Development of anatomic science in the late middle ages: the roles played by Mondino de Liuzzi and Guido da Vigevano.

Department of Neurosurgery, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit Medical Center, Detroit, Michigan 48201, USA.
Neurosurgery (Impact Factor: 3.03). 10/2009; 65(4):787-93; discussion 793-4. DOI: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000324991.45949.E4
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Medical historians generally consider anatomic science, as we know it today, to have been established through the pioneering work of Vesalius during the Renaissance. Although this is largely true, detailed assessment of the scientific advances made in the late Middle Ages, though not as spectacular as those made during the Renaissance period, did pave the way and form a foundation for subsequent progress. During the two centuries of AD 1300 to 1500, several worthwhile advances occurred. Many universities, centers of learning excellence, were established throughout Europe, most notably in Italy. King Frederick II, the Holy Roman Emperor, established guidelines for medical education and practice that seem to parallel current regulations. Human cadaveric dissection was performed, after a hiatus of over 1700 years, as the foundation for the study of anatomy. Observation of human dissection became a requirement for medical students. A manual for anatomic dissection was written, printed, and published for the first time in history by Mondino de Liuzzi. His student, Guido da Vigevano, who also had an engineering background, established two "firsts" of his own: providing illustrations of anatomy and designing the first automobile in history. The authors believe that the contributions of these two key anatomists in the late Middle Ages should not be forgotten.

  • Source
    01/2010; 2(1):11-9.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Illustrations constitute an essential element of learning anatomy in modern times. However it required a significant evolutionary process spread over centuries, for illustrations to achieve the present status in the subject of anatomy. This review article attempts to outline the evolutionary process by highlighting on the works of esteemed anatomists in a chronological manner. Available literature suggests that illustrations were not used in anatomy during the classical period when the subject was dominated by the descriptive text of Galen. Guido da Vigevano was first to use illustrations in anatomy during the Late Middle Ages and this concept developed further during the Renaissance period when Andreas Vesalius pioneered in illustrations becoming an indispensable tool in conveying anatomical details. Toward later stages of the Renaissance period, Fabricius ab Aquapendente endeavored to restrict dramatization of anatomical illustrations which was a prevalent trend in early Renaissance. During the 18th century, anatomical artwork was characterized by the individual styles of prominent anatomists leading to suppression of anatomical details. In the 19th century, Henry Gray used illustrations in his anatomical masterpiece that focused on depicting anatomical structures and were free from any artistic style. From early part of the 20th century medical images and photographs started to complement traditional handmade anatomical illustrations. Computer technology and advanced software systems played a key role in the evolution of anatomical illustrations during the late 20th century resulting in new generation 3D image datasets that are being used in the 21st century in innovative formats for teaching and learning anatomy. Anat Sci Educ. © 2014 American Association of Anatomists.
    Anatomical Sciences Education 07/2014; DOI:10.1002/ase.1479 · 2.98 Impact Factor
  • World Journal of Surgery 09/2014; 38(12). DOI:10.1007/s00268-014-2758-x · 2.35 Impact Factor