Never before has such a history of the pancreas been presented. From antiquity until today, "rediscovery", translation and sequential presentation, in step with cultural changes in society, make this a unique contribution. Only from the perspective of the two octogenarian-authors could such a narrative have been produced. Discoveries resulting either from chance observation or careful scientific inquiry "come alive" as the authors present not only the people who made them but the setting in which they occurred.
*From the pre-Christian era of Asia Minor, to Greece, Rome, Europe and America, to the explosive progress in Japan, the dreams, near-misses and great discoveries have been traced to their sources.
*The great discoveries of the anatomists, WirsŁng, Santorini, Oddi, Vater and their colleagues have been recreated from their original reports.
*Physiology is traced through the discovery of the digestive enzymes; the islets, by the Berlin student for whom they were named; the hormones, beginning with the dramatic discoveries of insulin, gastrin and their fascinating tumors.
*Diseases of the pancreas, particularly pancreatitis and cancer, but also congenital anomalies and trauma, are described from the era preceding the microscope to the dawn of the 21st Century.
*The explosive developments of imaging, diagnosis and pancreatic transplantation are presented, leading to the development of the challenging field of Pancreatology - its science and clinical practice.
*Finally the authors, having spent many years distilling the contribution of the giants of the past and present, present a thought provoking Chapter entitled "Lessons from History and their Application to the Future".