ROBERT KNOX (1791-1862). Man, his structure and physiology : popularly explained and demonstrated. 2nd ed. London ; New York: H. Bailliere, 1858.
This popular introduction to anatomy and physiology was written by the noted – if somewhat infamous – Edinburgh anatomist Robert Knox. Knox believed that a knowledge of human structure and physiology was vital, forming the basis for a better understanding of the structure and nature of all living bodies.
He hoped that this elementary yet detailed introduction would encourage the reader to pursue further study in not only human anatomy, but also in the field of zoology. One of the best and most enthusiastic teachers of anatomy during the 19th century, Knox’s emphasis upon practical dissection led to his indiscreet and notorious association with the Edinburgh ‘resurrectionists’, Burke and Hare. When their crimes came to light, he was implicated, savagely attacked in the literature of the day, and his effigy was burnt by the populace.
Although exonerated by Burke, an influential committee of his peers accused him of acting incautiously and failing to ensure that his assistants properly vetted their cadaver suppliers. The episode haunted him and tarnished the rest of his career. He then turned his attention to ethnology and anthropology, and found some success in these fields.
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GUIDO GUIDI (1508-1569). Chirurgia è Graeco in Latinum conversa. Paris: Excudebat Petrus Galterius, 1544
Guidi, a successful Florentine surgeon, was invited to Paris in 1542 to help the French King Francis I apply medical advances of the Italian Renaissance to French medicine. Francis appointed Guidi his personal physician and chair of surgery at the Collège de France. Upon the death of Francis I in 1547, Guidi was recalled to Italy by Cosimo I, ruler of Tuscany, and became his personal physician and professor of philosophy and medicine at Pisa.
When Guidi came to Paris, he brought with him a copy of a tenth-century Greek surgical manuscript as a gift for the French monarch. Guidi was able to complete his Latin translation and commentary on the manuscript and published this work. The book is a compilation of what was then known about treating wounds and fractures, especially war wounds. Most of the book is devoted to Hippocrates’ writings on ulcers, fistulas, and head wounds with Guidi’s commentaries and observations, and Galen’s commentaries on Hippocrates’ works on fractures and joints.
The artist of this book is thought to be Francesco Salviati and was formerly attributed to artist Francesco Primaticcio. This book is often considered to be the finest textbook of surgery printed in the 16th century.