1st Edition

Principles of Anatomy according to the Opinion of Galen by Johann Guinter and Andreas Vesalius

Edited By Vivian Nutton Copyright 2017
    202 Pages
    by Routledge

    202 Pages
    by Routledge

    Principles of Anatomy according to the Opinion of Galen is a translation of Johann Guinter’s textbook as revised and annotated by Guinter’s student, Andreas Vesalius, in 1538. Despite Vesalius’ fame as an anatomist, his 1538 revision has attracted almost no attention. However, this new translation shows the significant rewrites and additional information added to the original based on his own dissections. 250 newly discovered annotations by Vesalius himself, published here in full for the first time, also show his working methods and ideas.

    Together they offer remarkable insights into Vesalius’ intellectual biography and the development of his most famous work: De humani corporis fabrica, 1543. An extensive introduction by Vivian Nutton also provides new information on Johann Guinter, and his substantial use of Vesalius’ work for his own revised version of the text in 1539. Their joint production, a student textbook, is set against a background of the development of Renaissance anatomy, and of attitudes to their ancient Greek predecessor, Galen of Pergamum.

    This text will be of great interest to historians of science and medicine, as well as to Renaissance scholars.

    Part I: Introduction

    Andreas Vesalius, from Brussels to Padua

    Anatomy before Vesalius

    Johann Guinter and the Institutiones anatomicae

    Vesalius’ Revision of the Institutiones, 1538

    Vesalius’ Annotations

    Towards the De humani corporis fabrica

    The Dog that did not bark

    Part II: Translation: The Principles of Anatomy according to the Opinion of Galen

    Vesalius’ Preface

    Guinter’s Preface

    Book I

    Book II

    Book III

    Book IV

    Appendix: Vesalius’ Annotations transcribed


    Index to the 1538 edition

    Index to the Introduction and Notes


    Vivian Nutton is Professor of the History of Medicine, A.M. Sechenov First Moscow Medical University, and Emeritus Professor of the History of Medicine, University College London. Among his recent books are a translation of Galen, On Distress (2013) and Ancient Medicine, 2ed (2013).

    "Vivian Nutton's command of Renaissance Galenism is superb, and his intimacy with things Vesalian deep and long-standing. This translation and commentary provides a finely-detailed window into an early and critical period of Vesalius's development. It also brings to life the revisable and pedagogically-oriented anatomy of his predecessor, Guinter. Bringing Guinter and Vesalius into scholarly conversation through their alternating editions and revisions, this book sheds new light on a crucial period in the history of anatomy and medicine. It should be a learned introduction for new students of Renaissance anatomy and medicine, and an indispensable resource for specialists."

    Evan Ragland, University of Notre Dame, USA

    "This little book will be an essential reference for historians of early modern anatomy."

    Anita Guerrini, Oregon State University, USA, Isis Review

    "Taken as a whole then, Nutton’s translation of Principles of Anatomy is an important work, one that adds as much or more to Vesalian scholarship as any of the English translations of the great anatomist’s works that have appeared in the last few years. Rather than simply offering an English version of a Latin text, Nutton’s book provides a new and detailed insight into how Vesalius worked, both textually and in dissecting bodies, and ties that insight to a largely understudied text written by a largely understudied fi gure who played an important role in Vesalius’s career and in the development of anatomy in the 16th century."

    Allen Shotwell, Ivy Tech Community College, USA