Anatomical theatre

von by Marion Mücke, Thomas Schnalke Original aufOriginal in German, angezeigt aufdisplayed in English
PublishedErschienen: 2021-02-19
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    The anatomical theatre was a central medical institution in the early modern period. Designed and realized as sites of medical teaching, its manifestations were established and run by universities, physicians' corporations and surgeons' guilds with the support of municipal and state authorities. The aim was to demonstrate the structure of the human body by means of dissections in order to disseminate basic medical knowledge, but also to provide proof of divine creation, to highlight the temporary nature of human life, and finally to promote the self-knowledge of the spectator. Providing a basic platform for illustrative teaching, the anatomical theatre also provided an enduring stimulus for the collection of medical specimens and for medical research.

    InhaltsverzeichnisTable of Contents

    The Term "Anatomical Theatre"

    According to Zedler's Universal-Lexicon of 1745,1 a theatre is an „erhabene[r] Ort, auf welchem von darzubestellten Personen allerhand Trauer- Freuden- und Singe-Spiele und andere zur öffentlichen Schau gehörige Dinge aufgeführet oder aufgestellet werden". The word "theatre" is derived from the Greek word for "video, I see", the lexicon continues, and "thus refers generally to a place where there is something to be seen". Zedler further lists at least 14 distinct uses of the term "theatre". Under "anatomical theatre" in the same publication, we find the typical description of „ein[es] öffentliche[n] Gebäude[s], welches dazu aufgebauet und also eingerichtet ist, daß nicht nur die Anatomie in solchem öffentlich gelehret, sondern auch Demonstrationen an todten Cörpern vorgenommen und Praeparata aufbehalten werden können".2 Thus both in its general and its medical sense, the term "theatre" implies "showing" as well as "seeing", "teaching" as well as "learning", and in its original meaning above all the "public" aspect. However, the numerous anatomical theatres established from the 16th century onward raise the question whether the general definition of "the" anatomical theatre found in Zedler's Universal-Lexicon in fact encompassed a variety of options for the actual use of anatomical theatres. This article first investigates what requirements led to the establishment of anatomical theatres, how there were initial attempts during the Renaissance in the form of temporary institutions and then how these were further developed in the second half of the 16th century into permanent structures. The article discusses their specific architecture, as well as the classical forms of teaching that emerged in anatomical theatres and retained their validity over an extended period. However – and this is the central theme of the article – rather diverse aims could be pursued in the context of the realisation of these formats. Consequently, the article goes beyond the action in the interior of the anatomical theatres to examine the institutional contexts into which anatomical theatres fitted, in order to determine the respective functions that they had up to the end of the 18th century.

    Background: Teaching Dissections in the Late Medieval Period

    The history of anatomical theatres is closely connected with the development of the discipline of anatomy, and in particular with the history of teaching dissections carried out in the context of medical teaching.3 In Christian Europe, from the High Middle Ages onward medical teaching became attached to the universities, where it was initially taught exclusively as a "book discipline". Teaching was based on the writings of authors from classical antiquity. Mediated by the Arabic cultural world, these texts – translated into Latin – had been integrated into medical and surgical teaching in from the 12th century onward.4 In medical-historical research, there has been a long-running discussion of the assumption that the dissection of human corpses, which had been practised in classical antiquity5, was banned by the Roman Catholic church during the medieval period. There is no proof to support this assumption.6 However, sceptical statements of the Church Father St Augustine (354–430), who argued that dissection was an "inhumane interference in human flesh" ("in carnibus humanis satis inhumane") and could not contribute to the understanding of the human body in its (God-ordained) harmony,7 nonetheless found their way into the contemporary literature, and may have contributed to a reluctance regarding the practical study of anatomy.

    The earliest records of academic teaching dissections are for medical faculties at northern Italian universities.8 There are some indications that Taddeo Alderotti (died around 1300), as professor of medicine and philosophy at Bologna University, already had opportunities to attend the opening of human corpses and to integrate this into medical teaching.9 The first documented teaching dissections were performed at Bologna University by a student of Alderotti, Mundino dei Liuzzi (1270–1326), who was professor of medicine and surgery, and also the author of a guide to dissection.10 However, Mundino was not primarily interested in an exact description of the outward appearance and internal composition of the body based on his own inspections and investigations. Instead, he primarily used the opened corpse to demonstrate the anatomical text, which was read aloud from at the same time. In this sense, the teaching dissection was intended as an aid to better understanding the authoritative texts, which were confirmed by the demonstration using the corpse. There are various indications, including some from Mundino himself, that teaching dissections were a well-established practice in Bologna by the beginning of the 14th century, and that they were accepted and followed a regular sequence.11 During the course of the 14th and 15th centuries, dissections of the kind practised by Mundino became an established practice at the medical faculties of other universities, as well as at the physicians' and surgeons' colleges in various cities.12

    As a foundational text, Mundino's Anathomia had a defining influence on anatomical teaching at European universities over the subsequent 200 years. It was published for the first time in in 1478, with numerous subsequent reprints and new editions. Some of these included illustrations of anatomical teaching scenes that today are viewed as iconic regarding the spatial arrangements at the end of the 15th century. They depict the role of the teacher of anatomy in the lecture and thematize the relationship between his free explanations – though in some cases lecturers read from a book – and the anatomical demonstrations. One such illustration was contained in the Italian translation of Fasciculus MedicinaeLehranatomie um 1500 (that is attributed to Johannis de Ketham (ca. 1420–1468/70)) published by Sebastian Manilio in in 1493.13 In this depiction, the arrangement of the individuals involved reflects a clear allocation of roles and tasks from the reader (lector) sitting on the high chair, to the dissector (sector), to the person showing and explaining (demonstrator or ostensor). From the 15th and 16th centuries onward, this basic configuration was also reflected in the statutes of medical faculties and of medical and surgical colleges. In addition these statutes specified, for example, the procedure to be followed in the annual anatomia publica.14 Public teaching dissections using a human cadaver were characterized by being open to a general audience – though they were not accessible to all – but above all by the fact that they were regulated by the authorities as a public matter (res publica).15 These statutes established in the 15th and 16th centuries – for example those established for the medical faculty in and for the Collegium Medicorum Almae Urbis in – created a fixed procedural framework for the holding of these events, which clearly defined the boundaries of permissible actions, thereby explicitly legitimizing these events. As a rule, the corpses used for the anatomia publica were of individuals who had been condemned to death. As far as possible, these were individuals who came from outside the city and had no relatives in the city.16 In order for the anatomia publica to be carried out, the cadaver first had to be released by the relevant authority.17 Arrangements also had to be made for the dignified burial of the body parts afterwards. The reading of the Christian mass for the salvation of the soul of the deceased person bound the anatomical teaching dissection into the religiously-framed lifeworld of the time, and also secured the consent of the church to this procedure.18 As an annually recurring event, these anatomical demonstrations were integrated into a yearly schedule of the universities and colleges. To avoid decay, fresh cadavers could only be dissected over the course of a number of days during periods of cold weather. Consequently, the anatomia publica was scheduled for winter. With some local variation, medical students, physicians and surgeons were invited to these events. The internal arrangement of these events was determined by regulations governing the seating of spectators according to social background, admittance and the supervising personnel. There were a number of opportunities for audience members to speak, but they had to do so in accordance with established rules.19 However, the roles of those who carried out the dissection (lector, sector and demonstrator) varied considerably in the statutes of the various institutions.20 Thus, the format of the public anatomical demonstration – with its division of labour and regulation by the authorities – as prescribed in the various statutes from the 15th century onward was both flexible in terms of its internal structure and extremely stable in terms of its external framework. This basic structure endured into the 18th century in various institutional contexts with specific variations depending on place and time period.

