The Circulation of the Blood

Front Cover
Cosimo, Inc., May 1, 2006 - Medical - 268 pages
1 Review
If the pulsations of the arteries fan and refrigerate the several parts of the body as the lungs do the heart, how comes it, as is commonly said, that the arteries carry the vital blood into the different parts, abundantly charged with vital spirits, which cherish the heat of these parts, sustain them when asleep, and recruit them when exhausted? and how should it happen that, if you tie the arteries, immediately the parts not only become torpid, and frigid, and look pale, but at length cease even to be nourished?-from the IntroductionThis seminal work of medical literature, first published in 1628, spells out in clear, lucid language how the human heart pumps blood around the body via its own exclusive circulatory route. What seems like an obvious concept to us today was in fact quite revolutionary at the time: Harvey's defiance of the medical "common knowledge" of his time laid the groundwork for all modern investigations of the circulatory system, and may be the most momentous discovery of 17th-century medicine.This important volume also includes a series of letters from Harvey to his medical colleagues in which he defends his then-astonishing theories, plus Harvey's "The Anatomy of Thomas Parr," a fascinating 1635 report on the dissection of the corpse of "a poor farmer of extremely advanced age."OF INTEREST TO: readers of scientific history, medical studentsBritish naturalist, anatomist, and doctor WILLIAM HARVEY (1578-1657) was educated at Cambridge, Canterbury, and Padua, and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 1607. He served as court physician to both King James I and King Charles I.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

III
23
V
25
VI
29
IX
32
X
38
XI
43
XII
50
XIV
56
XXV
97
XXVII
112
XXVIII
176
XXX
177
XXXI
185
XXXII
186
XXXIV
194
XXXV
196

XV
59
XVI
65
XVIII
68
XIX
76
XX
79
XXI
86
XXII
87
XXIV
91
XXXVII
198
XXXVIII
200
XL
201
XLII
206
XLIII
213
XLIV
224
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 9 - I profess both to learn and to teach anatomy, not from books but from dissections; not from the positions of philosophers but from the fabric of nature...
Page 43 - Had anatomists only been as conversant with the dissection of the lower animals as they are with that of the human body, the matters that have hitherto kept them in a perplexity of doubt would, in my opinion, have met them freed from every kind of difficulty.
Page 24 - These views as usual, pleased some more, others less; some chid and calumniated me, and laid it to me as a crime that I had dared to depart from the precepts and opinions of all anatomists...
Page 26 - ... small fishes and of those colder animals where the organ is more conical or elongated. 3. The heart being grasped in the hand, is felt to become harder during its action. Now this hardness proceeds from tension, precisely as when the forearm is grasped, its tendons are perceived to become tense and resilient when the fingers are moved. 4. It may further be observed in fishes, and the...
Page 24 - For never yet hath any one attained To such perfection, but that time, and place, And use, have brought addition to his knowledge ; Or made correction, or admonished him, That he was ignorant of much which he Had thought he knew ; or led him to reject "What he had once esteemed of highest price.

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2006)

Born in Folkestone, Kent, England, Harvey was a British physiologist whose discovery of the circulation of the blood drastically changed medicine. In fact, Harvey is generally regarded as the founder of modern physiology. The publication of his Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus (1628) was a landmark event, widely considered the most important medical book ever published. His observations of the heart's functions and blood flow were based on anatomical studies on cadavers, animals, and himself. The son of a wealthy businessman, Harvey was a student at Cambridge University, where he studied medicine. He completed his medical training at the leading European medical school of the period, Padua, where he was a student of the famous anatomist Girolamo Fabricius. When he completed his doctorate in medicine in 1602 he returned to London and was appointed physician to St. Bartholomew's Hospital. His reputation grew, and he was elected to the Royal College of Physicians, with which he was associated for the rest of his career. Ten years prior to the publication of his great work, he was appointed as a physician to James I. After the Scottish civil war and the demise of James I, Harvey returned to London and resumed his medical practice. He continued to observe animal life wherever he traveled and wrote two additional works on animal locomotion and comparative and pathological anatomy. However, it was the publication of his book on the circulation of the blood that assured him "a place of first importance in the history of science and medicine. By this discovery he revolutionized physiological thought" (Dictionary of Scientific Biography). His work also encouraged others to study anatomy. Harvey's personal library, which he donated to the London College of Physicians, was unfortunately destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666.

Bibliographic information