Book - History of embryology in Russia 1750 - 1850
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Blyakher L. History of embryology in Russia from the middle of the eighteenth to the middle of the nineteenth century (istoryia embriologii v Rossii s serediny XVIII do serediny XIX veka) (1955) Academy of Sciences USSR. Institute of the History of Science and Technology. Translation Smithsonian Institution (1982).
Publishing House of the Academy of Science USSR
Translated from Russian
Translated and Edited by:
Dr. Hosni Ibrahim Youssef # Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Cairo University
Dr. Boulos Abdel Malek
Head of Veterinary Research Division
Arab Republic of Egypt
The Smithsonian Institution and the National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C, by The Al Ahram Center for Scientific Translations 1982
The Smithsonian Institution and the National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C by The Al Ahram Center for Scientific Translations (1982)
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Academy of Sciences USSR
Institute of the History of Science and Technology
A. N. Severtsov Institute of Animal Morphology
L. Ya. Blyakher
History of Embryology in Russia from the Middle of the Eighteenth to the Middle of the Nineteenth Century
(Istoryia Embriologii v Rossii s serediny XVIII do serediny XIX veka)
Institute of the History of Science and Technology
A. N. Severtsov Institute of Animal Morphology
L. Ya Blyakher
Editor: G. A. Shmidt
With an Introduction by Jane Maienschein
Publishing House of the Academy of Science USSR
- The Beginning of Embryological Investigations in Russia in Lomonosov's Epoch
- Preformation or New Formation?
- Kaspar Friedrich Wolff and Substantiation of the Theory of Epigenesis
- The "Theory Of Generation" of K. F. Wolff
- Wolff's Treatise "On the Formation of the Intestine"
- Wolff's Teratological Works
- The Work of Wolff: "On the Special Essential Tower"
- The Ideology of Wolff
- The Theory of Epigenesis is in Russia at the End of the 18th Century
- The Development of Embryology in the Epoch of the Struggle of Russian Empirical Science Against Naturphilosophie
- Louis Tredern - The Forgotten Embryologist of the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century
- The Study of the Embryonic Membranes of Mammals - The Investigations of Ludwig Heinrich Bojanus
- The Discovery of Embryonic Layers - The Dissertation of Kh. I. Pander
- Outline of the Life and Scientific Activities of Karl Maksimovich Baer
- Baer's Treatise De Ovi Mammalium Et Hominis Genesi
- Appearance and Significance of Baer's Main Work Ober Entw I Cklungsgesch I Chte Der Thiere
- First Part of Uber Entw I Cklungsgesch I Chte - Development Of The Chicken in the Egg
- First Period of Chick Development
- The Second Period of Chick Development
- The Third Period of Chick Development
- Second Part Of Uber Entwicklungsgeschichte - Scholia and Corollaries to the History of Chicken Development in the Egg
- Theoretical Introduction to the Second Volume of Uber Entwicklungsgeschichte
- Third Part of Uber Entw I C Klungsgesch I Chte - Development of the Bird Egg and Embryo
- Third Part of Flber Entwi Cklungsgesch I Chte Continued - Development of Reptiles, Mammals, and Animals Deprived of Amnion and Yolk Sac
- Fourth Part of Uber Entwicklungsgeschichte - Studies on the Development of Man
- Baer's Teratological Works and his Embryological Reports, Related to the Period of his Work in Petersburg
- On the Question of Baer's Theoretical Views
- Investigations on Invertebrate Embryology - Work of A. Grube, A. D. Nordmann, N. A. Warnek, and A. Krohn
Illustrations To Blyakher, History Of Embryology In Russia
Introduction by Jane Maienschein
When Dr. Robert Multhauf asked me if I would consider editing this translation of Blyakher's volume, he warned that this was part of what seemed to him a most unusual scholarly project. Thanks to a somewhat mysterious and complicated government exchange program, the Smithsonian Institution and the National Science Foundation had been charged with overseeing the translation into English of several foreign language texts in the history of science. Upon the recommendation of experts, the volumes chosen included two by L. Blyakher, a Russian biologist. In particular, these Russian volumes, including THE HISTORY OF THE INHERITANCE OF ACQUIRED CHARACTERISTICS, edited by Frederick Churchill, and this one, were thought to present a valuable exposure to a Russian point of view in the history of science and to detail important episodes of Russian scientific history. Therefore, the translation began.
Following someone's recommendation, this particular volume went to Egypt to be translated by an anonymous translator. I admire the translator's patience in working through the detailed embryological descriptions. Unfortunately, however, the style of the English translation was infelicitous at best, and the translator evidently had trouble with proper names, German references, and embryological terms. My task, then, became to turn the prose into an acceptable style, to correct the names and terms to conform with standard English usage, and to check the references.
The fact that I do not read Russian, except for wordby-word translation with a dictionary, could have posed a fatal problem. But fortunately, the Dickinson College Library and work study office generously donated the services of work study student Lauri Wiener, who reads Russian and possesses the requisite active curiosity and healthy sense of humor. Together, Lauri and I checked the questionable phrases as well as a random sample of other passages to determine the accuracy of the translation. Except for some of the discussion
of German philosophy and a few embiyological descriptions, the translation appeared to us to be accurate. The fact that Blyakher's style is straightforward and essentially descriptive undoubtedly helped, since the translator could thus provide a rather literal translation without losing the content or warping the style significantly. The fact that many of the embryological terms had simply been transliterated from Latin or German into Russian and then back in accordance with standard international scientific terminology to make this translation, meant that the terms usually remained recognizable. Thus, although I make no pretense of certifying the precision of every detail of this translation, to my knowledge it is reasonably accurate at all points and represents Blyakher's content and style fairly closely. I very much appreciate Lauri Wiener's help in verifying and improving the translation.
Identifying some of the intended proper names and dates required a bit of detective work. Double transliteration or translation into Russian and then into English created much more trouble with some of the names than did translation of embryological terms. Names such as Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire or Cuvier produced mysterious and occasionally hilarious results, as the former became Izedor Zhefwar Tzent IJer, and the latter Kyuve. Joseph Needham became Nidzhem, Xeeuwenhoek became Lev'nhk, and so on. As might be expected, the more obscure names created the greatest difficulties, but with the help of the extraordinarily helpful and competent Dickinson College Interlibrary Loan staff, I managed to track down all but a couple of minor Russian figures to check spellings and dates. In questionable cases, I have used spellings from the Library of Congress National Union Catalog. And some names are left in Russian style, such as Karl Maksimovitch Baer (alias Karl Ernst von Baer, of course) to reflect the importance of Blyakher's claim that these men are essentially Russians. In this case, Karl Maksimovitch Baer is closer to the man's given name when he was born in Estonia.
References to published and unpublished materials provided even more trouble in some cases, though here, too, I was able to check and correct all except a few Russian references. A project of this type and magnitude naturally encourages some errors to creep in, so I expect that there
may be some imperfections in citations. Nonetheless, with the exception of some of the Russian articles, I have been able to verify dates, page numbers, and other significant reference data. Readers with access to a superior library should be able to locate most of the material Blyakher cites, though some of the unpublished Russian materials may well prove inaccessible as they did to me.
My other task in editing this volume lay in making the descriptive chapters on von Baer's UBER ENTWICKELUNGSGESCHICHTE useful, since Blyakher 's page number references to the Russian translation of von Baer's work would obviously not be particularly relevant for most readers of this English translation. Therefore, for the passages Blyakher quotes or cites, I identified page numbers of the German original edition, which has been reprinted recently. And where necessary I checked, corrected, and added the section references to UBER ENTWICKELUNGSGESCHICHTE. The references are thus: (volume, section, German page number) or (volume, section, Russian page number (German page number)). In addition, I corrected translation of the quotations where necessary to accord with more common English versions .