    Anatomy of the Renaissance and Anatomical Theatres

    Broader, interconnected social and cultural changes, and scientific developments in the 16th century prompted change in the discipline of anatomy. The influence of humanism with its revival of original texts from classical antiquity played an important role, as did the new forms of visual representation in art – which also drew heavily on classical examples – and the invention of printing, which accelerated the dissemination and reception of new knowledge.21 Between 1502 and 1545, numerous anatomical works appeared in print,22 leading to efforts to cleanse the works of Galen (129–199) of Arabic influences and the emergence of a distinct European form of Galenism. Through the philological editing of traditional texts23 – the identification of deviations and contradictions between texts, and the need to decide to adopt or reject aspects of received knowledge – a form of dissection also emerged (albeit gradually) that was based on independent, systematic autoptic observation in the tradition of the pre-Galenic approach of the two Alexandrian anatomists of the 4th and 3rd centuries BC: Herophilus and Erasistratus. Galen had been restricted in his extensive anatomical investigations to the dissection of animals. He not only directly acknowledged this fact in his writings,24 but – in view of this deficiency in his work – he referred to knowledge gained from work with human corpses, such as that of Herophilus, and he critically appraised the latter.25

    Concepts for the construction of anatomical theatres survive from this phase of "pre-Vesalian" anatomy26 in the first half of the 16th century. The description of the Verona native Alessandro Benedetti (ca. 1450–1512) is considered to be the earliest, idealized description of an institution of this kind, which he still envisaged as a temporary structure.27 It seems likely that Benedetti, as professor of anatomy, taught at the Collegium Medicum in Venice.28 The surgeons of Venice had been required to conduct one dissection annually from 1368 onward.29

    Benedetti's work Anatomice sive historia corporis humani30, which proved so important for the history of the anatomical theatre, appeared in print for the first time in 1502.31 In the chapter De laude dissectionis (On the Praise of Dissection), he called for a dissection to be held annually both for inexperienced and experienced physicians and surgeons, and he emphasized the primacy of observations made with one's own eyes („nostris oculis“) over the study of books and the use of illustrations, which he argued could at best serve as an aid to memory. Referring to Plato (427–347 BC), he further argued that those who only trust the written monuments („monumentis“) without observing things for themselves would not be able to recognize things that are clearly visible.32 In the chapter De utilitate anatomices et de cadavere eligendo, deque temporario theatro constituendo (On the Usefulness of Anatomy, on the Selection of a Cadaver, and on the Construction of a Temporary Dissecting Theatre), he identified the concrete benefit of dissection to medicine as lying in the potential knowledge gain regarding the causes of diseases.33

    Benedetti described a purpose-designed space for public dissections as follows: "temporarium Theatrum constituendum est circumcaveatis sedilibus, quale Romae ac Veronae cernitur".34 Thus, he imagined a temporary theatre structure,35 the seats of which should be arranged in a surrounding audience space36. He based his ideas on the ancient Roman structures of the Colosseum in Rome and the Arena in , which were oval in plan. The other requirements that Benedetti lists for anatomical demonstrations offer a clear picture of how contemporary dissections were conducted for a large audience and the associated problems that the organisers had to bear in mind. According to Benedetti, a space was required that permitted fresh air and had sufficient space for a large number of spectators without hampering the teacher. Two guards were required to deny access to unauthorized persons, while there should be other attendants to collect the admittance fee, which should be used to finance the instruments. In order to give the spectators a good view and to provide the teacher easy access, the corpse should be on a raised table („editiore scamno“) in the centre of the theatre.37

    The French anatomist and printer Charles Estienne (Carolus Stephanus, ca. 1503–1564)38 developed a similar concept of a space for public dissections in his work De dissectione partium corporis, though his plan for an anatomical theatre had a semi-circular („hemicyclum“) space for spectators.39 Apart from this architectural concept, Estienne also suggested a rotatable table that could be turned towards different sections of the audience to give all spectators a better view of the cadaver. He also tried to improve the acoustics by suggesting an oilcloth be spread over the theatre, which would otherwise be open to the air. For both Benedetti and Estienne, the main criteria for the spatial design of the anatomical theatre was to give the spectators an unobstructed view of the dissecting table, and to provide those delivering the lecture and demonstrating it space to work. The theatrical configuration meant that the view of the spectators was directed down from above onto and into the cadaver, which lay at the centre of the semi-circular or oval rows of seats. Acknowledging that that which was being demonstrated in the round would still be only partially visible from the more distant row of seats, Estienne suggested that individual body parts taken from the cadaver could be carried around the space and up the stairs to be shown to the audience.40 The aim was to make an autopsy – in the sense of direct eye-witnessing – possible for each individual audience member, as well as making the lecture audible to all in the space, while also maintaining order and discipline among the audience by means of a seating arrangement in fixed wooden benches that were enclosed at the ends.

    Vesalius's Public Dissection in 1540

    An impressive eyewitness account of an anatomical demonstration in a theatrum anatomicum is provided by the lecture notes that the student Balthasar Heseler (1508/1509–1567)41 made at a public dissection that occurred in Bologna in 1540. At the invitation of the students, Andreas Vesalius (1515–1564), who was 25 at the time, had travelled to there to assist as an anatomist in the lecture series delivered by Matthaeus Curtius (1475–1542/1544). At that time, Vesalius was teaching anatomy and surgery at the university in Padua, had already published a number of works on anatomy,42 was collaborating with the Venetian printer Luca Antonia de Giunta (1457–1538) on a new edition of Galen's Opera omnia, and was also planning the publication of a larger set of anatomical tables.43 It was in this phase of intensive and critical engagement with the teachings of Galen that he received the invitation to Bologna. The teaching series included in total 25 lectures and 26 anatomical demonstrations, occurring alternately over the course of 14 days, during which anatomy was demonstrated using three human corpses and six dogs.44 On the morning of the 15th of January 1540 in the church of San Francesco45, Vesalius began dissecting a corpse that had already been prepared, opened, shaven, washed and cleaned in front of about 200 students and members of the university.46 Vesalius performed the dissection himself while simultaneously explaining the anatomical structures, and he impressed on the audience the importance of knowledge of these for medical practice by citing concrete examples. As didactic aids, he used a skeleton during his explanations, made anatomical sketches and pointed to the necessity of further reading. At certain points, he invited the students to step out of their benches and come closer to the cadaver, in order to look at the anatomical structures more thoroughly and to touch them. In addition to the morphology and the topographical relationship of the organs to each other, he also demonstrated their physiological interaction by allowing the students to feel the beating heart in the opened thorax of a dog and simultaneously the peripheral arterial pulse. He encouraged them to make observations of their own and to trust these observations.

