsule covering the external surface of the (...)

47Several philosophers who looked at physiology under a very general point of view researched these topics. Among them I will cite Francis Glisson,71 a professor from Cambridge who died in London in 1677 and who wrote several works on specific topics such as one on the liver in 1654.72 It includes several new observations in anatomy, in particular on the membrane that we still today call Glisson’s capsule.73 The author definitely proves in this book that the liver does not produce blood, which, at that time, was still a topic of controversy.

  • 74 [Tractatus de ventriculo et intestinis, cui praemittitur alius, de partibus continentibus in gener (...)
  • 75 [Tractatus de natura substantiae energetica, seu de vita naturae, London: Henry Brome & N. Hooke, (...)

48We also have from Glisson a treatise on the stomach and the intestines, dated from 1667.74 His most remarkable work is from 1672 and is entitled On the energetic nature of substance, or on the nature of life and its first three faculties.75

49Glisson is the first one to put a lot of thought into the nature of muscle fibers and who rejected all the systems based only on physics that were used to try and explain it. He was the first to apply to it a quality unique to its function, a property particular to it, which he named “irritability,” an expression that has been kept since then. Thus, he gave us the knowledge of both its description and its denomination. He actually gave an excellent analysis of the process that occurs either in the contraction of the muscles required for external movements, or in the contraction of the muscular fibers of the organs; thus, he established the groundwork on which almost all the physiology of the eighteenth century was founded.

  • 76 [Johannes de Gorter (born 19 February 1689; died 11 September 1762, Wijk bij Duurstede), a Dutch p (...)
  • 77 [Haller, see Lesson 1, note 16.]

50As we will see in the history of the eighteenth century, it is from Glisson and Gorter’s76 research that Haller77 drew his ideas on electricity, which he developed to a great extent and on which he based so many explanations related to organized bodies.

  • 78 [Borelli, see Lesson 12, note 79.]
  • 79 [Malpighi, see Lesson 14, note 121.]
  • 80 [De motu animalium, see Lesson 2, note 73.]
  • 81 [Queen Christina of Sweden, see Lesson 11, note 77.]
  • 82 [Steno, see Lesson 12, note 81.]
  • 83 [Richard Lower (born 1631, St. Tudy, Cornwall; died 17 January 1691, London), an English physician (...)

51This subject, which was of the utmost importance, also concerned the Italian physiologists. Among those from the school of Florence, which was at that time so brilliant and which focused on the forces of nature under so many aspects, we must mention in particular Alfonso Borelli,78 born in Naples in 1608. He was a professor in Florence and in Pisa and a good friend of Malpighi;79 he died in Rome in 1679. He was the first to seriously apply mathematics to the calculation of the forces that occur in the body of animals. His treatise called De motu animalium,80 which he dedicated to Queen Christina,81 was published in Rome right after his death, in 1680 and 1681, in two volumes in quarto. He improved the knowledge of muscles and especially the fibers that compose them. He studied and developed further their common action better than Steno82 and Lower.83

52Borelli focused on showing a fact that was not generally known during his time—that nature did not position the muscles in a way that would conserve strength. On the contrary, the muscular articulations or attachments are situated in a way that moves the bones in the least favorable way, and consumes, in order to move a limb, much more energy than would be required if these articulations were attached farther from the support point, or if they interlocked perpendicularly with the bones. Then he showed why nature had to position them the way they are and why they cannot be positioned in a more useful way. After he established these general principles, Borelli examined each one of the movements that are unique to each limb and calculated the forces that are required for each of these movements. He reached the conclusion that in order to move the arm, for example, nature uses a force that is much stronger than the weight of that limb. He did the same calculation for the other parts of the body. Then he studied the general movements, examining everything that has to do with the station of the animal, whether on two feet or four, what are the required conditions necessary to maintain its balance, and what are the partial movements that result in the general movement such as jumping, running, or walking.

53After he was done with this study on man and quadrupeds, he continued with the study of the movements that occur in the other classes, such as flying for birds and swimming for fishes. He showed which muscles are active during flight and how the animal succeeds, by the movement of its wings, to hold itself and to ascend into the air; in other words, in an environment in which specific gravity is less than that of the bird. He calculated the force required for such movement and the speed with which the wing must flap in the air. This part of his work was the most difficult calculation, which explains why it is the one in which he was the farthest from an accurate result, compared to all his other calculations. But it was an important and peculiar subject to introduce to the physicists’mind.

54Borelli pursued his studies on fishes; he examined the movements that make them go up and down in the water. These explanations were easier to understand because fishes require less forceful movements to remain in the water than birds do to remain in the atmosphere. Fishes only need to win over the resistance of fluid, since this fluid is sufficient to support them.

55Here are the parts of Borelli’s work related to the external movements.

56But he also examined the internal movements. He tried to calculate the forces of the heart, to discover with what strength this organ pushes the blood in the arteries and how blood comes back to the heart through the veins. He claimed that the force exerted by the muscular fibers of the heart is prodigious.

57He also examined the force that is exerted in the action of the gizzard of birds and in the peristaltic movement of the intestines. Then, he examined what happens in the muscular fibers during their contraction. For this study, he suggested a hypothesis that assumed that the shrinking of muscles is produced by the bulging that results from the influx of a fluid. This part of his work is not as good as the purely mathematical part.