For other references to or quotations from German or English works, I made necessary corrections and substituted standard English versions where available since some passages had been distorted in the double translation.
At this point, the first round of editing was complete. Here Rosemary Regan enters the story. Ms. Regan, a marvelously competent and intelligent assistant to Dr. Multhauf, helped with typing some of the longer and messier chapters; she corrected errors in the entire draft, and she used her knowledge of editing and the history of science to polish details of style and terminology. I thank Rosemary for her considerable help and both Rosemary and Robert Multhauf for their continued encouragement and good humor.
With these acknowledgements and with the above caveats, I feel assured that this descriptive volume should be accurate and usable. Editing this has proven to be an unusual project, as Dr. Multhauf warned, but I feel, as he has felt, that the translated and edited volume can prove useful, as indicated in more detail below.
Outline of Blyakher's Work
In fact, this book represents only half of Blyakher's HISTORY OF EMBRYOLOGY IN RUSSIA, covering only the mid-eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth century. A brief discussion of the second volume, covering the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, appears in a review by Charles Bodemer in ISIS. While that second volume describes material less well-known to western historians of science and while it might therefore seem more valuable, this volume is intriguing in part precisely because it deals with apparently familiar figures and works from a different perspective which is distinctly, though on the whole not zealously, patriotically Russian. Blyakher claims that those recognized great embryologists, Kaspar Friedrich Wolff, Khristian Pander, and Karl Maksimovich Baer - heretofore considered German embryologists - were in fact distinctly Russian, and that their Russian connections define their scientific characters and help explain their successes in important ways. This Russian viewpoint is the first of the book's two major offerings.
The second lies in the description and catalog of essentially inaccessible works and the compiling of several descriptions into a single narrative index of sorts. Blyakher discusses works of major embryologists which can be located only with difficulty. For example, even though they appeared in German (which can be read by more English speakers than Russian can), many of the papers cited appeared in some of the little-circulated publications of the St. Petersburg Academy of Science. Thus, Blyakher provides new descriptions which he combines with discussion of other both major wellknown and relatively rare sources. Since many of these sources are little known, little circulated, inaccessible, or difficult to read because of the archaic scientific detail or descriptive style, Blyakher has performed a valuable service by describing them.
I will outline the chapters briefly as a guide to Blyakher's work, since this is a descriptive study which could use some index, and its indices have not been translated into English for logistical reasons.
In the INTRODUCTION, Blyakher explains that he will give "a detailed account of the history of Russian embryological investigations" to provide "exhaustive evidence (for) the frequently repeated claim that Russia is the fatherland of embryology as a science, that it developed from Russian soil and became one of the most important foundations of the evolutionary and historical view of the organic world." Embryology - meaning Russian embryology, of course - fell into three distinct periods, according to Blyakher: that of establishing epigenesis and making embryology possible as a science (Wolff) , that of discovering the embryonic layers and establishing the prerequisites for comparative embryological development (Pander and Baer) , and that of evolutionary embryological development (Alexander Kovalevsky and I.I. Mechnikov) . The first two periods form the focus of this volume, while the third is subject of his second volume. The following chapters amass "evidence" for his claim for Russian fatherhood primarily by describing the many accomplishments of native (and adopted) Russians and by showing how these actually were in some essential way Russian accomplishments.
CHAPTER 1 considers the early period, beginning with the late seventeenth and the early eighteenth century, the time of Peter I's reorganization in Russia. Peter wanted to encourage native-born and trained scientists, Blyakher tells us, and so the ruler established a significant teratological and embryological collection in the Kunstkamera to support native medical studies. Peter I initiated Russian interest in embryology, according to the author. And Mikhail Lomonosov stimulated serious embryological studies, drawing on those teratological and embryological collections. Lomonosov, like Wolff and other followers, began the modern era of experimentation, materialism, empiricism, and historical explanation, Blyakher asserts, without fully explaining what he means by each of those recurring terms. Despite his infrequent lapses into enthusiastic excesses, Blyakher convincingly establishes that there was early embryological interest in Russia, which has not been widely studied, and that historians of science should therefore explore the subject more seriously.
CHAPTER 2 discusses the preformation and new formation (alias epigenesis) exchanges. This chapter offers few new insights into these debates, but the reader should recall that Blyakher was writing in the early 1950 ! s and that his Russian audience was likely unfamiliar (or only recently familiar) with material which a western audience might find much more familiar. Blyakher' s listing of partisans on either side and his discussion of the issues here and in later chapters are essentially clear and potentially useful even if not profound.
CHAPTER 3 introduces that great adopted Russian, Kaspar Friedrich Wolff, who then provides the subject of Chapters 5-8 as well. Wolff deserves more credit than he has received (by 1955, remember), Blyakher asserts; everyone from Russian historians to German historians to Wolff's contemporaries have reportedly been consistent in their underestimation of Wolff's significance. Here, Blyakher becomes a bit zealous in his efforts to make Russian everyone and everything which seems good or important. He faults the Russian historian and biographer Boris Evgen'evic Raikov, for example, for suggesting that Wolff felt ideologically isolated after his move to Russia in 1767. Not the case, Blyakher insists. ". . .in Germany Wolff was not evaluated as a first class investigator and advanced thinker. This forced him to move to Russia, and therefore Germany does not have the right to claim Wolff's glory."
While Blyakher 's claim is silly as stated and while it might seem exaggerated and annoying to the modern historian of science, it may also reveal valuable insight. It would be well for historians of biology to recall that Wolff was little known in Germany; that he did move from Germany to Russia in 1767, albeit after much of his major embryological work had been completed and published; that his biographers have found the reasons for his move unclear; but that St. Petersburg did offer important collections of embryological and teratological specimens and that Wolff seems to have used them to advantage. Thus, perhaps St. Petersburg did offer an especially congenial environment for an embryologist who was an epigenesist, and perhaps the reasons should be better examined.
CHAPTER 4 provides a useful outline of Wolff's dissertation - both the original Latin of 1759 and the German, more "popular" version of 1764. The Latin criticized earlier epigenetic suggestions and reflected a great deal of respect for Haller, but Blyakher claims that Wolff appealed to Haller only because he sought the latter 's support and that Wolff consistently rejected any tendency toward Haller's preformationist views. In the German, Wolff provided an epigenetic discussion of development and expressed opposition to rigorously mechanical understandings of vital phenomena. Blyakher' s description of Wolff's work is valuable, but the reader should be aware that Blyakher has probably had to strain the data here more than elsewhere to support his thesis about Russian priorities in embryology and his view that Wolff was one of the Russian "good guys" on the progressive path to modern scientific embryology. Again, the reader should recall that this was published in 1955, just shortly after other Russian publications of histories of embryology and translated embryological works.
CHAPTER 5 remains somewhat more descriptive, providing a valuable discussion of Wolff's relatively rarely read ON THE FORMATION OF THE INTESTINE. Here begins Wolff's articulated disagreements with Haller over whether development occurs gradually and epigenetically or by unfolding of preformed material. "I consider it proven that the intestine is doubtlessly thus formed (by rolling of material) and did not exist previously in an invisible form, ready to appear at the appropriate moment, "wrote Wolff in opposition to Haller. Just because he could not see the parts early on does not mean that they could not exist already, Wolff realized, but he believed that in fact the parts are only formed as the result of a gradual process. Unfortunately, Wolff's work was little known, even after a translation into German appeared. Only much later was Wolff appreciated, according to Blyakher, and it took figures such as von Baer, the American biologist William Morton Wheeler, and the embryologist-historian of science Joseph Needham to evaluate properly Wolff's "fatal blow for preformation."