    In his work Fabrica published in 1543, Vesalius refers to the dissections that he had performed in (anatomical) theatres in Bologna and Padua.47 These theatres were still temporary structures that were dismantled again after the demonstration. He only made general observations on the appropriate design of such theatres, advising that the theatre and the table on which the cadaver is placed should be arranged to best suit the person conducting the dissection while also enabling the audience to follow the dissection.48 An illustration added to the FabricaFrontispiz zu De humani corporis fabrica libri septem as the frontispiece provides a programmatic depiction of such a public dissection and demonstration.49 However, the model of the anatomia publica suggested in this depiction – the lecture, the dissection and the demonstration all being performed by the same person – was not generally practicable. Instead, teachers and students probably continued to prefer a division of labour during anatomical demonstrations, not least because it was considered the best use of the personnel involved.50

    Public and Private Dissections

    In addition to public teaching dissections, so called "private" dissections constituted a significant part of anatomical research and teaching even in Galen's time.51 Vesalius states that in his time this form of dissection was frequently conducted in front of small groups (privatam et inter paucos)52 and that he fundamentally preferred it to public demonstrations. Given the short supply of cadavers, he viewed the advantage of public dissections as lying in the fact that it enabled a larger audience to be reached, even people who were less experienced but nonetheless interested.53 Like Benedetti, Vesalius identified another important difference between public and private dissections as lying in the fact that it was primarily bodies that were "normal" in terms of (male) gender and (middle) age that were presented at the anatomia publica. By contrast, any body was suitable for private dissections because in this context the body could be examined more closely for possible pathological changes and with regard to the nature of many diseases (multorum morborum naturam).54

    At these "private" events, which made it possible to examine the corpse more carefully, it was possible for students to expand their theoretical knowledge through the addition of practical skills and to learn dissecting techniques and surgical knowledge.55 Professors and authors referred in various anatomical works published in the 16th century to knowledge acquired through dissections of this kind.56 In contrast with public dissections, private dissections occurred in a less regulated context, though they were not entirely outside the law. It is no longer possible to determine which settings were most prevalent, but private dissections were performed in the private rooms of professors, physicians and surgeons, as well as in hospitals and other premises chosen for the purpose, such as churches. In some cases, the cadavers were acquired with the consent of the relatives. In other cases, they came from hospitals. Some corpses, however, were organized by other irregular and even illegal means, such as grave robbery.57

    Permanent Anatomical Theatres

    The transition from temporary to permanent anatomical theatres occurred over an extended period. A comparative perspective across regions58 indicates that this development was neither even nor constant. On the contrary, the conditions and factors that were relevant for the establishment of an anatomical theatre varied from place to place. The decisive actors involved in the decision-making and development processes were located at universities with their medical faculties, in surgeons' guilds and physicians' corporations, as well as in municipal and royal governments.

    Anatomical Theatres in the University Context

    Many anatomical theatres emerged in connection with universities. These included the Casa del Anatomia established in in 1554. Its foundation was made possible by the interplay of royal, municipal and university interests and influences, and accompanied the establishment of a professorship of anatomy.59 In Padua, it was primarily the professor of anatomy, Girolamo Fabricio ab Acquapendente (ca. 1533–1619), who advanced the construction of a permanent anatomical theatre in 1584, not least in response to the demand for private dissections among the students in the city.60 When this premises became no longer usable in 1590, Fabricio initiated – in the context of competition with the medical faculty in Bologna – the construction of a new, larger theatre on the same site, which opened in 1594 and is still in existence todayDas anatomische Theater zu Padua, Kupferstich, unbekannter Künstler; Bildquelle: Giacomo Filippo Tomasini: Gymnasium Patavinum, Udine 1654, S. 74, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Signatur: 4 H. lit. p. 216, Out of copyright – non commercial re-use.. This second anatomical theatre, which due to its shape is reminiscent of the design of Alessandro Benedetti and which is cited in the literature as the prototype of the anatomical theatre, had an additional anteroom,61 in which the cadavers were prepared for the anatomical demonstration by student assistants.62 These rooms of the anatomical theatre – the preparation room and the main room with the tightly packed spectator benches – can still be viewed today in a wing of the Palazzo Bo. To mark the opening of the theatre, Fabricio held an anatomical demonstration there, to which – in addition to members of the university – merchants and craftsmen were invited and granted free admission.63

    In 1595, the university of Bologna followed the example of Padua and constructed an anatomical theatre. This was replaced in 1637 by a second building, the more spacious design of which also accommodated academic discourse.64 At the instigation of the town physician and professor Felix Platter (1536–1614), a professorship of anatomy and botany was established in Basel in 1589, which was first held by Caspar Bauhin (1560–1624), and a permanent anatomical theatre was constructed for Bauhin’s use. This was the first anatomical theatre north of the Alps.65 It was followed in 1597 by the anatomical theatre constructed by Pieter Pauw (1564–1617) in Leiden, which in the subsequent century developed into a leading centre for the study of anatomy in .66 The universities of Copenhagen (1643),67 (1648),68 Groningen (1654)69 and (1662)70 continued this trend by constructing their own anatomical theatres.

    In the German-speaking world also, the holding of regular anatomical demonstrations was increasingly stipulated in university statutes from the 16th century onward, for example in (1537) and (1558)71. This did not always mean the establishment of a permanent theatre for the teaching of anatomy.72 The first permanent structure of this kind at a German-speaking university was the anatomical theatre at Altdorf (1650)Das anatomische Theater zu Altdorf, Kupferstich, um 1700, Künstler: Johann Alexander Boener, Fotograf: Georg Janßen; Bildquelle: Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg, Inventarnummer: HB21069., which in contrast to the theatre in Padua was neither round nor oval in plan, but had the dissecting table at the front with the audience benches arranged in semi-circular rows.73 Similar facilities also existed at a couple of illustrious grammar schools, including one in the free imperial city of . The higher education that this institution offered included foundational medical knowledge.74

    Anatomical Theatres in the Urban Context

    In addition to the universities, surgeons' guilds were also a starting point for the establishment of teaching dissections. For example, in 1505 the barbers and surgeons of Edinburgh received permission from the magistrate of the city to dissect the corpse of a person executed for a crime once a year. At the same time, a certain level of anatomical knowledge was made a prerequisite for practising the profession.75 In 1540, the Company of Barbers and Surgeons of was granted the right to dissect four bodies annually for the purpose of teaching surgeons.76 Physicians usually served as lecturers at these events. The first of them, John Caius (1510–1573), performed this role for 17 years.77 In 1555, Philipp II (1527–1598), king of and count of , consented to the request of the surgeons' guild to be permitted to perform dissections annually for the purpose of training its members.78 In many places, the officially granted permission to hold teaching dissections was followed by the construction of an anatomical theatre. The London Company of Barbers and Surgeons decided to erect an anatomical theatre in 1636, which Inigo Jones (1573–1652) was commissioned to construct.79 By 1700, no less than twelve anatomical theatres had been established by the surgeons' guilds of various cities in the Netherlands alone.80 In Amsterdam, the guild changed the premises in which public demonstrates were held a number of times before an anatomical theatre was finally constructed in 1691 in Nieuwe Waag.81 While the anatomical demonstrations were initially performed by guild members, there was subsequently a transition to engaging an academic physician as praelector anatomiae. These included renowned anatomists such as Nicolaes Tulp (1593–1674)[Die Anatomie des Dr. Tulp IMG]82 and Frederik Ruysch (1638–1731).83 This lectureship also involved the holding of theoretical lessons for apprentice surgeons, which occurred twice weekly.84 Outside universities, teaching dissections were encouraged by the authorities primarily to improve the quality of the practice of doctors, surgeons and midwives in the respective city or state. In dissections were carried out under the supervision of town physicians or members of the local collegium medicum from the 17th century onward, for example in the imperial cities of 85 and .86The aim was to further educate the academic and non-academic medical personnel active in the cities. In some cases, the teaching was also directed beyond this group at illustrators and other artistic professions.87 A permanent premises for the performance of these dissections existed in the Hanseatic city of Hamburg from at least 165288 and in Nuremberg from at least 1668. An anatomical amphitheatre was built in Nuremberg in 1699.89 There are also examples of anatomical theatres being founded by territorial states as part of their efforts to reform the supervision and administration of the different kinds of medical practitioners. These include (1689)90 and (1713/1724)Theatrum Anatomicum Berolinense um 1730. In Brandenburg-Prussia, the medical edict of 1725 introduced compulsory courses in anatomy for physicians and surgeons at the theatrum anatomicum in the capital. These courses were a prerequisite gaining a practicing licence from then on.91

