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Estienne spinal cord detail, 1546

Spinal cord images, La dissection des parties du corps humain, 1546

In "Neuroanniversary 2008," Paul Eling gave readers of the Journal of the history of Neuroscience, a  chronology of people and ideas to celebrate that year. The following entry for 1564 in "Neuroanniversary 2014," the sixth and latest chronology in his series, sent me back to the books to discover more on the scientific firsts in  Estienne and Riviere's La dissection des parties du corps humain diuisee en trois liures, Paris : Simon de Colines, 1546. 

1564 ...
“Charles Estienne (1504–1564) studied, simultaneously with Vesalius, in Paris. He produced an atlas De dissectione partium corporis humani libri tres (1545) in which he described a canal through the entire length of the spinal cord, which had not been suspected by contemporaries.” Eling, Paul. "Neuroanniversary 2014." J Hist Neurosci. 23, no. 1 (2014): 83.

The first edition in Latin of this atlas (1545) has the description of the spinal cord on page 336 and the illustrations and explanation fof Figure 1 starting on 338. I had failed to notice the  anatomical description of the canal in the spinal cord with the two very striking illustrations. Figure 1 and 2 aboe  are from page 366 of the Tyler collection copy of our 1546 French edition. Estienne's description of the spinal cord starts on page 364.


A look at our bibliographies including Garrison-Morton and heirs of Hippocrates revealed other scientific firsts in the 1545 Latin  and 1546 French editions. 


Alberto Caggiati, Piero Bertocchi, "Regarding “Fact and fiction surrounding the discovery of the venous valves” Journal of Vascular Surgery, Volume 33, Issue 6, June 2001, Pages 1317

Ebling, Paul, "Neuroanniversary 2014,"Journal of the history of Neuroscience Volume 23, Issue 1, February 2014: 83.

* Please note: Becker Briefs pages may contain links, email addresses or information about resources which are no longer current.