CHAPTER 6 considers Wolff's teratological work, performed after his move to Russia and based on the St. Petersburg collections in the Kunstkamera. These studies, published in Latin, have remained essentially unknown until recently. After arguing that God would not have created monsters, Wolff maintained that abnormalities must occur by epigenesis rather than preformation. Blyakher asserts that Wolff's discussion of God reflected his desire to "eliminate God from nature" and that any impression otherwise stems from Wolff's necessary conformity to prevailing popular opinion. But the reader should consider this claim sceptically, a warning reinforced by awareness of Blyakher 's efforts through the last few pages of the chapter to make Wolff a predecessor of modern embryology.
CHAPTER 7 presents Wolff's "essential power" as discussed in his commentary for the 1782 St. Petersburg Academy of Science prize competition for understanding nutritional power. In a paper of his own, Wolff responded to papers by Blumenbach and Born by discussing attractive and repulsive forces and the importance of forces as well as structure for organic animal development.
CHAPTER 8 addresses evaluation of Wolff's work by Kirchhoff (Wolff brought development from mystery to a science by establishing that organic life follows laws) and Raikov (Wolff was a materialist and denied the existence of Stahl's mystical "soul," an idealist but not a vitalist, stressing the primacy of material over soul) . Interestingly, given his retrospective tendencies elsewhere, Blyakher believes that Raikov distorts the proper historical perspective, and he sees Wolff as fluctuating between materialism and idealism. Consistently, Blyakher tries to show how major figures were predecessors of modern science even though they were sidetracked by errors of their day. Thus he is Whiggish in his history, but he is not completely ahistorical. It is not Wolff's fault that he could not do more, Blyakher apologizes; the backward times slowed Wolff's progress in Blyakher 's assessment. Thus, like earlier chapters, this chapter begins with useful description and references to relatively littleknown material and ends with a claim for Russian priority.
CHAPTER 9 argues that Wolff was essentially ignored but that Russian embryologists nonetheless began to accept epigenesis by the late eighteenth century. Blyakher discusses such figures as Johannes Beseke, Matvei Pekken, Nestor Maksimovich-Ambodik, and Aleksandr Radishchev, providing a valuable, though brief, introduction to each of these scientists.
CHAPTER 10 is perhaps the most significant in introducing a cast unfamiliar characters and unfamiliar material, and in providing original theoretical discussion. After establishing what Naturphilosophie means to him, Blyakher assesses the impact of German Naturphilosophie on Russian science; he concludes that Russians were generally not receptive to Schel ling's philosophy or to idealistic Naturphilosophie in general, even though some embryologists such as Danil Vallanski, Michael Pavlov, and others endorsed seemingly idealistic views. The Russian intelligentsia recognized the unreality of Naturphilosophie and the importance of materialism, Blyakher argues, and thus they moved toward a progressive empirical philosophy. Despite apparent flirtations with Naturphilosophie, therefore (as for von Baer) , Blyakher concludes that "the successful aspects of embryology in Russia were thus not connected with Naturphilosophie." Although once again consistently retrospective and apologetic for the seemingly imperfect progress of Russian science, Blyakher has in this chapter addressed the suggestion by others that Naturphilosophie may have directed Russian science and argues that it may have been seriously considered but then rejected or refined in "successful" Russian science. His discussion of those who did accept some form of idealistic philosophy is useful, as is his interpretative assessment of its limits.
CHAPTERS 11 AND 12 sketch, respectively, the contributions of transition figures Louis Tredern and Ludwig Bojanus. Tredern admittedly "was not a Russian, was not born in Russia, and lived there only six years." Yet he was an honorary Russian in Blyakher' s view. Tredern did produce an influential dissertation, reportedly inspired by the Russian Wolff and by Tredern 's visit to St. Petersburg; there he outlined the preliminary story of the avian egg and its hatching and early development. Bojanus introduced study of the embryonic layers in mammals, which influenced Pander and von Baer, according to Blyakher.
CHAPTER 13 discusses Khristian Pander, von Baer's fellow student at Wurzburg studying under Dollinger. Dollinger and von Baer convinced Pander to apply his apparently significant financial resources to procure the necessary large number of eggs in order to trace details of chick development during the first five days of life. Pander's work, despite criticism by Lorenz Oken which Blyakher discusses in detail, provided a starting point for future study in epigenetic developmental biology, and especially notably, it served as a foundation for von Baer's work. At one point, Blyakher almost perversely manages to make Pander's weaknesses sound like strengths. He says that Pander's errors were valuable and that they were important in part because they later "allowed Baer to give the true interpretation." As before, Blyakher 's interpretation remains retrospective and frustrating at times, but his data are useful for an introduction to this material.
CHAPTER 14 THROUGH 24 deal with Karl Ernst von Baer, here Karl Maksimovich Baer. 14 provides biographical information and outlines his professional career. 15 presents Baer's discovery of the mammalian ovum and reveals concern both with establishing Baer's priority and with opposition to Baer's work. CHAPTERS 16 THROUGH 2 2 describe Baer's opus, UBER ENTWICKELUNGSGESCHICHTE. Originally published in Germany (volume 1 1828, volume 2 1837, volume 2 part 2 1888), Baer's work appeared in Russian translation only in 1950 and 1953, which may have provided one stimulus to Blyakher to publish his historical study. Blyakher evidently relied on the Russian translation, so I have had to provide references to the German original (as mentioned above). Few people have read through Baer's long and detailed study completely, so Blyakher 's discussion of all five scholia and corollaries and of the rest of the work, of which many are aware but which few read, will prove useful.
Most important, though, is the discussion of Baer's volume 2, and especially in CHAPTER 2 2 of the fourth part which forms the second part of volume 2. This section was published not by Baer himself but by Ludwig Stieda, after Baer's death. Baer had not completed the work, and Stieda discovered the manuscript while working through Baer's materials in order to produce a biography. Baer had begun his study of human development, discussed in this part four, in Konigsberg in 1834, but his move to St. Petersburg that year disrupted his work and he never completed his examination of human normal and abnormal development.
Human development also forms the subject of part of CHAPTER 23, which deals with Baer's teratological work in St. Petersburg. Here Blyakher addresses Baer's complaints about "lack of consideration or unfair attacks, with which his remarkable discoveries were met in Prussia." The Russians were more sympathetic, of course, according to Blyakher. In part because the Germans did not fully acknowledge the importance of his work, Blyakher establishes convincingly, Baer returned to Russia and gave up his systematic embryological studies, turning instead to anthropology and other scientific and family ventures.
The few studies of fertilization and embryological development which Baer did perform after his move, Blyakher discusses, including several papers detailing what is essentially meiosis and mitosis, according to Blyakher. If fertilization and cell-division initiate development, then there could be no pre-existence of individuals; the unfertilized ovum must contain latent but not pre-formed life, Baer had concluded in a paper of 1847. Some of Baer's teratological and fertilization studies reveal that Baer accepted a limited version of evolution - an evolution of the individual within his system of types. Blyakher neatly illustrates the transition between his second and third historical periods of embryology with the example of St. Petersburg Academy of Science's establishment of a prize for Biological Science in 1864. Kovalevsky and Mechnikov won that prize, thus bridging the move from Baer's older epigenetic work to the new evolutionary embryological science.