    The Institutional Integration of Anatomical Theatres

    Particularly in university contexts, anatomical theatres were usually part of a specific medical and medicinal infrastructure, which included botanical gardens and natural history collections.92 In the 16th century, interest in researching nature meant that the structure of the human body became an object of investigation and description similar to plants and other objects of the physical world. The results of these efforts were recorded in texts and published with illustrating diagrams. In order to have the necessary observation and teaching materials available at any time, the universities of Padua and established botanical gardens around 1543 as the first universities to do soÜbersichtsplan des botanischen Gartens zu Padua 1591.93 As with the preservation of anatomical specimens, the establishment of herbariaHerbarbeleg Athyrium filix-femina made observation materials available regardless of the time of year. North of the , anatomical theatres and botanical gardens were sometimes established together, for example in Basel, LeidenHortus botanicus Leiden Woudanus 1610 and Uppsala. Natural history collections usually started out of private initiatives. However, specific collections were also assembled at anatomical theatres, for example in Leiden,94 the objects of which were not only used in academic teaching throughout the year, but were also viewed by visitors from the locality and further afieldTheatrum Anatomcium zu Leiden.

    In addition to their connections with universities, anatomical theatres were also usually closely connected with hospitals, which were usually run by the local authorities. For example, the statutes of the university of Salamanca from 156195 specified that six complete dissections of the whole body were to be carried out at the anatomical theatre annually, which were to be supplemented by twelve partial dissections at the General Hospital and the Hospital del Estudio – two each of the head, the eyes, the kidneys, the heart, the muscles and the blood vessels of the arm. In Leiden, anatomical dissections were temporarily performed at the hospital around the middle of the 17th century. These developed as part of a collegium medico-practicum for students of medicine at St Cecilia's HospitalThe Inner Court of the St Caecilia Hospital in Leiden IMG and had their origins in a practice intended to determine the causes of diseases. These dissections were performed by the professor of anatomy in the mortuary of the hospital in addition to the public demonstrations at the theatrum anatomicum.96

    The Public Demonstration at the Anatomical Theatre

    In the anatomical theatre, anatomists had found a space in which they were primarily able to hold overview lectures in front of a large audience demonstrating the anatomy of the human body as a whole. These events also offered the opportunity to prove specialist arguments publicly in front of an audience or to expound them forcefully.97 In both urban and university contexts, events of this kind also enabled also enabled academic physicians acting as anatomists to distinguish themselves from other professions, such as surgeons.98 The format of the public anatomical demonstration – though it was tailored to a select audience – was as suited to the context of a university curriculum as it was to the training regime of a guild, or a municipal or state licencing system of professional approbation. The diversity of the target groups of these events is demonstrated not least by the numerous letters of invitation to such events that survive from the 17th and 18th centuries. These invitations were issued to those beyond the immediate circle of the teacher and his students. While the academic audience of the university, which could be supplemented with representatives of the medical and administrative institutions of the city or state and other high-ranking personages, was invited to these university events in Latin,99 invitations in the vernacular were addressed to a broader public that included physicians and surgeons, but also painters, sculptors or just "alle Liebhaber der Anatomie" (all lovers of anatomy).100 In correspondence of this kind, the opportunity was often taken to explain in greater detail the general benefit of the anatomical demonstration, particularly for the practice of medicine and surgery, but also for the human understanding of God's creation and for the "general good" in the broader sense.101 These invitations and other publications gave the public dissection as an investigation of the human body a higher meaning, and depicted it as having a higher purpose that went beyond the dissemination of practically applicable anatomical knowledge. They advanced a strong justification of the anatomia publica, reflecting also religious and ethical considerations. Consequently, the anatomia publica is sometimes described as an event with the twofold function of a teaching event and a theatrically enacted sacred ritual.102 In some cases, the focus is solely placed on the performative aspect of the anatomia publica, which is then also interpreted as a "social event" and an "anatomical spectacle".103

    In the 17th century, the interior design of some anatomical theatres went beyond functionality and was rather stately, with elaborate décor and comfortable seating, such as at the university of Bologna.104 In addition to their interiors, some anatomical theatres also exhibited a deliberately representative architecture, chosen so that the building would hold its own among the institutions of the city and reflect the status of the associated professions in relation to other professional groups. This was certainly the case with the Amphithéatre anatomique in Paris, a free-standing anatomical theatre completed in 1694 that King Louis XIV (1638–1715) commissioned for the surgeons of the city.105 Finally, anatomical theatres with their collections became attractive travel destinations106 and featured in descriptions of the respective cities107. It is no coincidence that publishers of anatomical works often included idealized depictions of anatomical theatres, which featured as frontispieces in several anatomical treatises and in illustrated anatomical textbooks and atlases.108 In a sense, the image of the anatomical theatre represented the rising prestige that anatomy had experienced as a scientific and academic discipline during the 16th and 17th centuries.

    The Anatomical Theatre in the Transition to the Anatomical Institute

    The success of the discipline of anatomy was based in no small part on its turning towards functional aspects, such as the discovery by William Harvey (1578–1657) of blood circulation, and the description of micro-anatomical structures. The study of these phenomena occurred outside of public events at anatomical theatres and also in private circles.109 Similarly, a rising awareness of pathological changes in dead patients led to an increasing interest in conceptualizing a new field of pathological anatomy. Anatomical knowledge was also necessary for autopsies carried out for legal reasons, such as to establish whether particular wounds were the cause of death.110 In this context, there were increasing demands from the second half of the 17th century for specialized anatomical training for physicians and surgeons. This led to fundamental changes in anatomical theatres from the 18th century onwards. Among criticism of anatomical theatres was the argument that anatomical structures could not be observed in detail at the customary anatomia publica. This resulted in calls for students to be allowed to dissect corpses themselves.111 A prerequisite for this kind of student dissection,112 was the providing of a sufficient number of cadavers. Local and state authorities responded to the growing demand for cadavers in a variety of ways, including expanding the categories of people from which corpses could be sourced for anatomical teaching at anatomical theatres. While previously it had primarily been the corpses of people executed for crimes that were used, now the corpses of people who had died by suicide, the corpses of mothers of illegitimate children who had died in childbirth, the corpses of people who had died homeless without next of kin, and the bodies of inmates of poorhouses and workhouses were also used. It now became compulsory for the corpses of people from specific socially marginal groups to be handed over for dissection regardless of place of residence. In many places, this led to protests by next of kin and considerable conflict.113 Due to the high demand particularly among foreign students, a varied array of private dissections for students emerged around the hospitals in Paris.114 In England, numerous privately-run anatomy schools emerged during the 18th century. In Berlin, a comparatively large volume of student dissections and overview lectures on anatomy were integrated into the teaching schedule of the anatomical theatre. The cadavers required were primarily sourced from among those who had received charitable support from the Königliches Armendirektorium (Royal Directorate for the Poor). As a result, the layout of the theatre had to be adjusted accordingly, as new rooms were needed for dissection classes and for storing the cadavers or coffins. The emergence of these different spaces in the anatomical theatre in the 18th century – an auditorium with connected dissection and preparation rooms or halls, as well as collection rooms – prepared the way for the emergence of anatomical institutes in medical faculties, which occurred in the 19th century.