  • 84 [Iatro-mathematicians, see Lesson 14, note 70.]

58Borelli’s work is one of those that stimulated the most application of mathematics to physiology; he is at the origin of a particular sect, in medicine and physiology, called the sect of the iatro-mathematicians or physician-mathematicians.84 This sect, that was followed in Italy and also in other countries of Europe, had for its mission to calculate rigorously all the forces that occur in living bodies, either externally or internally. Based on this principle, the sect tried to establish a new physiology in opposition to the chemical physiology I told you about, which was famous during the first half of the seventeenth century.

  • 85 [Lorenzo Bellini (born 3 September 1643, Florence; died 8 January 1704, Florence), an Italian phys (...)
  • 86 [Archibald Pitcairne (born 25 December 1652, Edinburgh; died 20 October 1713, Edinburgh), a Scotti (...)
  • 87 According to Pitcairne [see note 86, above], the stomach exerts a force on food substances equival (...)

59During the end of the same century, the works of Borelli, Lorenzo Bellini,85 who was his contemporary and disciple, and Pitcairne,86 a physician from Edinburgh, gave the impression that it was possible to calculate all the forces of the human body, like we calculate those of the simplest machines. Thus, in order to calculate the force in the stomach of a fish, the stomach was filled with various elements to be macerated or digested, and it was then calculated what force would have been necessary to produce the digestion of these elements.87 What was not taken into account was the difference between living forces and dead forces that result only from the mass. The results of other experiments were even less satisfactory. It was calculated that if a muscle of a given volume and weight exerted such force, then a muscle that would be double or triple in volume and weight would produce a force that would also be double or triple; these conclusions were not corroborated at all.

  • 88 [Stephen Hales, see Lesson 13, note 87.]

60Physiology took a better direction during the eighteenth century, as we shall see in Hales’s Hemastatic experiments88 that were conducted much more in accordance with physics and mechanics than all those I just talked about.

  • 89 [Bellini, see note 85, above.]
  • 90 [Gustus organum novissime deprehensum, praemissis ad faciliorem intelligentiam quibusdam de sapori (...)
  • 91 [Bellini, on the structure and function of the kidneys, see note 85, above.]
  • 92 [Ducts of Bellini, excretory collecting ducts of the kidneys, also known as papillary ducts.]

61The second physician-mathematician I cited earlier, Lorenzo Bellini,89 was born in 1643; he was a professor in Pisa and died in 1704. We have from him works that are not about mathematics. He wrote a treatise on the sense organ of the taste dated 1665,90 and another one on the structure and role of the kidneys from 1662.91 These books are similar to those of Malpighi, whose ideas flourished in Italy at that time. The author described the glands or follicles of the kidneys, the tubules that conduct urine into the renal pelvis, and the organs that since then have been called the ducts of Bellini.92

62This doctor also wrote a treatise on urine and the pulse, or heartbeat, in which we find more of his mathematical ideas. He claims that the blood, pushed by the heart in the arteries, goes all the way to the nerves; obviously, it is a mistake. He also tries to give a physical or mechanical explanation to the bulging of the muscular fiber, analogous to Borelli’s various explanations.

  • 93 [Opuscula aliquot ad Archibaldum Pitcarnium… in quibus praecipue agitur, de motu cordis in & extra (...)

63Finally, we have from Bellini a collection called Opuscula aliquot ad Archibaldum Pitcarnium, published in Pistoia in 1695.93 It is in this book that he describes the principles of the iatro-mathematicians in the most complete way. He describes the force of the movements of the heart, gives its calculation and presents the heart as the general organ responsible for all the movements in the animal.

  • 94 [Pitcairne, see note 86, above.]
  • 95 [Dissertatio de circulatione sanguinis in animalibus genitis et non genitis, Leiden: Abrahamum Elz (...)
  • 96 [De motu quo cibi digeruntur in stomacho, Leiden: Abrahamum Elzevier, 1693.]

64The third iatro-mathematician I cited, Pitcairne,94 was born in Edinburgh in 1652. He was a professor in Leiden in 1692 and later in his home country, where he died in 1713. His work is called De circulatione sanguinis in animalibus genitis et non genitis, published in Leiden in 1693.95 He published another book in 1693 called De motu quo cibi digeruntur in stomacho,96 in which he again tries to explain everything in terms of mechanical actions, assigning to the heart a tremendous strength.

  • 97 [Elementa medicinae physico-mathematica, libris duobus; quorum prior theoriam, posterior praxim ex (...)
  • 98 [Lemmas, in mathematics, proven propositions that are used as stepping stones to larger results ra (...)
  • 99 [Scholia are grammatical, critical, or explanatory comments, either original or extracted from pre (...)

65Pitcairne even tried to design a science of medicine based entirely on mathematics; his work on this topic is called Elementa medicinae physico-mathematica, etc.97 It was published only after his death in London, in 1717. Not only does he give mathematical principles to medicine, but he also gives it a mathematical format; everything is presented as theorems, lemmas,98 problems, and scholia.99 But the nature of things is not based on names; only strict demonstrations could give a mathematical character to a physiology book. Yet Pitcairne was far from having reached the certitude that could justify the titles he gave to his books.