CHAPTER 2 4 considers Baer's theoretical views, including a very brief look at Baer's version of the history of science. This chapter offers intriguing suggestions, but most are incompletely developed and hence do not significantly extend our understanding of Baer. As with the rest of the book, the chief value of these lengthy chapters on Baer lies in the potential of their suggestions, in the descriptions of more well-known sources and of unfamiliar material alike against a background of other familiar works. The references provided certainly suggest that Baer is as yet poorly understood, despite the several biographical sketches, and that historians of science would do well to explore his complex Russian connections - both before his move to and after his return from Germany.
CHAPTER 2 5 serves as a transition to the third stage of world and hence Russian embryology (featured in Blyakher's second volume) . It considers figures after Baer but before Mechnikov and Kovalevsky. The focus is on Grube, Nordmann, Warnek, and Krohn in particular. These men made way for Kovalevsky and Mechnikov, according to Blyakher, and these latter men effected the revolution from comparative-descriptive to comparative-evolutionary embryological science.
NOTES - These notes have not been translated, obviously. Some offer biographical information, others provide references to additional scientific and other works, while still others elaborate on the text. These notes are cited in the text by the numbers enclosed in square brackets: (#) .
The above brief outline sketches Blyakher's volume. Throughout, the work remains descriptive. Each chapter thus provides details of the works and people it considers. Some of these descriptions are so extremely thorough as almost to reproduce the original sources being considered, while others provide essentially an index or overview of their subjects. To my knowledge, the descriptions seem consistently reliable and useful.
Value of the Work
As suggested above, Blyakher's work contributes both useful description of little-read source materials and a particularly Russian perspective. The latter, which clearly directs what interpretation Blyakher does offer, only occasionally intrudes on the narrative. As noted earlier, Blyakher does at rare times become fervent in his attempts to establish that "Russia is the fatherland of embryology as a science." Yet he would appear to have considerable evidence that his claim should at least be taken seriously. Western scholars often tend to dismiss Soviet scholarship and its fiercely patriotic perversions. But Blyakher, despite his effectively cold war context, remains relatively restrained and reasonable.
The author's concern with establishing scientific priorities, with establishing who first discovered such-andsuch, seems equally open to objection from the perspective of current history of science. Yet this orientation clearly does not result strictly from Blyakher ' s Russian point of view; most historians of science in the 1950' s sought to establish priorities and to document high points of scientific "progress."
In sum, then, Blyakher does provide a very useful descriptive guide to major works in the history of embryology, many of which happen to be Russian in some sense. His interpretative discussion, which seeks to establish that the Russian connection in important embryological work was not merely coincidental needs to be questioned, dissected, and then explored further to discover just what the essential Russian influences were. We should thank Blyakher for his suggestions and use his volume as a guide for that further exploration.
Because the materials are so widely known, I have decided not to provide a full bibliography of works relevant to the subjects Blyakher discusses. See the DICTIONARY OF SCIENTIFIC BIOGRAPHY entries for the key figures and standard sources in the history of developmental biology for additional references and for discussion of similar materials from various non-Russian perspectives.
July 1981 Arizona State University
Embryology occupies a notable position among the biological disciplines of Russian science, as noted by K. A. Timiriazev. 1 Separate stages of the history of Russian embryology are presented in journal articles, collected biographical essays, and commentaries which have accompanied the recently published works of the Russian scientists K. F. Wolff, K. M. Baer, A. 0. Kovalevsky, and I. I. Mechnikov There is no systematic treatise of the history of embryology, either here or abroad. 2 Joseph Needham's HISTORY OF EMBRYOLOGY, which was translated in 1947 into Russian, 3 cannot satisfy any exacting reader. (1)4 For exhaustive evidence of the frequently repeated claim that Russia is the fatherland of embryology as a science, that it developed from Russian soil and became one of the most important foundations of the evolutionary and historical view in the organic world, therefore, it is necessary to give a detailed account of the history of Russian embryological investigations K(liment) A(rkadevich) Timiriazev, "Istoricheskii metod v biologii" (Historical methods in biology) .... SOCH., V.VI.M., Selkhozgiz (1939), p. 32.
This confirmation is correct now only in relation to the history of embryology of animals . After the manuscript of this present book was given to the press , there appeared P(avel) A(leksandrovich) Baranov's monograph, ISTORIYA EMBRIOLOGII RASTENII V SVYAZI S RAZVITIEM PREDSTAVLENII ZAROZHDENII 0RGANIZM0V (History of plant embryology in connection with developmental ideas on the generation of organisms) (Moscow: Akademii Nauk, 1955, 439 pp.) . In the first part of this book its author presented the prehistory of the embryology of plants , to the nineteenth century, against the background of development of general ideas on the generation of organisms, both plant and animal (p. 8) J. Needham, HISTORY OF EMBRYOLOGY, translated from the English by A. V. Yudinaya, preface by V. P. Karpov (IL, 1947) , 342 pp.
Numbers in square brackets are related to the comments at the end of the book .
The first observations of embryonic development date back 2,500 years; however, the onset and development of embryology as a science is connected with the general progress of the natural sciences in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. There are three main stages in the history of embryology. The period of the substantiation of the theory of epigenesis, making possible the existence of embryology, is connected with the Russian academician K. F. Wolff. The period of the discovery of the embryonic layers, when the prerequisites for comparative embryology appeared, is the period of activity of the Russian academicians Kh. I. Pander and K. M. Baer. Finally, the period of the creative development of embryological problems in the light of Darwin's work is inseparably united with the Russian investigators A. 0. Kovalevsky and I. I. Mechnikov and the brilliant zoologists who followed their footsteps.
The present book reviews the first two periods of the history of embryology, including the epoch directly preceding the scientific activity of A. 0. Kovalevsky and I. I. Mechnikov. The history of Russian embryological investigations, from the beginning of comparative embryology to the present time, is embodied in the contents of the books discussed here. One is dedicated to the history of embryology of invertebrates and another book elucidates the history of the embryology of vertebrates.
At the time of writing the present book, no work of Wolff or Baer had been published in Russian except for the incomplete and inaccurate translation of the second part of the first volume of Baer's UBER ENTWICKLUNGSGESCHICHTE .5 In 1950, in the academic series "Klassiki nauki," the translation of Wolff's "Theory of Generation" appeared, as did the translation of the two volumes of Baer's "History of Animal Development" in 1950 and 1953. An article by Gaissinovich 6 (in an appendix to Wolff's book) clearly presents this embryologist 's ideas against the historical background of studies of evolution. An analogous article by B. E. Raikov concluded the first volume of Baer's work. 7 The appearance of these articles has reduced the corresponding chapters of the present book, but the author considers it necessary to give a brief, thorough review of the basic works of Wolff and Baer in connection with their other embryological and teratological works.
5. K. M. Baer, IZBRANNYE RABOTY (Selected works), from the series KLASSIKI ESTESTVOZNANIYA, translated with comments and preface by Yuri A(leksandrovich) Filipchenko (Moscow: GIZ, 1924), 114 pp.
6. A. E. Gaissinovich, "K. F. Wolff and Studies on Development," in an appendix to K . F. WOLFF: THEORY OF DEVELOPMENT (Moscow: Akademii nauk, 1950), pp. 363 - 477
The works of Russian embryo logists of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries â€” Wolff, Tredern, Pander, M. G. Pavlov, and Baer â€” are, in part, written in Latin and cannot be read in the original by the majority of our young contemporaries. The literary legacy of Baer is extremely vast and difficult to review.
