Andreas Vesalius

Andreas Vesalius (vĬsā´lēəs), 1514–64, Flemish anatomist. He made many discoveries in anatomy and became noted as professor of anatomy at the Univ. of Padua. There he produced his chief work, De humani corporis fabrica (1543), based on studies made by dissection of human cadavers; the notable illustrations are attributed to Jan von Calcar. Vesalius's condensation (1543) appeared in English as The Epitome of Andreas Vesalius (1949). His work overthrew many of the hitherto-uncontested doctrines of the second-century anatomist Galen, and caused a storm of criticism from other anatomists. Vesalius's work was revolutionary, as he was among the first to perform thorough cadaver dissections himself. He showed that Galen's anatomy was merely an attempt to apply animal structure to the human body, and was not based on any direct knowledge of human anatomy. He left Padua, becoming physician to Emperor Charles V and to his son Philip II. In 1563, he made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and on the return voyage died in Greece.

See biography by C. D. O'Malley (1964); J. B. de C. M. Saunders and C. D. O'Malley, Illustrations from the Works of Andreas Vesalius (1950, repr. 1973).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Epitome of Andreas Vesalius
L. R. Lind; C. W. Asling; Logan Clendening.
Macmillan Co., 1949
The Illustrations from the Works of Andreas Vesalius of Brussels
J. B. deC. M. Saunders; Andreas Vesalius.
World Pub. Co., 1950
The Scientific Revolution, 1500-1800: The Formation of the Modern Scientific Attitude
A. R. Hall.
Longmans, Green, 1954
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Andreas Vesalius begins on p. 43
Minds behind the Brain: A History of the Pioneers and Their Discoveries
Stanley Finger.
Oxford University Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Andreas Vesalius: The New 'Human' Neuroanatomy"
Issues of Death: Mortality and Identity in English Renaissance Tragedy
Michael Neill.
Clarendon Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Andreas Vesalius begins on p. 104
The Evolution of Modern Medicine
William Osler.
Yale University Press, 1923
Librarian’s tip: "Vesalius" begins on p. 146
Science and the Renaissance
W. P. D. Wightman.
Oliver and Boyd, vol.1, 1962
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Andreas Vesalius begins on p. 226
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