  • 100 [Stahl, see Lesson 9, note 90.]
  • 101 [For Van Helmont and his archeus, see Lesson 10, notes 66 and 74.]

66Around the same time lived Georges Ernst Stahl100 whom I talked about so much in chemistry for giving this science a whole new theory that dominated for a long time during the eighteenth century and which consisted in attributing to the human soul the functions that Van Helmont had attributed to his so-called archeus.101

67Stahl showed that the theory of chemistry is not applicable to many physiological phenomena, especially those related to the sense organs, the will, and even to the internal movements in which nature helps itself by resisting deleterious actions and which sometimes brings back the health of an individual despite the dire influence of these actions.

  • 102 [Theoria medica vera, physiologiam et pathologiam, Halle: Waisenhaus, 1708, 854 p., in-4°.]

68He proved that mathematics is also inapplicable to physiology and he used only the reasonable soul to explain everything. Van Helmont’s archeus, which he used only to explain what could not be explained otherwise, was, for Stahl, a secondary spirit, difficult to establish in the body next to the soul itself. Starting from the fact that we make many movements without even noticing it —like, for example, when we trip and immediately make a reverse movement to avoid falling— he imagined that the reasonable soul could thus function as necessary for our own protection, without noticing it, and based on these ideas, he established a whole system of physiology and medicine. However, although this approach was taught for a very long time by Stahl, who was born in 1660, and although it was presented and supported in the theses of his students, it was not fully articulated until 1708 in his major work entitled Theoria medica vera, printed in Halle.102 This theory from Stahl thus belongs to the eighteenth century rather than to the seventeenth century, when the theories of the chemists-physiologists and mathematicians dominated.

  • 103 [Borelli, see Lesson 12, note 79.]

69During the seventeenth century, we only have three theories: first the theory of morphology, which is the theory of the Ancients; then the theory of the occult forces, like Van Helmont’s archeus; and finally the theory of the iatro-mathematicians such as promoted by Borelli,103 Bellini, and Pitcairne.

70At the beginning of the eighteenth century, appears the psychological physiology that was introduced by Stahl and soon after by Boerhaave who disregarded the four or five others, and which was improved by Haller. The various steps physiology went through, and its various kinds, belong to an era after the one I am reviewing now. Thus, I will conclude my survey of the history of anatomy and physiology during the second half of the seventeenth century.

71You see, messieurs, that this history is very rich in facts. The anatomists, somewhat excited by Harvey’s discoveries and those that subsequently followed, discovered almost everything related to animals. Only meticulous details were added during the eighteenth century. With regard to theory, there were only systems that considered things under only one point of view, thus they could not survive for very long. What remains for me to cover now is the history of zoology, of botany, and of mineralogy during the same period I just covered. During our next session, I will talk about zoology and I will probably get to botany.

Notes

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

2 [Perrault, see Lesson 12, note 113.]

3 [Duverney, see Lesson 12, note 114.]

4 [Jardin du Roi, later, following the French Revolution, the Jardin des plantes; see Lesson 7, note 151; also Lesson 13, note 17.]

5 [Traité de l’organe de l’ouie, contenant la structure, les usages et les maladies de toutes les parties de l’oreille, Paris: Estienne Michallet, 1683, [24] + 210 p. + 15 leaves of fold. pls, in-12; a book devoted to the anatomy, physiology, and diseases associated with the ear.]

6 [Cerumen glands are sebaceous glands in the ear canal of humans and other mammals, responsible for producing the yellowish waxy substance known as earwax or cerumen.]

7 [Tympanichord or chorda tympani, a branch of the facial nerve that carries taste from the anterior two-thirds of the tongue and parasympathetic innervation to all salivary glands below the level of the oral fissure.]

8 [Memoires de l’Académie des Sciences de Paris, the scientific journal of the French Academy of Sciences, founded in 1666 by Louis XIV (see Lesson 8, note 86).]

9 [French Academy of Sciences or Académie Royale des Sciences, see Lesson 12, note 101.]

10 [For Perrault and Lahire, see Lesson 12, notes 77 and 115.]

11 [Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire naturelle des animaux, comprising volume 3, parts 1 to 3, of Memoires de l’Académie Royale des Sciences, Paris: La Compagnie des Libraires, 17331734, 3 vols (XXVI + 231 p.; 294 p.; IV + 215 p.), fold. pls, in-4°.]

12 [Jean Mery (born 6 January 1645, Vatan; died 3 November 1722, Paris), a French physician and anatomist, best known for his research on fetal blood flow; he is author of Observations sur la manière de tailler dans les deux sexes pour l’extraction de la pierre, pratiquée par frère Jacques. Nouveau système de la circulation du sang par le trou ovale dans le fœtus humain, avec les réponses aux objections qui ont été faites contre cette hypothèse par Jean Méry, Paris: Jean Boudot, 1700, 2 parts ([28] + 90; [4] + IX + [5] + 187 + [1] p.), 6 leaves of pls, illus., in-12.]