It seemed to the author that it is important to explain not only the most important works of the Russian embryologists of the second half of the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century, but also their less important works, in order to present the contribution which Russian investigators made to world science. The activity of the Russian embryologists coincided closely with the development of world embryological science. The importance of the Russian investigations can be correctly evaluated only in comparison with the works of the foreign embryologists, which are explained by short comments in the present book. Expansion of these excursions into the history of world science did not seem possible without significantly increasing the size of the book.
In presenting the contents of the Russian embryological works, sometimes sufficiently long extracts are presented that the reader can form an impression not only about the contents, but also about the scientific literary style of the investigations discussed.**
7. B(oris) ECvgen'evich] Raikov, "On the Life and Scientific Activity of K. M. Baer," in an appendix to K . M. BAER: THE HISTORY OF ANIMAL DEVELOPMENT, Vol. I (Moscow: Akademii nauk , 1950), pp. 383 - 438.
8. All the citations printed are underlined by the authors of the discussed works permitting the reader to see exactly what the authors, themselves considered most essential in their works .
The drawings are considered to be the most important part of the morphological works. The pictures, reproducing the studied objects as they were seen either with the naked eye or with the aided eye, reveal the level of the technique and the exactness of the observations. The schematic drawings are considered the graphic expressions of the authors' theoretical opinions. Therefore the original drawings speak about the scientific priorities and facilitate the description in words of the corresponding discoveries. In reference to this, we must not forget the authors of revisions and educational textbooks; although they occasionally reprint the illustrations of the foreign authors, often they are not a bit better than the drawings of the Russian investigators published earlier. The reprinting of the original drawings of Wolff, Tredern, Boyanus, Pander, Baer, Grube, Nordman, Warnek and Krohn in the present book is to present the level of their morphological investigations, and also to defend the priority of the Russian embryologists .
The present book was finished in 1950. Its contents, and also the plan for its continuation to subsequent stages of embryology in our country, were reported in the meeting of the sector of the history of biology in the Institute of Natural Science History of the Academy of Science of USSR and in the Academic Council of this Institute.
The author is deeply grateful to T. D. Detlaf; L. D. Lioznera, S. R. Mikulinsky, S. L. Sobol and G. A. Shmidt, who listened to the reports about the contents of this book or read the manuscript and made critical comments. The author particularly thanks the collective of the library of the Moscow Society of Naturalists, who willingly helped during the search for literary sources and illustrated materials.
(1) Needham arbitrarily limited the contents of his book absolutely to the history of chemical embryology. In addition, his extreme unobjectivity drew attention, as he dwelt mainly on the works of English authors, while, according to his opinion, the book should have represented the history of embryology of all times and peoples. In the chronological table of scientists of the world embryology, covering up to the beginning of the 20th century (p. 266 of Russian translation) , Needham did not find places for the names of N. A. Warnek, A. 0. Kovalevsky, I. I. Mechnikov and their numerous Russian followers in contrast to
Fr. Balfur, who published more than 70 years ago the first (and for that time excellent) manual book on comparative embryology, in which the Russian works were given proper places (14) .
(2) Samples of these "compositions" are pictured on the prints of that time, reprinted in the book "Kunstkamera Peterbergskoi Akademii Nauk", 1853, 293 p. (see Fig. 6.10 and 11 of the mentioned book) . Description of anatomical and embryological "compositions of Ryuish and texts of the poetical Latin inscriptions which accompanied them much earlier were mentioned by Baer in "Memories about anatomical cabinet" ("Memoire uber das Anatomische Kabinet, gelesen in den Sitzungen der Phys.-math. Kl. d, Sep. 20, 4 u. Oct. 18, 1850; Collection the museum of anthropology and ethnography in Imp. Ac. Sc, 1900, p. 111-152) (21).
Here and below figures in round brackets show the number of text page, to which the comment is related.
(3) Doctor van der Hulst, (see below for data about him) on April 14, 1724 ,; sent organs which belonged to a girl, who died of smallpox, in Kunstkamera. Caesar honored him due to the hermaphrodite (Materials for history of Imp. Ac. Sc, V. 1 Spb, 1855, p. 38) in the other place of these "Materials" wrote due to bringing to the Academy of Science a monster, who was born with two heads, determined by Doctor Stepan Gaokantsk, ...8 roubles were given" (V. II, on March 9, 1732, p. 119) (23).
(4) In "Materials for history of Imp. Ac. Sc." there are many documents about the obtaining of teratological objects into Kunstkamera.
A letter from Vyborkh by colonel general Karnov says "his major Beshentsev Fedor Fedrov in the Vyborgskaya office found a monster of a lamb having four legs and one neck, and the head had the view of a double one. This head had two mouths with tongues and two eyes: they were in the
middle where the forehead must have been " ('Materials..
V. I, Spb., 1855 No. 165, March 9, 1725, pp. 9-97).
Inventory of objects, obtained on March 8, 1725 "Number 1: lamb, with 8 legs, another with three eyes, two trunks, 6 limbs were sent from Tobol'sk by Kozlovsky. Number 2: baby, with 3 legs: from Lower Novgorod from Governor Rzhevsky. Number 3: calf with 2 deformed legs: from Ufa from commandant Bakhmetov. Number 4: baby with two heads also from Bakhmetov. Number 5: one baby, with eyes under the nose and ears under neck: from Nezhin. Number 6 - two babies - breasts and abdomens were joined from Akhtyrok from prince Mikhail Golitsyn; hands, legs and head were normal. Number 7 - baby, with a fish tail, born in Moscow in Tverskaya. Number 8: two puppies, born from a 60-year-old woman, from Akhtyrok from prince Golitsyn. Number 9: baby with 2 heads, 4 hands, 3 legs: from Ufa from commandant Bakhmetov" ("Materials...", V. I, No. 193, March 18, 1625, p. 99).
Grigorii Ivanov found a monstrous head puppy with 8 legs ("Materials, V. I, No. 291, September 21, 1725, p. 145).
"....Dead body of an infant, with 6 fingers, horn by a daughter of Tikhanov who was working on a marine ship Astrakhan. . .given in Kunstkamera" ("Materials..." V. II, 1886, No. 99, November 29, 1731, p. 83).
"On January 17 of this same year, my brother sent a monster which had 2 mouths, the daughter of Ulita Kiryanova the wife of sergeant Nikivor Kosharov gave birth to it: this monster had four hands, four legs and two faces, one had normal view and the other had one eye" ("Materials...", V. Ill, 1886, No. 13, January 20, 1736, p. 14).
"This monster was accepted for preservation in Kunstkamera and Kosharov was given 4 roubles as a reward" (there is also, No. 41, February 17, p. 36) (23).
(5) Iogani-Georg Dyuvernua (1691-1759) a Russian academician in the department of zoology and anatomy, was invited to the academy during its foundation. In 1741, by efforts of Shumakher, he was compelled to leave work and travel to his homeland, in Germany. Following him, up to 1758 Abraham Kaau-Boerhave (1715-1758) had been in charge the department of anatomy and physiology in the Academy of Science. In his era, the anatomical and embryological collections of the academy came into being, but he practically did not use them. He published one of them in detail (Abraham Kaau-Boerhave was related to those foreigners, living in Russia, who did not make anything for promoting its sciences and for preparing the young Russian scientists (23) .
