Vesalius the China Root Epistle

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2015-01-12
  • Publisher: Cambridge Univ Pr
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This book provides the first annotated English translation from the original Latin of Andreas Vesalius' China Root Epistle. Ostensibly his appraisal of a fashionable herbal remedy, the China Root Epistle concentrates on Vesalius' skeptical appraisal of traditional Galenic anatomy, which was based on animal rather than human dissections. Along with reflections about his life as a young anatomist, Vesalius argued that the new science of anatomy should devote itself less to rhetorical polemics and more to the craft of direct observation based on human dissection. This volume provides annotations to link the Epistle with Vesalius' earlier and more famous work, On the Fabric of the Human Body, and includes illustrations from the famous woodcuts first used in the 1543 edition of the Fabrica.

Table of Contents

Dedicatory preface Franciscus Vesalius
Author's greeting to Joachim Roelants
Occasion for writing about the China root
With what success many have used the China
Description of the China root
Method of preparing the China decoction
Quantity of the first China decoction to be delivered, and the time to give it
How a sweat should be induced
What drink is useful
Sleep and wakefulness
Movement and rest
Concern about bodily wastes
What affects of the mind are applicable
Sexual activity
How long the first decoction should be used
A method of taking and preparing a second decoction
A way of administering sparta parilla
Native and familiar drugs should be put to use rather than exotics
Decoction of chamaedrys
No small results can by expected from genuine rhapontic
Hapless people who gratify themselves by publishing something
Occasion for the letter of Sylvius in which it was declared that nothing written by Galen is completely in error
Occasion for the opinion, here to be recorded, of the letter in which Vesalius replied to Sylvius
Galen did not dissect humans, but teaches the study of animals instead of man
A number of conjectures from the bones
Conclusions drawn about the fat, muscles, and ligaments, whereby it is concluded that Galen did not describe the human fabric
Several places taken from the series of veins and arteries in which it is inferred that Galen did not dissect humans
Reasons taken from the nerves by which it is known that humans were not dissected by Galen
Reasons selected from the contents of the peritoneum
Some conjectures based upon the parts that are contained in the thorax
Reasons taken from those contained in the skull
Some places where Galen openly criticized the Ancients because they had dissected humans and not apes, as he did
Not everything in his description of the parts was correctly reported and described by Galen
A number of untrue descriptions in the bones
Several inaccurate descriptions taken from the account of muscles and ligaments
Some false descriptions gathered from the account of veins and arteries
Accepted descriptions in the account of nerves which are not quite true
Descriptions of the parts that are contained in the peritoneum, which are not entirely true
Several untrue descriptions gathered from the parts contained in the thorax
False descriptions among the parts that are surrounded by the skull
Some places where it is known that Galen was not altogether sound in assigning the functions and uses of the parts
In his account of the bones
Several uses and functions not well assigned in Galen's account of the muscles and ligaments
Places collected from the description of veins, arteries, and nerves where it is known that Galen consistently assigned incorrect uses and actions
A description of some things that are contained in the peritoneum
From the description of parts located in the thorax and skull
Some invalid anatomical proofs of Galen are mentioned
How useful the annotations of Vesalius have been in Galenic anatomy, and how little they are to be needed hereafter
Method of administering the water of the China root
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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