13 He [Duverney] spent his nights in the Garden of the King (Jardin du Roi; see note 4, above), laying down on his belly to observe the ways of these animals [land snails] [M. de St.-Agy].

14 [“Observations sur la circulation du sang dans le fœtus et description du cœur de la tortue et de quelques autres animaux: du cœur de la grenouille, de la vipère, de la carpe” (1699, pp. 227-266); and “Mémoire sur la circulation du sang des poissons qui ont des ouyes et sur respiration” (1701, pp. 224-239); papers published by Duverney (see Lesson 12, note 113) in the Mémoires de l’Académie Royales des Sciences de Paris that display a knowledge of the circulatory system that surpasses that of any other seventeenth-century work.]

15 [Mery, see note 12, above.]

16 [Maria Theresa of Spain (born 10 September 1638, El Escorial; died 30 July 1683, Versailles), Queen of France and Navarre as the first wife of King Louis XIV; famed for her virtue and piety, she was only barely able to fulfill her duty as queen by producing a male heir to the throne, since five of her six children died in early childhood. She is frequently viewed as an object of pity in historical accounts of her husband’s reign, since she had no choice but to tolerate his many illicit love affairs.]

17 [Louis XIV, see Lesson 8, note 86.]

18 [Cuvier correctly attributes Description exacte de l’oreille de l’homme (Paris: Lambert Roulland, 1681, in-12) to Jean Mery (see note 12, above), but Explication mechanique et physique des fonctions de l’âme sensitive, ou des sens, des passions et du mouvement volontaire, avec un discours sur la génération du lait, une dissertat. contre la nouvelle opinion qui prétend que tous les animaux sont engendrés d’un oeuf, et réponse au sieur Galatheau, etc. is a book by Guillaume Lamy (born 1644, died 1683; a French physician who attracted both criticism and praise from fellow physicians for his attempts to take medicine in new directions based on Epicurean philosophy), printed in 1677, also by Lambert Roulland, Paris (316 p., in-12); a second edition of the latter appeared in 1681.]

19 [Nouveau système de la circulation du sang par le trou ovale dans le fœtus humain; see note 12, above.]

20 [Foramen ovale, an opening present during fetal development that allows blood to pass from the right atrium to the left atrium, bypassing the nonfunctional fetal lungs, while the fetus obtains its oxygen from the placenta. A flap of tissue called the septum primum acts as a valve over the foramen ovale during that time. After birth, the introduction of air into the lungs causes the pressure in the pulmonary circulatory system to drop. This change in pressure pushes the septum primum against the atrial septum, closing the foramen. The septum primum and atrial septum eventually fuse together to form a complete seal, leaving a depression called the fossa ovalis.]

21 [By “monsters” and “monstrosities,” Cuvier is referring to what we would now call “genetic anomalies.” Mery (see note 12, above) published several papers on this subject in the Memoires de l’Académie Royales des Sciences de Paris (see note 8, above): “Sur une exomphale monstrueuse”, 1716, pp. 17-20; “Description de deux exomphales monstrueuses”, 1716, pp. 136-178; “Observations faites sur un foetus humain monstrueux, & proposées à l’Academie”, 1720, pp. 8-9; “Description d’une main devenue monstrueuse par accident”, 1720, pp. 447-582.]

22 [“Remarques sur la moule des estangs”, Memoires de l’Académie Royales des Sciences de Paris, 1710, pp. 408-426.]

23 [Nehemiah Grew (born 26 September 1641, Warwickshire; died 25 March 1712, London), an English plant anatomist and physiologist, widely recognized as the Father of Plant Anatomy (note that Cuvier incorrectly cites Grew’s dates of birth and death).]

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

25 [Anatomy of Plants, with an idea of a philosophical history of plants, and several other lectures, read before the Royal Society, London: William Rawlins, for the author, 1682, [21] + 24 + [10] + 304 + [19] p., 83 pls, in-folio; a large folio volume divided into four parts: Anatomy of vegetables, Anatomy of roots, Anatomy of trunks, and Anatomy of leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds, illustrated with eighty-two plates; appended to it are seven papers mostly of a chemical nature. It is especially notable for its detailed descriptions of the internal morphology and function of plant structure, much of it based on microscopic observation. Grew described nearly all the key differences of morphology of stem and root, showed that the flowers of the Asteraceae are built of multiple units, and correctly hypothesized that stamens are male organs. Anatomy of Plants also contains the first known microscopic description of pollen.]

26 [Musaeum Regalis Societatis, or a catalogue & description of the natural and artificial rarities belonging to the Royal Society and preserved at Gresham College, with 31 large and curious copperplates, London: printed by William Rawlins, for the author, 1681, engr. port., xii + 386 + [2] + [4] + 43 + [3] p., 31 pls (1 fold.), in-folio. Gresham College is an institution of higher learning, founded in 1597 under the will of Sir Thomas Gresham (born 1518, London; died 21 November 1579, London), located at Barnard’s Inn Hall off Holborn in central London; the early success of the College led to the incorporation of the Royal Society of London in 1660 (see Lesson 8, note 96), which pursued its activities at the College in Bishopsgate before moving to its own premises in Crane Court in 1710.]