    It has been shown that the history of the anatomical theatre is closely connected with the general development of the discipline of anatomy and with the teaching of anatomy. From the 14th century onward, the anatomia publica increasingly established itself in Europe as a central teaching format that was clearly defined by statutes. The spatial requirements of this form of teaching, which occurred in front of a larger audience, were to a great extent satisfied by the construction of anatomical theatres. However, the anatomical theatre was more than just a site for holding an annually recurring ritual. The anatomia publica in the anatomical theatre served to disseminate both knowledge of a natural philosophical kind and religiously connoted references, but also practically applicable anatomical knowledge for the daily practice of physicians, surgeons and midwives, as well as for forensic medicine. Additionally, public dissections stood always in distinct relationship with "private" forms of dissection, particularly in hospitals. The latter provided opportunities for more detailed study, particularly of bodies that had been altered by disease. The various configurations and connections of the anatomical theatre, and the diversity of the university, guild, urban and state contexts in which these institutions were established and maintained give scope for a broad range of questions for historical, medical-historical and cultural-studies research. In addition to approaches focusing on institutional history and the history of ideas, the culture of collecting and preserving that flourished at the anatomical theatres also attracts the interest of material culture studies and praxeological approaches in particular. Finally, the supply and use of human bodies for medical teaching and research in and at the anatomical theatre point to discussions that continue up to the present day, the ethical implications of which remain as current as ever.

