History task 2: Renaissance


Renaissance Medicine


His influence

Progress in the work of anatomy was made because of the work of Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564.)

  • He did his own dissections and published drawings of his work.
  • He found errors in Galen's anatomical work, but didn't reject Galen's work publicly at first.
  • He published 'The Fabric of the Human Body' and rejected Galen's idea that blood passed through the septum.
  • He criticised the current method of bleeding.
  • However, he didn't offer any new theories about the causes or cures of disease.                                                                                             

His failures

  • Even with Vesalius' findings, treatments throughout the 16th century continued to be based on the four humours, Hippocrates and Galen.
  • Vesalius' findings had little impact on the treatment of illness.
  • There was a wide range of alternatives to physicians for the majority of the population who used bleeding, herbal remedies and astrology.
1 of 2

Renaissance Medicine 2


In 1603, the valves in veins were discovered by Geronimo Fabricus.                                                                                                                       

William Harvery (1573-1657) studied at Padua under Fabricus until 1602.                                                                                                            

Harvey did comparitive studies on animals and humans, and also dissected animals to find out about how the heart worked. He then began to apply his findings to humans.                                                                                                        

As a result of these findings, he was able to prove that Galen was wrong about blood passing through the circulation of the blood. He also identified the different between veins and arteries.                                                                                           

Harvery also showed how the heart acts as a pump and passes blood through the lungs.                                                                                                               

These discoveries were an important turning point in the dvelopment of anatomy. However, they didn't really change surgery or medical treatment in general. 

2 of 2


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all Medicine through time (OCR History A) resources »