27 [Stefano Lorenzini (born c. 1652, Florence; date of death unknown), an Italian physician and noted ichthyologist, whose observations on elasmobranchs, published in Florence in 1678 (see note 28, below), is one of the most detailed studies of animal anatomy and physiology to come out of the seventeenth century; he is most famous for the discovery of the Ampullae of Lorenzini, special electro-receptive sensory structures possessed by the sharks and rays, which are located on the head and form a network of canals filled with gel.]

28 [Osservazioni intorno alle torpedini, Florence: l’Onofri, 1678, [8] + 136 p., illus., pls, in-4°.]

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

30 [Giovanni Battista Caldesi (born 1650, Arezzo; died c. 1732, Florence), an Italian physician and anatomist in the court of the Medici family of Florence (see Lesson 10, note 33); his book on the anatomy of turtles and tortoises (see note 32, below) is his only published work.]

31 [René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur (born 28 February 1683, La Rochelle; died 17 October 1757, Saint-Julien-du-Terroux, northwestern France), a French scientist who contributed to many different fields, but best known for his study of insects; he is also noted for a thermometer, the Réaumur temperature scale, which he constructed on the principle of taking the freezing point of water as zero degrees.]

32 [Osservazioni anatomiche intorno alle tartarughe marittime, d’Acqua dolce, e terrestri. Scritte in una lettera all’illustriss. Sig. Francesco Redi…, Florence: Piero Matini, all’insegna del Leon d’Oro, 1687, [4] + 91 + [1] p., 9 engrav. pls, in-4°.]

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

34 [Edward Tyson (born 20 January 1651, Clevedon, Somerset; died 1 August 1708, London) an English physician and anatomist, generally regarded as the founder of modern comparative anatomy; appointed physician and governor to Bethlem Hospital in London in 1684 (the first mental hospital in Britain and the second in Europe), he is largely credited for fully modernizing the institution.]

35 [“Vipera caudi-sona Americana, or the anatomy of a rattlesnake dissected at the repository of the Royal Society in January, 1682/3”, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, n ° 13, 1683, pp. 25-58.]

36 [Phocaena, or the anatomy of a porpess, dissected at Gresham College: with a praeliminary discourse concerning anatomy, and a natural history of animals (London: Benjamin Tooke, 1680, [3] + 48 + [4] p. + [2] leaves of pls, illus., in-4°), in which Tyson (see note 34, above) showed clearly that the porpoise is a mammal and not a fish.]

37 [“Carigueya, seu marsupiale Americanum, or the anatomy of an opossum. Dissected at Gresham-College by Edw. Tyson, M. D. Fellow of the College of Physicians, and of the Royal Society, and Reader of Anatomy at the Chyrurgeons-Hall, in London”, Philosophical Transactions, n ° 20, 1698, pp. 105-164.]

38 [Orang-outang, sive Homo Sylvestris: or, the anatomy of a pygmie compared with that of a monkey, an ape, and a man, to which is added, a philological essay concerning the pygmies, the cynocephali, the satyrs and sphinges of the Ancients, wherein it will appear that they are all either apes or monkeys, and not men, as formerly pretended, London: Thomas Bennet & Daniel Brown, 1699, 2 parts ([12] + 108 + [2] + 58 + [2] p., 8 leaves of unfold. pls), in-folio; Edward Tyson’s (see note 34, above) most important anatomical work in which he concluded that the chimpanzee has more in common with humans than with monkeys, particularly with respect to the brain.]

39 [Buffon differentiated chimpanzees from orangutans as “the jocko” and “the pongo,” but initially (1766) considered them to be large and small manifestations of the same species. Some years later, with more information and greater attention paid to biogeography, Buffon came to recognize them as different species. For more on Buffon, see Lesson 4, note 57; see also Volume 1, Lesson 7, note 39.]

40 [Vicq d’Azir, see lesson 14, note 118.]

41 [Gall, see lesson 2, note 46.]

42 [Johann de Muralto or Johannes von Muralt (born 18 February 1645, Zurich; died 12 January 1733, Zurich) a Swiss surgeon and anatomist, regarded as the founder of anatomical teaching in Zurich, whose success was largely due to his extraordinary practical surgical skill; he published more than twenty-one major works on anatomy, medicine, and physiology; another thirteen on mineralogy, zoology, and botany; and more than one hundred essays devoted to the anatomy of various animals.]

43 [Günther Christoph Schelhammer (born 1649, Jena; died 1716, Kiel), a German professor of botany at Helmstädt, and later in anatomy, surgery, and botany at Jena; he is the author of several works on natural history including Anatomes xiphiae piscis oceani incolae cultro anatomico, Hamburg: Sumptibus Reumannianis, 1707, 24 p. + [2] p., illus., in-4°; and Phocae maris anatome in Academia Kiloniensi suscepta, mense Decembri 1699, Hamburg: Sumptibus Reumannianis, 1707, 24 p., in-4°.]

44 [Académie Impériale des Curieux de la Nature or Academia Naturae Curiosorum, see Lesson 12, note 91.]