    Marion Mücke and Thomas Schnalke



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    1. ^ Zedler, Großes Universal-Lexicon (43) 1745, cols. 458–461 ("illustrious place at which hired people perform or present all kinds of tragic, comic and singing performances and other things suitable for public display" transl. by N. Williams).
    2. ^ Zedler, Großes Universal-Lexicon (43) 1745, col. 462 ("a public building that is constructed and furnished not only so that anatomy can be publicly taught there, but also demonstrations performed on dead bodies and specimens stored" transl. by N. Williams).
    3. ^ A distinction must be made between teaching dissections and dissections that were carried out for medical, and particularly forensic purposes, specifically for establishing the cause of death. There are records of the latter from as early as the 13th century. On the forms of dissections of human corpses, see: Groß / Schweikardt / Schäfer, Die Zergliederung toter Körper 2010 and Brugger / Kühn, Sektion der menschlichen Leiche 1979.
    4. ^ On this, see: Baader, Mittelalterliche Medizin 1982.
    5. ^ For an introduction to the copious literature on the history of anatomy and dissection in the classical period, see: Wittern, Die Anfänge der Anatomie 1995; Baader, Sektion und Vivisektion 1968; Edelstein, Geschichte der Sektion 1932.
    6. ^ See: Stefenelli, Einwände gegen die Sektion 1998. – On the concept of dissection being taboo in the medieval period, which has repeatedly featured in the research literature, see: Park, The Criminal and the Saintly Body 1994, with references to the practice of family members, relatives and members of a university being dissected by physicians in the 14th century, for which there is historical evidence.
    7. ^ See: Diepgen, Der Kirchenlehrer Augustin 1951, pp. 208f.
    8. ^ On the general development of medical faculties at universities during the medieval period, see the overview in: Siraisi, Die Medizinische Fakultät 1993.
    9. ^ See: Artelt, Älteste Nachrichten 1940, pp. 18–19 and Siraisi, Taddeo Alderotti and his Pupils 1981, pp. 112f.
    10. ^ Wittern, Kontinuität und Wandel in der Medizin 1999, pp. 554–558.
    11. ^ Wittern, Kontinuität und Wandel in der Medizin 1999, p. 555.
    12. ^ See the overview in: Nauck, Zur Chronologie und Topographie der Lehranatomien 1959.
    13. ^ For an analysis of the illustration, see: Bylebyl, Interpreting the Fasciculo Scene 1990.
    14. ^ On the provisions contained in the statutes of the medical faculties in Bologna and Padua regarding the anatomia publica, see: Ferrari, Public Anatomy 1987 and Bylebyl, Interpreting the Fasciculo Scene 1990, pp. 308–316; on public anatomical demonstrations in Rome, see: Carlino, Books of the Body 1994; on conditions in Venice, where dissections were carried out jointly by the Collegium Medicorum and the Collegium Chirurgorum in the first half of the 16th century, see: Palmer, The Studio of Venice 1983, particularly p. 46.
    15. ^ On the difference between the term "öffentlich" in German usage, which refers to noticeability and visibility, and the varied use of the Latin term "publicus", which rather than the level of visual-medial perception refers specifically to the political-social functional level and is commonly used in this sense in the Romance languages and English, see: Moos, "Öffentlich" und "privat" im Mittelalter 2004, pp. 10–11. On the meaning and shift in meaning of the German term "öffentlich" in the German-speaking world in the 17th century "weg von dem 'allen Zugänglichen' hin zum 'obrigkeitlich Sanktionierten'" ("away from 'accessible to all' and towards 'sanctioned by the authorities'"), see: Schiewe, Öffentlichkeit 2004, particularly pp. 28–34, quote on p. 32. This must be distinguished from the concept of "public" developed primarily by Jürgen Habermas, which is centrally based on medially disseminated communications processes. – On this, see for example the overview in: Mauelshagen, Öffentlichkeit und Vernetzungen 2009.
    16. ^ See Carlino, Books of the Body 1994, pp. 92–98.
    17. ^ According to the statutes of the university of Bologna, physicians and students were only allowed to receive cadavers with the permission of the head of the university, see: Statuti dell'Università di Medicina e d'Arti del 1405, Rubr. 96, pp. 289. In Rome, from the 16th century onthe permission was needed firstly of the papal vicar, and secondly of the senator or governor. On the statutes of the Collegium Medicorum Almae Urbis in Rome from 1584, see Carlino, Books of the Body 1994, p. 78.
    18. ^ See the statutes of the Collegium Medicorum Almae Urbis in Rome from 1584, in: Carlino, Books of the Body 1994, p. 78.
    19. ^ According to the statutes in Padua from 1496 for example, the physicians present were only permitted to speak after the dissection had been completed, see: Bylebyl, Interpreting the Fasciculo Scene 1990, p. 311.
    20. ^ Bylebyl, Interpreting the Fasciculo Scene 1990, pp. 309–311, explains citing the statutes of Padua (1496) that a doctor extraordinarius as the lector or rezitator read from Mundino dei Liuzzi's work on anatomy, while an experienced professor ordinarius served as a demonstrator, pointing out the anatomical structures in the cadaver, and a teacher of surgery performed the dissection. In Venice, by contrast, a high-ranking member of the Collegium Medicorum read from Mundino's Anathomia, while another member explained the text and instructed the dissector, who was usually chosen from among the surgeons. On this, see: Bylebyl, Interpreting the Fasciculo Scene 1990, p. 312. According to the description of Carlino (Books of the Body 1994, pp. 85f.), in Rome the roles were the reverse of those in Padua. In Rome, the role of the lector was performed by a prominent person.
    21. ^ See: Singer, Das Zusammenfließen 1969 and Baader, Antikerezeption 1984.
    22. ^ For an overview of the period from 1502 to 1545, see: Lind, Studies in Pre-Vesalian Anatomy 1975, p. 19.
    23. ^ On this, see: Baader, Antikerezeption 1984, p. 64.
    24. ^ See for example Galen's discussion of the dissection of the brain using the bodies of apes in: Galen, On Anatomical Procedures 1962, p. 10.
    25. ^ There are numerous references to Herophilus by Galen, for example Galen, On Anatomical Procedures 1962, pp. 163, 189, 228; specifically on the dissection of human corpses by Herophilus, see: Galen: Über die Anatomie der Gebärmutter 1971, p. 43.
    26. ^ Lind uses the term "pre-Vesalian anatomy" to summarize the period from 1490 to 1545, see: Lind, Studies in Pre-Vesalian Anatomy 1975, p. 3.
    27. ^ Information on the life of Alessandro Benedetti is inconsistent. References in the secondary literature to professorships that he is said to have held at various times in Bologna and Padua have recently been called into question. – On the bibliography of Alessandro Benedetti's biography, see in particular: Lind, Studies in Pre-Vesalian Anatomy 1975, pp. 69–80. On his having been a lecturer in Bologna, see: Lind, Studies in Pre-Vesalian Anatomy 1975, p. 69; on his teaching activity in Padua, which presumably never occurred, see: Rößler, Kunst des Augenscheins 2012, p. 205, and note 7 with reference to Ferrari, L'esperienza del passato 1996, pp. 164ff.
    28. ^ See: Palmer, The Studio of Venice 1983, p. 9; Ferrari, Public Anatomy 1987, p. 57.
    29. ^ Palmer, The Studio of Venice 1983, p. 4.
    30. ^ Translations are offered in: Lind, Studies in Pre-Vesalian Anatomy 1975, pp. 81–137 (English) and Ferrari, Alessandro Benedetti 1998 (Latin/Italian).
    31. ^ The relevant catalogues contain no information on earlier print editions from 1493 and 1497 that are referred to in the literature, for example in: Richter, Das Anatomische Theater 1977, p. 24 and Underwood, The Early Teaching of Anatomy 1963, p. 6. However, the copy of the 1502 edition in the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek contains a letter of dedication to Jacobus Antiquarius of Milan from 1493 and another letter of dedication to King Maximilian (1459–1519), who later became Holy Roman Emperor, from 1497. – On the year of publication, see in particular: Lind, Studies in Pre-Vesalian Anatomy 1975, p. 76.
    32. ^ From the translation in Lind, Studies in Pre-Vesalian Anatomy 1975, p. 137; for the original text, see: Ferrari, Alessandro Benedetti 1998, pp. 348, 350.
    33. ^ For a German translation of this chapter, see: Carmichael / Ratzan, Medizin in Literatur und Kunst 1994, pp. 78f.
    34. ^ "A temporary dissecting theatre must be constructetd […] with seats placed in a hollow semicercle such as can been seen at Rome and Verona […]“. (From the translation in: Lind, Studies in Pre-Vesalian Anatomy 1975, S. 83.)
    35. ^ Richter, Das Anatomische Theater 1977, p. 24 also translates the title of the first chapter so as to suggest that Benedetti was referring to temporary theatres. However, Castiglioni 1952, p. 1928 assumes that he was referring to a "permanent fixed building".
