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Blood

(3,317 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe | Jarzebowski, Claudia
1. Medicine 1.1. Humoral pathologyUntil the early 18th century, blood was thought of as the moist, well-tempered “sap that fills the blood vessels and is thought [by physicians] to consist of four particular humors: phlegm, yellow and black bile, and the blood proper” [1]. In the view of humoralism, the humors with their associated qualities (blood: warm, moist; yellow bile: warm, dry; phlegm: cold, moist; black bile: cold, dry) are produced by digestion (Latin coctio, literally “cooking”) of food; they are always present in whole blood in varying proportion. The o…
Date: 2019-10-14

Anatomical theater

(843 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
An anatomical theater was the site of public anatomical dissection in the early centuries of the modern period. The concept goes back to Alessandro Benedetti (1445-1525), an Italian physician and professor of surgery and anatomy in Padua [5]. He was probably the first to have a separate wooden structure built for anatomical dissections at the University of Padua (ca. 1490). Benedetti’s successful and influental major work,  Anatomice, sive Historia corporis humani (Venice 1502: “Anatomy, or, History of the Human Body”), probably contributed to the spread of the id…
Date: 2019-10-14

Anatomy

(2,104 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Starting points for early modern anatomy There was certainly no routine prohibition of dissections of human bodies in medieval anatomy. This was not what we might call an autopsia in the modern sense, i.e. in the sense of personal observation and interpretation of the findings of the dissection as actually found, because the self-contained dogma of humoral pathology (doctrine of humours; see also Humoralism) and of the anatomy and physiology associated with this doctrine offered a model of explanation and action that cou…
Date: 2019-10-14

Accident

(1,168 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Concept and terms The German term for accident,  Unfall (Middle High German unval, ungeval; compare chance; French  accident) means an unforeseen event or misadventure, generally relating to personal injury or material damage, and also military defeats as well as the special life and death circumstances of “famous men,” as for instance in the 1570 German translation of Giovanni Boccaccio’s De casibus virorum illustrium (orig. 1356-1373) by Hieronymus Ziegler as merckliche und erschröckliche unfahl . verderben unnd Sterben großmächtiger Kayser (“noteworthy and shockin…
Date: 2019-10-14

Animal

(5,217 words)

Author(s): Smith, Justin E.H. | Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe | Sieglerschmidt, Jörn
1. Natural philosophy 1.1. Distinction from humanDirectly or indirectly, the concept of the animal was frequently contrasted with that of the human in the early modern period [10]. Initially, it was used to define the sphere of philosophical anthropology (Humanity). Only later did “animal” come to denote an object of zoological study (Zoology). This anthropocentric perspective is clearly seen, for instance, in Renaissance printed editions of medieval bestiaries, which present all known species of animals – from the real w…
Date: 2019-10-14

Anatomical pathology

(1,069 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Definition Anatomical (or Solid) pathology denotes the systematic search for the causes of illness (Greek pathología, i.e. the doctrine of the origin, course and symptoms of diseases) and is based on pathological anatomic changes of specific organs or tissues  (Latin solida, “solid constituents”). It is in opposition to humoral doctrine (Humoralism), which treats the non-fluid morphological substratum of the organism merely as the venue of processes based on humoral physiology.Wolfgang Uwe Eckart 2. Beginnings It was not until the 17th century that medical interest …
Date: 2019-10-14

Addiction

(3,353 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Concept The term addiction (from the Latin addictus, “dedicated/devoted [to a thing]”) was originally a neutral equivalent to “penchant” or “inclination,” before acquiring its modern sense of inner compulsion in the context of opium in the 19th century. The German equivalent, Sucht (from the Gothic  saühts, etymologically related to the English “sick”) is found in glossaries dating back to around the 8th century, and lexicographic evidence shows it to have two fundamental senses up to the 19th century. Originally, it referred to outward…
Date: 2019-10-14

Blood, circulation of

(1,204 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe
1. Theories before Harvey From antiquity into the 17th century, people generally believed that the blood circulated centrifugally in the body, according to the canonical theory of the circulation of the blood of the Greco-Roman physician Galen of  Pergamum. Blood was produced by the liver, passed through the vena cava into the right ventricle, and then passed through the cadiac septum into the left ventricle, whence it was distributed throughout  the body; it was finally dissipated at the periphery …
Date: 2019-10-14
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