45 [Samuel Collins (born 1618, London; died 11 April 1710, London), a English physician and anatomist, personal physician to Charles II of England (see Lesson 8, note 96), and fellow (1668) and later president (1695) of the Royal College of Physicians; he is best known for his A systeme of anatomy, treating of the body of man, beasts, birds, fish, insects and plants. Illustrated with may schemes, consisting of variety of elegant figures, drawn from the life, and engraven in seventy four folio cooper-plates. And after every part of man’s body hath be anatomically described, its diseases, case, and cures are concisely exhibited. The firth volume containing the Parts of lowest apartiment of the body of man and other animals,&., London: Thomas Newcomb, 1685, 2 vols, 73 leaves of pls, illus., in-folio.]

46 [Vicq d’Azir, see lesson 14, note 118.]

47 [Martin Lister (born 12 April 1639, Radcliffe, Buckinghamshire; died 2 February 1712, Epsom, Surrey), an English physician and naturalist who contributed numerous articles on natural history, medicine, and antiquities to the Philosophical Transactions (see Lesson 12, note 65). As a conchologist he was held in high esteem, but while he recognized the similarity of fossil mollusks to living forms, he regarded them as inorganic imitations produced in the rocks.]

48 [Queen Anne (born 6 February 1665, St. James’s Palace, London; died 1 August 1714, Kensington Palace, London), became Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland on 8 March 1702. On 1 May 1707, under the Acts of Union, two of her realms, the kingdoms of England and Scotland, united as a single sovereign state, the Kingdom of Great Britain. She continued to reign as Queen of Great Britain and Ireland until her death.]

49 [Exercitatio Anatomica, in qua de cochleis, maximè terrestribus & limacibus, agitur, omnium dissectiones tabulis oeneis, ad ipsas res affabrè incisis, illustrantur, London: Sam. Smith & Benj. Walford, 1694, [3] + xi, [3] + 208 p. + [7] leaves of pls (some folded), illus., in-8°.]

50 [Jan Swammerdam (born 12 February 1637, Amsterdam; died 17 February 1680, Amsterdam), a Dutch biologist and microscopist whose work on insects demonstrated that the various phases during the life of an insect (egg, larva, pupa, and adult) are different forms of the same animal. As part of his anatomical research, he carried out experiments on muscle contraction. In 1658, he was the first to observe and describe red blood cells. He was one of the first to use the microscope in dissections, and his techniques remained useful for hundreds of years.]

51 [Antoinette Bourignon de la Porte (born 13 January 1616, Lille; died 30 October 1680, Franeker, Friesland), a French-Flemish mystic and adventurer who taught that the end of time would come soon and that the Last Judgment was at hand. Believing that she was chosen by God to restore true Christianity on earth, she became the central figure of a spiritual network that extended beyond the borders of the Dutch Republic, including Holstein and Scotland.]

52 [Historia insectorum generalis, ofte, Algemeene verhandeling van de bloedeloose dierkens: waar in, de waaragtige gronden van haare langsaame aangroeingen in leedemaaten, klaarelijk werden voorgestelt: kragtiglijk, van de gemeene dwaaling der vervorming, anders metamorphosis genoemt, gesuyvert: ende beknoptelijk, in vier onderscheide orderen van veranderingen, ofte natuurelijke uytbottingen in leeden, begreepen, Utrecht: Meinardus van Dreunen, 1669, xxiv + 168 + [48] p., XIII leaves of pls (some folded), illus., in-4°; a work later incorporated into the Biblia Naturae (see note 56, below).]

53 [Ephemeroptera, mayflies or shadflies, aquatic insects whose immature stage (called “naiad” or “nymph”) usually lasts one year in fresh water. The adults, however, are short-lived, from a few minutes to a few days, depending on the species, of which there are about 2,500 known worldwide.]

54 [Thévenot, see Lesson 12, note 104.]

55 [The book of nature; or, the history of insects reduced to distinct classes, confirmed by particular instances, displayed in the anatomical analysis of many species, and illustrated with copper-plates, including the generation of the frog, the history of the Ephemerus, the changes of flies, butterflies, and beetles; with the original discovery of the milk-vessels of the cuttle-fish, and many other curious particulars. By John Swammerdam, M.D. With the life of the author, by Herman Boerhaave, M.D. Translated from the Dutch and Latin original edition, by Thomas Flloyd. Revised and improved by notes from Reaumur and others, by John Hill, M.D., London: C. G. Seyffert, 1758, 2 parts ([6] + XX + [6] + 236 p.; 153 +[1] + LXIII + [1] p., LIII leaves of pls, [12] p.), in-folio; for Boerhaave, see Lesson 1, note 78.]

56 [Biblia naturae; sive, Historia insectorum, in classes certas redacta, nec non exemplis, et anatomico variorum animalculorum examine, aeneisque tabulis illustrata. Insertis numerosis rariorum naturae observationibus. Omnia lingua Batava, auctori vernacula, conscripta. Accedit praefatio, in qua vitam auctoris descripsit Hermannus Boerhaave, medicinae professor & c. & c. Latinam versionem adscripsit Hieronimus David Gaubius, medicinae & chemiae professor, Leiden: Isaak Severinus, Boudewyn van der Aa, & Pieter van der Aa, 1737-1738, 2 vols ([50] + 362 p. + [XVI] leaves of unfold. copper engr.; [19] + pp. 368-910 + [36] + 124 p. + [XVII-LII] leaves of unfold. copper engr.), illus., in-folio.]