    36. ^ The term "circumcaveatis" has been translated in different ways in the secondary literature. For example, in Castiglioni, Die Anfänge der Medizinschule von Padua 1952, p. 1928 and Underwood, The Early Teaching of Anatomy 1963, p. 6 it has been translated as "im Kreis angeordnet" (arranged in a circle), and "seats fashioned in a circle". Cetto has already pointed out (Wolff-Heidegger / Cetto, Die anatomische Sektion in bildlicher Darstellung 1967, p. 67, note 2) that the amphitheatres in Rome and Verona referred to by Benedetti were oval in plan. We suggest as a translation "surrounding spectator space", which surrounds an enclosed space regardless of its specific shape, derived from: circum, meaning “around”, and cavea, meaning among other things “spectator space”.
    37. ^ Doubts have been expressed that such a temporary theatrum anatomicum had actually been constructed during Benedetti's life by Wolff-Heidegger / Cetto, Die anatomische Sektion in bildlicher Darstellung 1967, p. 67 among others. Richter, Das Anatomische Theater 1977, p. 24 views Benedetti's description as being convincingly realistic. Regardless of this question, Giovanna Ferrari suspects that "das Krankenhaus zu Petrus und Paulus in Venedig, in dem jährlich die Sektion des medizinisch-chirurgischen Kollegs vorgenommen wurde, auch der Schauplatz für Benedettis Demonstrationen war" ("the Hospital of St Peter and St Paul in Venice, in which the annual dissections of the medical-surgical college were performed, was also the site of Benedetti's demonstrations"), quoted from Rößler, Kunst des Augenscheins 2012, p. 206, note 10.
    38. ^ On Charles Estienne, see: Rath, Charles Estienne, Zeitgenosse und Konkurrent Vesals 1967, on the biography of Estienne referred to below, see in particular ibid., pp. 145f.; Rath, Charles Estienne: Contemporary of Vesalius 1964; Rath, Charles Estienne. Anatom im Schatten Vesals 1955.
    39. ^ Stephanus, De dissectione partium corporis humani libri 1545, p. 347. – This work already existed in 1539 and was published in French in 1546.
    40. ^ Estienne, Dissection des parties du corps humain 1546, p. 374.
    41. ^ These notes are contained with an English translation in: Eriksson, Andreas Vesalius' First Public Anatomy at Bologna 1540, 1959.
    42. ^ The Tabulae anatomicae and a revised edition of Institutiones anatomicae by Johann Winter von Andernach (also known as Johannes Guinter, 1505–1574) were published in 1538. In a letter on bloodletting in 1539, Vesalius made his contribution to the discussion on venesection, which was very controversial at that time.
    43. ^ O'Malley, Andreas Vesalius of Brussels 1964, p. 100.
    44. ^ For a summary with individual examples, see: Mani, Vesals erste Anatomie in Bologna 1960.
    45. ^ According to Heseler, the event took place in the rooms in which the deans of medicine were also elected. Based on corresponding provisions in the faculty statutes, Eriksson, Andreas Vesalius' First Public Anatomy at Bologna 1540, 1959, p. 306, note 1 identified these rooms as being in the Church of San Francesco. For a general discussion of the common use of rented accommodation and the holding of exams and gatherings in churches and monasteries by the universities in Paris and Bologna, which initially had no premises of their own, see: Gieysztor, Organisation und Ausstattung 1993, p. 133.
    46. ^ On the venues and the opening ceremony, see the description by Heseler in: Eriksson, Andreas Vesalius' First Public Anatomy at Bologna 1540 1959, pp. 85, 87.
    47. ^ See: O'Malley, Andreas Vesalius of Brussels 1964, p. 344.
    48. ^ See ibid.
    49. ^ For a detailed interpretation of the depiction, see: Artelt, Titelbild zur "Fabrica", 1950/1951.
    50. ^ On conditions in the 17th century, see for example Urbanus, Statuta Collegii DD 1642, Cap. 49, pp. 64f., according to whom a lector, a dissector and a demonstrator had to be selected. – For a general discussion of this, see: Nutton, Representation and Memory in Renaissance Anatomical Illustration 1997, p. 67.
    51. ^ Staden, Anatomy as Rhetoric 1995, p. 49.
    52. ^ See: Vesalius, Fabrica 1543, p. 547.
    53. ^ See: O'Malley, Andreas Vesalius of Brussels 1964, pp. 342f.
    54. ^ Vesalius, Fabrica 1543, p. 548, see the translation in O'Malley, Andreas Vesalius of Brussels 1964, p. 343: "It is desirable that the body employed for public dissection be as normal as possible according to its sex and of medium age, so that you may compare other bodies to it as if to the statue of Policletus. In private dissections, which are undertaken very frequently, any body can be profitably employed because you will also be able to examine whatever its variations and consider the differences of bodies and the true nature of diseases." In a similar vein on public demonstrations, see also: Benedetti, Historia corporis humani 1998, p. 84. In his revised 1555 edition of Fabrica, Vesalius no longer made this distinction regarding private and public dissections. On this, see: Siraisi, Vesalius and Human Diversity 1994, p. 303.
    55. ^ See: Klestinec, Practical Experience in Anatomy 2010, p. 37 and Mandressi, Zergliederungstechniken und Darstellungstaktiken 2011, p. 55.
    56. ^ Carlino, Books of the Body 1994, pp. 188–193.
    57. ^ Already Galen speaks of taking the skeleton of a human corpse from a tomb that had been opened – by natural forces – see: Galen, On Anatomical Procedures 1999, p. 3. For medieval Europe, there is a record of criminal proceedings concerning a grave robbery in Bologna in 1318, see: Carlino, Books of the Body 1994, pp. 172f. Another grave robbery referred to in the literature was reported by Felix Platter in: Platter, Tagebuch (Lebensbeschreibung) 1536–1567, 1967, pp. 111f. While staying in Montpellier in 1554, he and some fellow students secretly dug up a number of freshly buried bodies in the graveyard at night. There is a reference to the trade in corpses in Paris in the early 18th century in the diary of Albrecht von Haller, in: Haller, Tagebuch 1727–1728, 1968, p. 61, who made a note of paying a gravedigger for a "cadaver". – On the theft and trade in bodies in the 17th and 18th centuries, see: Stukenbrock, Der zerstückte Cörper 2001, pp. 163–170.
    58. ^ See the study on the foundation of anatomical theatres in seven Spanish cities by Martinez-Vidal / Pardo-Tomas, Anatomical Theatres in Early Modern Spain 2005, on the scope of this comparative study, see p. 251–253. For an overview of the various sites and institutions of anatomical teaching with particular consideration of conditions in Paris and London, see: Cunningham, The Anatomist Anatomis'd 2010, pp. 97–119.
    59. ^ On the anatomical theatre in Salamanca, see: Martinez-Vidal / Pardo-Tomas, Anatomical Theatres in Early Modern Spain 2005, pp. 256–259.
    60. ^ On the prehistory of the first anatomical theatre constructed in Padua in 1584, see: Cynthia Klestinec, Theaters of Anatomy 2011, pp. 55–73, specifically p. 58.
    61. ^ On the spatial subdivision of the second theatrum anatomicum in Padua, see: Klestinec, Theaters of Anatomy 2011, pp. 97f. – In his posthumously published treatise Vidi Vidii de anatome corporis humani libri VII, Venice 1611, p. 13, Guido Guidi (1509–1569) envisaged an additional room beside the theatre containing "Hölzer, Feuer, warmes Wasser, Gefäße und alles andere dieser Art, was die Praxis erfordert" (wood, fire, warm water, containers and everything that was needed for the practice), quoted from the translation in Rößler, Kunst des Augenscheins 2012, p. 298.
    62. ^ See: Klestinec, Comportment and the Anatomy Theater 2007, pp. 443f.
    63. ^ Klestinec, Theatres of Anatomy 2011, pp. 102–104.
    64. ^ On the history of the foundation of the first theatre in Bologna, see: Ferrari, Public Anatomy 1987, pp. 72f, on the architecture of the second theatre, see: ibid., p. 76. – Based on differences in their construction, Richter, Das Anatomische Theater 1977, pp. 37–42, 55–62, classifies the anatomical theatre in Padua as a practical scientific theatre, and the one in Bologna as a stately theatre.
    65. ^ Little is known about the architecture of the anatomical theatre in Basel, see: Baggiolini, Stätten anatomischer Tätigkeit in Basel 1961. – Felix Platter studied in Montpellier from 1552 to 1557 and in his diary he describes in detail conditions at the medical faculty there, as well as the anatomical theatre and the botanical garden. In his various official capacities up to 1583, he is said to have dissected more than 50 corpses and also to have performed public dissections. – See: Huber, Felix Platters "Observationes" 2003, p. 88.
    66. ^ On the anatomical theatre in Leiden, see recently: Huisman, The Finger of God 2008.
    67. ^ See: Richter, Das Anatomische Theater 1977, pp. 45–49.
    68. ^ See: Zuidervaart, Het in 1658 opgerichte theatrum anatomicum te Middelburg 2009, p. 78.
    69. ^ See ibid.
    70. ^ See: Richter, Das Anatomische Theater 1977, p. 49.
    71. ^ See: Pielmeyer, Statuten der deutschen medizinischen Fakultäten 1981, pp. 65f., 69f.
    72. ^ See: Richter, Das Anatomische Theater 1977, p. 51.
    73. ^ See: ibid., pp. 52f.
    74. ^ There is a description of the anatomical theatre founded in 1685 in Bremen in the diary of Zacharias Conrad von Uffenbach (1683–1734), who viewed the premises in 1710, see: Uffenbach, Merkwürdige Reisen 1753–1754, vol. 2, pp. 189f.
