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Heirs of Hippocrates

The Development of Medicine in a Catalogue of Historic Books

Complete Record - Heirs of Hippocrates No. 304

REALDO COLOMBO (1516?-1559) De re anatomica libri XV. Ex typographia Nicolai Beuilacquae 1559 [8] 269 (misnumbered 169) pp. 33.3 cm.

Colombo was a pupil of Vesalius (see No. 280 ff.) at Padua and in 1544 succeeded him in the chair of anatomy, a position which he held for only a year before moving to Pisa and eventually to Rome, where he was professor of anatomy. In this first edition of an important work in the history of anatomy, Colombo introduced a description of pulmonary circulation and denied that the blood went through the ventricular septum. He probably had no clear idea of the greater circulation, but this historic breakthrough in his demonstration of the lesser circulation through the lungs secures his place of importance in the line culminating in Harvey's demonstration of the circulation of the blood sixty-nine years later. Colombo was particularly strong in regional anatomy, but the book is weakened by a total lack of illustration except for the very fine full-page woodcut on the title page depicting a dissecting scene.

See Related Record(s): 280

Cited references: Cushing C339; Durling 992; Osler 897; Waller 2076; Wellcome 1546

Gift of John Martin, M.D.

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