57 This work also exists in English [published in] 1758 [see note 55, above], and even in French, in volumes 4 and 5 of the Academic Collection of Dijon, foreign section [Collection académique composée des mémoires, actes ou journaux des plus célèbres académies et sociétés littéraires étrangères... Tome V de la partie étrangère et le 2e volume de l’histoire naturelle séparée, contenant les observations de Jan Swammerdam sur les insectes, avec des notes, & trente-six planches en taille-douce, Dijon: François Desventes; Paris: Jean Dessaint, 1758, [4] + XL + 673 p., XXXVI leaves of fold. pls, illus., in-4 °] [M. de St.-Agy].

58 [Pierre Lyonnet or Lyonet (born 22 July 1708, Maastricht; died 10 October 1789, The Hague), an artist and engraver who became a naturalist, specializing in illustrating works of natural history; he later began to produce his own monographs on the anatomy of insects, the most important of which is Traité anatomique de la chenille qui rouge le bois de saule, augmente… d’une description de l’instrument et des outils dont l’auteur s’est servi pour anatomiser à la loupe et au microscope, The Hague: Pierre de Hondt, 1750, XXII + [2] + 587 + [3] p., XVIII leaves of fold. pls, copper engr., in-4°; said to be one of the most beautifully illustrated books on anatomy ever produced.]

59 [Buffon, see Lesson 4, note 57; see also Volume 1, Lesson 7, note 39.]

60 [Tractatus physico-anatomico-medicus de respiratione usuque pulmonum. In quo, præter primam respirationis in foetu inchoationem, aëris per circulum propulsio statuminatur, attractio exploditur; experimentaque ad explicandum sanguinis in corde tam auctum quam diminutum motum in medium producuntur, Leiden: Danielem Abraham & Adrian à Gaasbeeck, 1667, [16] + 121 + [22] p., figs, in-8°.]

61 [Blasius, see Lesson 14, note 60.]

62 [Anatome compilatitia animalium terrestrium variorum, volatilium, aquatilium, serpentum, insectorum, ovorumque structuram naturalem proponens, Amsterdam: Sumptibus viduae Joannis a Someren, Henrici & viduae Theodori Boom, 1681, [8] + 494 + [2] p., illus. + LX pls, in-4°.]

63 [Severinus, see Lesson 10, note 45.]

64 [Harvey, see Lesson 2.]

65 [Thomas Bartholin, see Lesson 12, note 82.]

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

67 [Michael Bernhard Valentini or Valentin (born 26 November 1657, Giessen; died 18 March 1729, Giessen), a German physician, collector, and professor of medicine at the University of Giessen, well known for his important cabinet of curiosities, which he cataloged and described in Museum museorum, oder vollständige schau-bühne aller materialien und specereyen, nebst deren natürlichen beschreibung… aus andern material-kunst-und naturalien-kammern, Oost-und West-Indischen reiss-beschreibungen, Frankfurt am Main: Johann David Zunners, 1704, 3 parts in 1 vol. ([26] + 520 + [4] + 76 + [4] + 119 + [13] + [24] p. + [4] leaves of fold. pls), figs, in-folio; a second edition appeared in 1714.]

68 [Amphitheatrum anatomicum, tabulis aeneis quamplurimis exhibens historiam animalium anatomicam, Frankfurt am Main: Johannis Mulleri, 1720, 3 parts ([20] + 231 p.; 231 + 114 + [4] p.; I-CV leaves of pls), in-folio.]

69 [Observationes anatomicae selectiones Collegii Privati Amstelodamensis figuris aliquot illustratae, Amsterdam: Casparum Commelinum, 1667-1673, 2 vols in 1, in-8°.]

70 [Pyloric caeca, part of the digestive system of bony fishes: finger-like out-pouchings of the gut, situated near the junction of the stomach and the intestine, that secrete digestive enzymes and absorb nutrients.]

71 [Francis Glisson (born c. 1599, Bristol; died 14 October 1677, London), an English physician, anatomist, and writer on medical subjects who did important work on the anatomy of the liver (see note 72, below); one of his experiments helped to debunk the “balloonist hypothesis” of muscle contraction by immersing his arm in water and demonstrating that when a muscle contracted under water, the water level did not rise, and thus no air or fluid could be entering the muscle.]

72 [Anatomia hepatis, cui praemittuntur quaedam ad rem anatomicam universe spectantia, et ad calcem operis subjiciuntur nonnulla de lymphae-ductibus nuper repertis, London: Du-Gard for Octavian Pulleyn, 1654, [46] + 458 + [13] p., 1 fold. leaf of pls, illus., in-8°.]

73 [Glisson’s capsule or Glisson’s sheath, a collagenous capsule covering the external surface of the liver; right upper abdominal pain occurs in many liver diseases, arising from stretching or irritation of Glisson’s capsule, which is rich in nerve endings.]