    75. ^ On the foundation of the corporation of barbers and surgeons in Edinburgh in 1505 and the detailed provisions in the foundation statute, see: Dingwall, The History of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh 2005, particularly p. 21; for a reprint of the "Seal of Cause", see ibid., pp. 295–297.
    76. ^ See: Dobson / Walker, Barbers and Barber-Surgeons of London 1979, pp. 38–46.
    77. ^ John Caius studied among other places in Padua. He became a doctor of medicine there and lived there at the same time as Andreas Vesalius in the Casa degli Valli. – The critical attitude of the Galenist John Caius towards Andreas Vesalius is discussed in: O'Malley, The Relations of John Caius with Andreas Vesalius 1955; the work and medical-philological achievements of John Caius are honoured in: Nutton, Johan Caius and the Eton Galen 1985.
    78. ^ On the development of anatomical teaching in Amsterdam, see: Volkenandt, Rembrandt 2004, pp. 114–132.
    79. ^ Dobson / Walker, Barbers and Barber-Surgeons of London 1979, pp. 79–81.
    80. ^ Zuidervaart, Het in 1658 opgerichte theatrum anatomicum te Middelburg 2009, p. 78.
    81. ^ On this, see: Volkenandt, Rembrandt pp. 125f.
    82. ^ Nicolaes Tulp became famous as a result of the 1632 painting by Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669) entitled The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Tulp. – On Tulp’s work and understanding of science, see: Volkenandt, Rembrandt 2004, pp. 80–99.
    83. ^ On the life and work of Frederik Ruysch, see: Kooijmans, Death Defied 2011, on Ruysch's appointment as praelector anatomiae, see ibid., pp. 62–66.
    84. ^ On the training of surgeons in Amsterdam and the theoretical teaching that complemented the traditional training with a master surgeon, see: Volkenandt, Rembrandt 2004, pp. 117–125.
    85. ^ See: Stegemann, Der Hamburger Stadtphysikus Paul Marquard Schlegel 1994, p. 62.
    86. ^ See: Anonymus, Jubelfeier 1792, pp. 825f.
    87. ^ Thus, among the audience of the Nuremberg physician Christoph Jacob Trew (1695–1769) in 1726 were apprentice surgeons, midwives, apothecaries, as well as artists, illustrators, laypeople and scholars, see: Schnalke, Anatomie für Alle! 1995, pp. 55f.
    88. ^ See: Stegemann, Der Hamburger Stadtphysikus Paul Marquard Schlegel 1994, pp. 61, 68.
    89. ^ See: Anonymous, Jubelfeier 1792, pp. 825f.
    90. ^ In 1698, at the behest of the government under the Spanish king Charles II (1661–1700) and with the support of the licencing authority, the Protomedicato, an anatomical theatre was constructed at the general hospital in Madrid and an associated professorship was established. – See: Martinez-Vidal / Pardo-Tomas, Anatomical Theatres in Early Modern Spain 2005, pp. 261–264.
    91. ^ The anatomical theatre in Berlin was founded in 1713 for the anatomical training of physicians, surgeons and midwifes, and received its own professorship of anatomy. In 1724, a Collegium medico-chirurgicum was set up. According to a medical edict issued one year later, the members of the college were to offer a broad range of medical teaching in conjunction with the state licencing authorities and the military sanitary corps. Physicians could now no longer practise in Brandenburg-Prussia without having completed a course in anatomy at the theatrum anatomicum in Berlin. – See: Stürzbecher, Aus der Frühgeschichte der Berliner Anatomie 1963.
    92. ^ On this complex, see the articles in: Findlen, Anatomy Theatres 2006, and Findlen, Natural History 2006.
    93. ^ See: Engelhardt, Luca Ghini 2010, pp. 66–70.
    94. ^ On the investigation of the collection at the anatomical theatre in Leiden, its development and functions, see: Huisman, The Finger of God 2008, particularly pp. 38f. and 55–69, and Huisman, Resilient Collections 2015. On anatomical collections generally, see the recently published volume of Knoeff / Zwijnenberg, The Fate of Anatomical Collections 2015.
    95. ^ See: Martinez-Vidal / Pardo-Tomas, Anatomical Theatres in Early Modern Spain 2005, p. 258.
    96. ^ See: Huisman, The Finger of God 2008, p. 137.
    97. ^ On this, De Angelis, Demonstratio ocularis und evidentia 2011, p. 178 cites the example of the anatomist Constanzo Variolo (1543–1575) from Bologna. In April 1571, during a public dissection of the corpse of a condemned man he responded to the critique of his anatomy lessons by colleagues and sought to demonstrate his views on the corpse to convince the doubters.
    98. ^ On this, see for example: Stolberg, Eine anatomische Inszenierung 2011. – On the relationship between public dissections and the "self-fashioning" of physicians in the early modern period generally, see: Stolberg, Frühneuzeitliche Heilkunst 2004, p. 124.
    99. ^ In the Latin invitations, a greeting was often addressed to the civibus academicis, including the "akademischen Bürgern" (academic citizens) as members of the university. However, they were often directed at the viros literatos, scholars in general. – On this, see for example the collection of such invitations in: Brandmayr, Anatomia publica zu Gießen 1998, quotes on pp. 12, 32, 58 and 96.
    100. ^ For example, Joseph-Guichard Duverney (1648–1730) announced his anatomical demonstrations in the Jardin Royal in Paris with invitations in both French and Latin, see: Guerrini, Duverney's Skeleton 2003, pp. 600–601; see also the German invitation addressed to "Alle Liebhaber der Anatomie" (all lovers of anatomy) by Christian Maximilian Spener (1678–1714) inviting them to the opening of the anatomical theatre in Berlin in 1713.
    101. ^ See: Spener, Einladungsschrift 1713 and Trew, Vertheidigung der Anatomie 1729.
    102. ^ See: Cunningham, The Anatomist Anatomis'd 2010, pp. 47–55.
    103. ^ For example: Schott, Der Leichnam in medizinhistorischer Sicht 2007, pp. 54f. or Böhme, Der Körper als Bühne 2011, pp. 45f.; on how the audience was emotionally affected by the dissection display, see: Stockhorst, Das frühneuzeitliche theatrum anatomicum 2005, pp. 1097–1104.
    104. ^ See: Ferrari, Public Anatomy 1987, pp. 74–82.
    105. ^ On this, see the descriptions of the anatomical theatre of the Paris surgeons in Rue des Cordeliers in: Blondel, Architecture françoise 1752, pp. 84–89 with sketches and plan drawings, and Laget, L'Amphithéâtre de la Communauté des Chirurgiens de Paris 1998, p. 376. On the effects of competition between surgeons and physicians on the architecture of the anatomical theatre in Paris, see: Hottin, De la maison à l'amphithéâtre 2009, particularly pp. 10f.
    106. ^ These included for example Helmstedt (see Uffenbach, Merkwürdige Reisen 1753–1754, vol. 1, pp. 182f.), Bremen (see Uffenbach, Merkwürdige Reisen 1753–1754, vol. 2, pp. 189–190), Groningen (see ibid., pp. 262–264), Franeker (see ibid., p. 287), Barber and Surgeons Hall, London (see ibid., pp. 570f.) and Oxford (see Uffenbach, Merkwürdige Reisen 1753–1754, vol. 3, pp. 110–118, p. 137), Rotterdam (see ibid., pp. 309–313), Leiden (see ibid., pp. 438–453), Amsterdam (see ibid., pp. 545–548). The diaries of Albrecht von Haller on his travels in Germany, Holland and England in the period 1723–1727 also mention Leiden (see Haller, Tagebuch 1883, pp. 40, p. 111), Hanover (see ibid., p. 68), Halle (see ibid., pp. 75f.), and Helmstedt (see ibid., p. 82).
    107. ^ On the anatomical theatre in Leiden for example, see: Orlers, Beschrijvinge der Stad Leyden 1614, pp. 147–149; for Berlin, see for example: Nicolai, Beschreibung der Königlichen Residenzstädte Berlin und Potsdam, 1st edition. 1769, p. 109, 2nd edition. 1779, vol. 2, p. 513, 3rd edition. 1786, vol. 1, p. 171.
    108. ^ For example, see the frontispieces reproduced in: Wolff-Heidegger / Cetto, Die anatomische Sektion in bildlicher Darstellung 1967, no. 155 (p. 477), no. 156 (p. 477), no. 157 (p. 477), no. 179 (p. 484), no. 213, (p. 496), no. 313 (p. 562).
    109. ^ See: Huisman, The Finger of God 2008, pp. 6–87; on the development in Bologna, see: Ferrari, Public Anatomy 1987, p. 90.
    110. ^ As an example of the significance of pathological observations, see the work Sepulchretum sive anatomia practica, ex cadaveribus morbo denatis published by Théophile Bonet, in which he gathers together about 3000 such reports taken from the medical literature that existed in his time. The necessity of expert anatomical knowledge for forensic examinations was emphasized by the Leipzig municipal physician and professor of medicine Gottfried Welsch (1618–1690).
    111. ^ See for example the critique in: François, Réformation de la médecine 1716, p. 157: "Mais dans les cours d'Anatomie qu'on fait publiquement il n'y a que peu de personnes qui puisse remarquer exactement la disposition des parties." [transl. of N. Williams: But in the public courses on anatomy there are more than a few people for whom it is important to be able to see the exact configuration of the [body] parts.].
    112. ^ See: Gelfand, The "Paris Manner" of Dissection 1972, for example p. 110.
    113. ^ See: Stukenbrock, Der zerstückte Cörper 2001, pp. 206–210.
    114. ^ See: Gelfand, The "Paris Manner" of Dissection 1972, pp. 111–130.

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