(6) Family of van der Hulst was repeatedly mentioned in the documents of Petrovskaya epoch. Doctor Zakharii van der Hulst arrived in Moscow from Holland, apparently in the 70s of the 17th century, and for a long time he was the physician of Aptekarsky department and court physician at tsars Ivan and Petr. Then after the death of Ivan, he became the physician of Petr I. He accompanied him on both journeys to Arkhangelsk (1693 and 1694). On the second Journey, he die-' suddenly* . Another van der Hulst participated in 1691 in Poteshny battles" in the army "generalissimusa" of I. I. Buturlin 2 . In 1695 in "Rospisi nachalnym lyudam Semenovskogo polky" captain Andrei Yakovlevich van der Hulst was mentioned^. On the first journey of Petr to Holland, at the Russian Embassy, lieutenant (or captain) Andrei (Yakovlevich) van der Hulst 4 became the translator. One year later, t he was sent by the Dutch government to Moscow as resident* Later on, the son of the above mentioned "doctor" Zakharii van der Hulstâ€” Zakhar Zakharovichâ€” was known. By the order of Peter I, he received "traveller sheet" via Mozhaisk, Vyazm, Dorogobuzh and Smolensk in foreign lands for studying science. Although it was impossible to detect exactly the time of his return to Russia, but there was no doubt about it . He was a teacher of surgery at Peterburgsky Hospital 1723 6 . Ya. Chistovich informed, that "Z. Z. van der Hulst passed the Doctorate degree examination in Leiden and after returning to Russia he was the senior doctor in Petersburg Admiral Hospital and, in addition, a teacher for medical students and pupils of this hospital. Later on, he lived in Moscow and when a "Doctor's committee"? (1730) which comprised five doctors was established, he was one of its members. It is most probable, that Zakhar Zakharovich van der Hulst is the author of a dissertation cited in the text on page 7: the difference of names (Zakharii and Arnold) does not speak against this supposition, as both names could belong to the same person. Anyhow there is no doubt about the belonging of the author of dissertation to the Moscow family of van der Hulst (25) .
V. Rikhter. "Istoriya meditsiny v Rossii" (History of Medicine in Russia), p. 2, Moscow, 1820, p. 313, M. M. Bogoslovskii, Petr I, V. I, p. 181= V. II, 1941, pp. 123-124.
2. There also, V. I, p. 127.
3. "Sb. vypisok iz arkhivnykh bumag petre Velikom" (Collection from archives papers about Petr the Great) , VI, Moscow, 1872, p. 148.
4. M. M. Bogoslovskii. Petr I, V. II, p. 155, 182, 421.
5. There also, V. II, p. 432> V: IV, 1948, p. 252, 339, 340, 344, 346.. M. A. Venevitinov. "Russkie v Gollandii. Velikoe posol'stvo 1691-1690 godov" (Russians in Holland. The great embassy 1697-1698) Moscow, 1897, p. 79.
6. V. Rikhter, Istoriya meditsiny v Rossii, p. 3, 1820, p. 149.
7. Ya. Chistovich. "Istoriya pervykh meditsinskikh shkol v Rossii" (History of first medical schools in Russia) . Appendix X. Alphabetical list of doctors of medicine, working in Russia in the 18th century.
(7) Speaking about the collection of anatomical preparations, present in Kunstkamera N. G. Kurganov noticed, that
"the greatest attention was given to these parts, which explained parturition. A number of the foeti exceeded more than one hundred and composed a gradualness from an embryo having the size of an anisic grain to a completely formed baby. The collection of monsters was extremely big. These anatomical descriptions with sketches, reprinted on copper, had a scientific significance" ("Pismovnik", the second part, p. 196) (32) .
(8) In chapter 26, "Gippokratovskoi sbnornik" it is possible to read the following: "All organs are distinguished simultaneously and they grow, and not one is distinguished earlier than the other. But the larger ones in nature are distinguished before the smaller ones, not originating in any case earlier. However not all receive the final structure in equal time, but some are quicker, others are slower, since each meets sufficient nutrition. In some, all become distinct within 40 days in others â€” within 2 months, in others " within 3 months, and in others " within 4 months" (See V. I. Karnov. Aristotle i antichnaya embriologiya. Introductory article in the translation of Aristotle" "0 vozniknovenii zhivotnykh" Izd. AN SSSR, 1949, p. 23 (35).
(9) The embryological opinions of Dekart are stated in the treatise "Opisanie chelovecheskogo telo" (Description of human body) , where they compose its fourth part â€” "About the development of the embryo. Parts, formed in semen" and the fifth part "the formation of hard parts". The treatise was published two years before the death of the philosopher, in 1648. In addition, with the birth conception of living substances, "which are produced by semen", Dekart also assumed the possibility of spontaneous conception (without semen and uterus") . *
In case of conception from parents, their semen is mixed and forms cloudy liquid which undergoes a kind of fermentation, what is formed during this heat widens the particles of semen, they "press on other particles subsequently locating them gradually. This is the way of forming the body organs... Heat compels some of the particles of semen to be collected near definite points of the space... Thus the heart begins to be formed"2. The movement of blood from heart makes a way through semen particles, that is why the blood again returns to the heart, and by this way the vascular system is formed. After this, the movement of particles of different kinds leads to the subsequent formation of the organs - vertebrates with spinal cord, brain, paired organs of sensation and so on. The energetic character of these embryological presentations is completely obvious. However, Dekart considered that it is necessary to underline this. "In order to get acquainted with the figure of the already formed animal, it should be understood what it represents at the beginning of its formation and it is necessary to imagine semen, as some mass, from which, the heart is first formed, around it the hollow vein is located on one side while on the other the large artery, united by two tips. The tips of these vessels, to which the openings of the heart are directed, indicate the side, where the head must be present, others also indicate that side, where the lower parts of the body must be present" 3 (36) .
(10) The idea of preformation may be traced back to remote ancient times. Anaksagor taught that "hairs cannot be formed from no hairs and raft from no raft" similar ideas were stated by several authors especially Senekoi, who in "Questions of nature" wrote: "In semen all future parts of the human body are contained. The baby in the uterus of the mother has already roots of beard and hair, which he will carry. In a similar way, in this small mass, are contained all features of the body as well as all those, which will be present in his posterity" (see Dzh. Needham, History of Embryology, page 76) (37) .
1. See S. F. Vasilev. "Evolution ideas in Dekart philosophy (Introductory article in book" Rene Dekart. Kosmogoniya . Two treatises. GTTI. 1934, p. 121) .
2. R. Dekart. Description of human body. In book: Kosmogoniya, p. 286-287.
3. See also pp. 298-299.
(11) The theory of "investment", conformable to plants and animals, was stated by Mal'bransh in the following expressions: "It seems, although it may be a hardlyaccepted idea, that in one embryo a countless number of trees is included, because this embryo does not include only a tree, serving as its seed, but also, great number of seeds, which can include new trees and new seeds of trees, containing, in turn, probably in an incomprehensible little form, other trees and other seeds, are fruit bearing as the first and so on till infinity. All what is mentioned about plants and embryos can be also applied on animals and their embryos, from which they were produced. In the embryo of a bulb of tulip, it is possible to distinguish all tulips. Thus in the embryo of a fresh non-hatching egg as well, it is possible to see a chick, which may be nearly completely formed. In the eggs of frogs, it is easy to recognize frogs, we will also find other animals in their embryo when we become so experienced and skilful, that we can open them (N. Mal'bransh. "seeking out truth" translated by E. B. Smelovaya, V. I, 1903, p. 51-52) (38) .