74 [Tractatus de ventriculo et intestinis, cui praemittitur alius, de partibus continentibus in genere; & in specie de iis abdominis (Amsterdam: Jacobum Juniorem, 1677, [8] + 509 + [27] p., illus., pls, portrait, in-4°), an important work on the stomach and intestines containing Glisson’s (see note 71, above) original concept of “irritability” not only as the prime cause of muscular contraction but as a property of all human tissues. The view was materialistic and mechanistic and, like all of Glisson’s hypotheses, shows an attempt by an able thinker to explain important physiological phenomena.]

75 [Tractatus de natura substantiae energetica, seu de vita naturae, London: Henry Brome & N. Hooke, 1672, [27] leaves + 534 p. + [1] leaf, in-4°.]

76 [Johannes de Gorter (born 19 February 1689; died 11 September 1762, Wijk bij Duurstede), a Dutch physician, perhaps best known for his seven-volume Medicina Hippocratica exponens Aphorismos Hippocratis (Amsterdam: Haeredes Johannis Ratelband, 1739-1742, 7 vols in 1 (906 + [52] p.), in-4°, an overall view of practical medicine of his time.]

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

78 [Borelli, see Lesson 12, note 79.]

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

80 [De motu animalium, see Lesson 2, note 73.]

81 [Queen Christina of Sweden, see Lesson 11, note 77.]

82 [Steno, see Lesson 12, note 81.]

83 [Richard Lower (born 1631, St. Tudy, Cornwall; died 17 January 1691, London), an English physician who heavily influenced the development of medical science through his works on transfusion and the function of the cardiopulmonary system.]

84 [Iatro-mathematicians, see Lesson 14, note 70.]

85 [Lorenzo Bellini (born 3 September 1643, Florence; died 8 January 1704, Florence), an Italian physician and anatomist who devoted himself primarily to studies of the kidneys, which he described in two major works, the first published when he was a nineteen-year-old student at the University of Pisa: Exercitatio anatomica de structure et usu renum, Florence: Stellae, 1662, 28 p., 3 pls, in-4°; the second two decades latter: De urinis et pulsibus, de missione sanguinis, de febribus, de morbis capitis et pectoris, Bologna: Antonio Pisarrio, 1683, [20] + 606 p., in-4°.]

86 [Archibald Pitcairne (born 25 December 1652, Edinburgh; died 20 October 1713, Edinburgh), a Scottish physician, anatomist, and classical scholar who is said to have laid the foundation of the great Edinburgh school of medicine; his anatomical work focused largely on blood circulation, the motions by which food is digested, questions regarding original discoveries in medicine —in which he repels the idea of certain medical discoveries of modern times having been known to the Ancients, especially vindicating Harvey (see Lesson 2) for the discovery of the circulation of the blood, and refuting the view that it was known to Hippocrates (see Volume 1, Lesson 5, note 36)— the cure of fevers by evacuating medicines, and the effects of acids and alkalis in medicine.]

87 According to Pitcairne [see note 86, above], the stomach exerts a force on food substances equivalent to twelve thousand, ninehundred and fifty pounds [M. de St.-Agy].

88 [Stephen Hales, see Lesson 13, note 87.]

89 [Bellini, see note 85, above.]

90 [Gustus organum novissime deprehensum, praemissis ad faciliorem intelligentiam quibusdam de saporibus, Bologna: Antonio Pisarrio, 1665, XVI + 248 p., in-12.]

91 [Bellini, on the structure and function of the kidneys, see note 85, above.]

92 [Ducts of Bellini, excretory collecting ducts of the kidneys, also known as papillary ducts.]

93 [Opuscula aliquot ad Archibaldum Pitcarnium… in quibus praecipue agitur, de motu cordis in & extra uterum, ovo, ovi aere & respiratione, de motu bilis et liquidorum omnium per corpora animalium, de fermentis & glandulis, Pistoia: Stephani Gatti, 1695, [20] + 215 + [3] p. + [3] leaves of pls, in-4°.]

94 [Pitcairne, see note 86, above.]

95 [Dissertatio de circulatione sanguinis in animalibus genitis et non genitis, Leiden: Abrahamum Elzevier, 1693, [32] p., in-4°.]

96 [De motu quo cibi digeruntur in stomacho, Leiden: Abrahamum Elzevier, 1693.]

97 [Elementa medicinae physico-mathematica, libris duobus; quorum prior theoriam, posterior praxim exhibet; in medicinæ studiosorum gratiam delineata. Nunc primum in lucem edita, London: William Innys, 1717, [42] + 285 + [19] p., in-8°.]

98 [Lemmas, in mathematics, proven propositions that are used as stepping stones to larger results rather than as statements of interest by themselves.]

99 [Scholia are grammatical, critical, or explanatory comments, either original or extracted from pre-existing commentaries, which are inserted in the margin of the manuscript of an ancient author.]

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

101 [For Van Helmont and his archeus, see Lesson 10, notes 66 and 74.]

102 [Theoria medica vera, physiologiam et pathologiam, Halle: Waisenhaus, 1708, 854 p., in-4°.]

103 [Borelli, see Lesson 12, note 79.]

Table des illustrations

Légende ChimpanzeePlate from Tyson’s Orang-outang, sive Homo Sylvestris… (1699) Cliché Bibliothèque centrale, MNHN.
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