Anatomical Theatres and the Teaching of Anatomy in Early Modern Spain

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Anatomical Theatres and the Teaching of Anatomy in Early Modern Spain

Medical History
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Medical History, 2005, 49: 251–280 Anatomical Theatres and the Teaching of Anatomy in Early Modern Spain �AALVAR MARTI´NEZ-VIDAL and JOSE´ PARDO-TOMA´S* Introduction The knowledge and interpretation of the practice of anatomy in the Renaissance have recently undergone a profound change. To a large extent, this is the result of new directions taken in the social and cultural history of medicine since the late 1970s.1 In the last decade, several important works have been published, which are undeniable evidence of this historiographical change.2 However, there has as yet been no attempt to produce a synthetic view of all this new work, in which there is not always agreement. Such a synthesis would undoubtedly produce an interpretation of Renaissance anatomy very different from the traditional one. We believe that in order to reach a more complete understanding of this subject, the historian must look at countries and cities that have until now been seen as of little importance, and aspects that have been considered only tangentially. This article studies both these features. On the one hand, it draws on new sources in order to place the practice of anatomy in the Hispanic kingdoms within the wider European perspective;3 on the other, # �AAlvar Martı´nez-Vidal and Jose´ Pardo-Toma´s 2005 * �AAlvar Martı´nez-Vidal, MD, PhD (Centre d’Estudis d’Hist�ooria de les Ci�eencies, Universitat Aut�oonoma of Barcelona), Jose´ Pardo-Toma´s, PhD (Department d’Hist�ooria de la Ci�eencia, Institucio´ ‘‘Mila` i Fontanals’’, CSIC, Barcelona). Address for correspondence: �AAlvar Martı´nez-Vidal; Jose´ Pardo-Toma´s, CSIC, Carrer Egipcı´aques, 15, E-08001 Barcelona (Spain); e-mail: [email protected] We are grateful to Miguel Toma´s-Valiente, Paz Jorda`-Rodrı´guez and Caroline Tonson-Rye for the English translation, and to Enrique Perdiguero and Maurizio Rippa Bonati for their comments and suggestions. Of course, any errors that remain are our own. 1 As regards anatomy es

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