(12). Speaking of the influence of the mother's impression on the formation of fetus, Mal'bransh, among other examples, mentions the following: "One year did not elapse still from that time, when a woman, looking with great zeal on the picture of Saint Pia at the time of the celebration of his canonization, delivered a child, absolutely like the Saint He had senile face, which was impossible for a child, but did not possess a beard. His hands were put together as cross on the chest, his eyes were directed to the sky. He had a very small forehead, because on the picture, the image of this Saint was raised to the dome of the church, directed to the sky, so that his forehead was nearly unnoticed. On his shoulders, he had something like overturned mitre with some round birth marks, at these places where mitres were decorated with precious stones. In short, this infant extremely resembled the picture, but his form was made by the strong imagination of his mother. All Paris could see him, as I could, because this infant was preserved for a long time in spirits of wine" (N. Mal'bransh. Seeking out truth, V. I, p. 173).
The description of deformity was so expressive and exact, that confidently it was sufficiently possible to characterize it in terms of recent teratology. Probably, the matter was a case of amencephaly or, may be, cerebral hernia of occipital region. It is not wonderful that the baby, resembling Saint Pia, was shown in a jar with spirit directly after bith (38) .
(13) Philosophy, Leibnits spoke, - gave itself much work about the origin of forms, entelechy and soul. Meanwhile, different accurate investigations, performed on plants, insects and animals, led to this conclusion: that the organic bodies of nature never originated from chaos or not, but always from semen, in which, undoubtedly, preformation was already present... We see something similar, when, for example, worms become flies and caterpillars become butterflies" (Monadologiya, No. 74), (38).
(14) "Thus, I suppose that souls which once must become human souls, as well as souls of other kinds, existed in semen, in ancestors up to Adam, i.e. from the very beginning of things they existed in the form of organic bodies â€” a view, which was apparently approved by Swammerdam, Mal'bransh, Beil', Pitkari, Gartsuker and many other learned men. This view is also sufficiently confirmed by microscopic observations of Leeuwenhoek and other fairly prominent naturalists "(Teoditseya, I, No. 91) (38).
(15) Leibnits considered that monads are alive and animated, characterized by incessant change which is accomplished continuously without leaps. "I confirm, as an indisputable truth â€” he wrote â€” that all things were exposed to change, and became monads and that in each monad this change was accomplished continuously" (Monadologiya, No. 10) . From continuous change, the developing monad natural passage of Leibnits to gradation of monads, forming continuous eternal ascending series of substances, progressing from unaccomplished to accomplished. By his investigations "Swammerdam showed that insects, by their respiratory organs, are similar to plants, and that in nature, an order of gradualness, descending from animals to plants, exists. However, there may be, in addition, intermediate substances between these and others" (Letter of Leibnitz to Bung). And in another letter: "I am sure, that these substances must be present, and natural science may discover them. Nature never disturbs continuity anywhere. It does not make leaps. All categories of substances of nature form one sole chain, where different classes, like links, so closely join to each other that for sensual presentation it is impossible to determine the point, where each of them begins or ends" (cited by Kuno Fisher) ("History of new philosophy, V. Lebnitz", p. 460) (38) .
(16) About this change of his opinions, Haller wrote the following: "In the body of animal, there is no part which can originate earlier than the other: all of them are formed at the same time... If Harvey supposed that
he discovered the epigenetical development, it is because from the beginning he only saw small haziness and then the rudiments of the head and eyes, exceeding in size all other bodies, and finally gradually â€” the internal organs. More than 20 years ago, i.e. before my numerous observations on eggs and females of Tetrapoda, I used this argument to prove that embryo strongly differed from the formed animal, while I confirmed, that in animals at the moment of conception parts which were present in completely formed animal were absent. From this time, I had the complete possibility to confirm that all that was deduced by me against preformation theory, in fact speaks in its favor" (cited by Dzh. Needham, History of Embryology, p. 226-227) (39).
(17) On the basis of the confirmation of the Bible, that earth and mankind populating it, have existed about 6000 years and from that the average duration of life of
man is equal to 30 years, Haller calculated, that God created at the same time a minimum of 2000,000,000,000 people (cited by article of Kirchhoff on Wolff, p. 204) (39) .
(18) Speaking about the impression produced on contemporaries by the discovery of Bfennet (about the development of bodies from unfertilized ovum), A. E. Gaisinovich noticed that the scientists of that time... lost sight of that it proved in the best case only ovism but not preformation (Cited article in the edition of translation "Theory of conception" of Wolff, 1950, p. 379). With the latter confirmation, it is difficult to agree: ovism is one of two forms of the preformation theory and is principally identical with its other form â€” animalculism. (40)
(19) After that the chapters of this book, dedicated by Wolff, were written, he mentioned in the preface "Theory of conception" of Wolff (Publisher House Ac. Sc. USSR, 1950) which was published with the supplement of article A. E. Gaisinovich "K. F. Wolff and studies on development" (pp. 363-477) Tasks, which the author of this interesting article put before himself, did not allow him, apparently, to stop and dwell in more detail on embryological and teratological works of Wolff.
Here it is also necessary to notice that the translation replaced in the Russian edition of Wolff the term "generation" by the word "conception", which could not be considered felicitous. The term "conception" meant the beginning stage of development, appearance of a new individual, while Wolff did not mean only this stage, but also all subsequent individual development. It is completely accurate to translate "generation" by the word "development". Wolff himself used in his German book neither the term "conception" (Entstehung) nor the term "development" (Entwickelung) , and dept the Latin root in the German word "die Generation". In accordance with this, upon the examination of Wolff's dissertation and its popular summary in German below the original Wolff term "generation" is preserved (43) .
(20) In the first volume of "Zur Morphologie" Gete mentioned Wolff in four places. He gave a brief account of biography of Wolff (p. 80-83), mentioned in the notes of Murzinitsa on Wolff (p. 252-256), then dwelt on studies of Wolff about metamorphosis of plants (p. 83-87) . At last he tackled the understanding of educational yearning, using the terms of Blumenbakh (pp. 114-116).
In the last extract Gete writes the following "In criticism of ability to reach an opinion" Kant states "In relation to the theory of epigensis no one worked either for its proof and for substantiation of true principles of its application, or partly for the restriction of its extremely wide application, as Mr. Buildings advisor Blumenbakh". This evidence of honest Kant encouraged me again to scrutinize work of Blumenbakh, which I truly read before, but did not imbue it. Here I found my Christof (1-L.B.) Friedrich Wolff as an intermediate link between Haller and Bonnet; on the one hand, and Blumenbakh, on the other. For his epigenesis, Wolff must suppose the presence of an organic element, on which creatures feed, which is intended for organic life, and supplied this material by an essential force". The mentioned words of Gete witness to the superficial acquaintance of the great poet with the views of Wolff (Even Wolff's name was written incorrectly by Gete (44) .
(21) A. E. Gaisinovich (1950, p. 462-463) mentioned information, that Wolff at the beginning of the 70th year taught in the academic high schoolâ€” chemistry, anatomy and botany, and he also directed the preparation of the scientific activity of student Fedor Galchenkov (48) .
(22) This place in the translation of Meckel tendentiously stated: instead of "the Highest Creator" was put "The creating nature". Wolff disputed the preformation of formulated parts; in the German translation, his skepticism is not related to the Creator for the authority is untouched, but to nature. This "liberty of translation" bars the radicality of scientific and philosophical view of Wolff (76) .
(23) Here the phrase made by Wolff, has no connection with other discussions and clearly intended for not blaming atheism: eiusmodi vero materia, talibus, viribus instructa immediate a Deo ex nihilo creata sit (it is also true that material, supplied by these forces, is directly created by God from nothingness) (76) .
(24) A. E. Gaisinovich (1950, p. 455) repeated the mentioned statement of K. M. Baer nearly literally: "This remarkable work of Wolff... did not draw the attention of all the scientific world up to 1812, when Meckel translated it from the Latin language". It is necessary to notice, however, that the work of Wolff was given due attention and it was evaluated as a remarkable work in the book of I. Bezeke, published in 1797 (see p. 114) and in the dissertation L. Tredern (1808) (see Chapter 11) (87) .
(25) Apparently, in the declaration of biological works by the Academy of Science for a prize, Wolff showed initiatives also early. Thus, in 1779 the academy declared a competition for a prize on the question about reproduction of cryptogamous plants. This theme of competitive work
was written in expressions which a great probability impel to consider Wolff the author of this question: "Theoriam generationis et fructificationis plantarum cryptogamicarum Linnaei dare etc...." (gives the theory of development and fruiting of cryptogamous plants, by system of Linnae, plants and so on) .
In 1783, this prize was awarded to a professor in Leipzig, log. Gedvig for the work under the title "Theoria generationis et fructificationis plantarum cryptogamicarum Lennaei, mere propriis observationibus et experimentis superstructa dessertatio, quae praemio ab. Academia imp. Petropol. pro Anno MDCCLXXXIII proposito ornata est" (105).
(26) It is necessary to notice, that the embryological problems have interested Petersburg Academy of Science before the arrival of Wolff. It is possible to judge this, in particular, by the published collection in 1756, which is composed of two works (dissertations) , and sent to the competition announced by the academy. The question, put by the academy, touched upon the possible influence of the impression, felt by the pregnant woman, on the developing fetus. One of the mentioned works belonged to a professor
at Leipzig University C. Ch. Krauze*, and another â€” to a member of Petersburg Academy of Science, I. G. Rederer. In lively controversy on this theme Byuffon participated. He energetically objected to preformists, who according to their views, the embryo is proved to be similar with the parents under the influence of imagination of the mother.
Caroli Christiani Krauze. Dissertatio de questione ab Academia imp. scientianim petropolitana pro praemis in annum MOCCLVI proposita. Quaenam sit causa proxima mutans, corpus foetus etc... There also, J. D. Roederer Dessertatis Petropoli 1956.
In the controversy Terner also participated. He objected to Blondel, denying the influence of mother imagination on the embryos. Argument of Terner was confirmed by the fact that the blood vessels of the mother directly passes in the vessels of the fetus. Ens subscribed to Terner' s opinion. Apparently, the difference, existing on this question in literature, induced Petersburg Academy of Science to announce competition on works which would comprehensively answer it. The scientific committee of the Academy, examining the competitive works, revealed scientific impartiality, and the Academy published two works, each one of them represented a contradictory opinion. Krauze was a supporter, and Rederer was an opponent of the influence of maternal imagination on the fetus.
Krauze considered that the question raised was very difficult, nearly hopeless to solve. However, he noticed, that many examples were present, when the fetus was changed in a way, that not only simple people and the mother herself, but even sharply sensitive scientific people in medical practice related it, although partially, to the strong emotional shock of the mother. Enumerating the opinions of authors, discussing this question (Sennert, Morisso, Ludvig, Hofman, Abraham Kau-burgav, Takhoni and others), Krauze suggested, that the reader can make for himself the most classical ironical defiance: "Hie Rhodus, hie salta!" (literally: "Here Rodos also jump!") and all the following statements attempt to answer this call. As also the majority of his predecessors, Krauze paid attention mainly to cases of appearance of pigmental birth marks, where their forms and situation compel to suggest the influence of pregnant women. He began with these sharp effects, as terror, fear, anger and so on, showing strong physiological influence expressed first of all in the reaction from the side of vascular and nervous systems. From this Krauze made the conclusion, that "if the brain was strongly alarmed, then small changes took place in the body". Referring to known cases of adult people suddently growing grey under the effect of deep feelings, Krauze suggested that, there were more bases to expect changes of skin color of the fetus under the effect of maternal imagination. If terror or fear can cause small ulcers on lips or erysipelas, then why does it seem incredible to you, that the same phenomena can take place in the body of the fetus, whose structure is so weak and delicate, and its vessels are so numerous and full of juices?"
In order to imagine the possibility of this phenomenon, which is shown by the influence of changes in the organism of the mother on the fetus, it is necessary to prove their close relation. On his side Krauze confirmed, "fetus with the uterus represents a single continuous whole". According to this opinion, this is especially related to the nervous system, so that "stimulation of the nerves of the uterus may and must be passed to all the nervous system of the fetus. Distributing this confirmation on psychics, as well as suggesting, that the fetus was capable of psycological manifestations, Krauze deduced the following conclusion: "In the brain of the fetus exists the same condition, which exists in the brain of the mother". All these views are summarized in the concluding paragraph of the dissertation". What was stated so far may be added to all these examples, which instruct, that the fetus body is changed from the mother, if her soul is strongly shocked. Ideas, originating in the mother's brain are "united with fetus brain"; they are stimulated in it more quickly and energetically, than in the soul of the mother herself, as the pulse of arteries and effect of nervous and generally all responses in babies are quicker than in adults. Under the influence of these ideas, the fetus brain gives effect on its body and namely in this way, which corresponds to perceived ideas. Therefore, the fetus's brain produces in the corresponding parts of his body the same things which he himself undergoes".
Directly after the considered work of Krauze, it is necessary to examine the work of Rederer, which is simply entitled "Dissertatis" and also begins with the formulation of the question raised by the Academy: "What is the direct cause for changing the fetus body?..."
In order to possibly answer this stated question, Rederer considered that it is necessary to study thoroughly, how the mother's body unites with the embryo, taking into consideration, that the only connection between them is carried out through the placenta. The investigation of this connection led him to the following conclusion. The lumens of the blood vessels of the placenta, directed to the uterus, up till this stage, are so narrow. They do not admit turpentine oil or any other liquid to pass. True anastomoses, connecting the vessels of the uterus and vessels of placenta, do not exist; Vasa hypogastrica which is full, by all means of a waxen mass or any other fluid, does not pass its contents to the umbilical vessels. This was established either in human carcass, or in living cows, ewes, bitches and other animals. If the pregnant animal is fed on roots of Rabiae tinctorum, then the fetus bones will not be stained with the red color. The blood of the fetus differs from the mother's blood in that it is more liquid. Finally, the fetus pulse also differs from the mother's rate.
Subsequently, the fetus lives its independent life, moving its own blood by its forces, beating of its heart, by blood circulation and through placenta, without the help of the maternal blood. Therefore, rest, movement, sleeping, awakening and even life and death of the mother and fetus are not obligatory present in harmony. Later on, Rederer categorically denied the existence of a nervous connection between the placenta and the mother. The comparison of the positions of the birth marks as well as their presence or absence in the mother and baby does not give, according to his opinion, basis to suggest the influence through blood or nervous system. Rederer discussed in detail the question about "mind" of the fetus and passed to the conclusion, that this mind cannot adequately respond to the feeling of the mother. This is stated by the examples of strong shocks in the mother, not accompanied by the appearance of birth marks in the baby, and examples of appearance of birth marks and warts without any connection with the mother's feeling. In the following pages the various deformities of human beings are mentioned, and Rederer reached the conclusion that the birth marks differ from true deformities only quantitatively. They are also disturbances of the normal development. As the deformities frequently affect the internal organs, then in relation to them, the usual supposition about maternal influence loses its significance. The general conclusion of Rederer comes to that the confirmations about the influence of the mother's feeling on the baby are not supported by verified facts, and are but the product of fantasy (105) .
(27) The effect of vitalistic views of Blumenbackh on some Russian physicians-biologists can be traced up till the 20 's of the 19th century. Thus, in 1825 at Moscow University, the surgeon Nikifor Dmitrievich Lebedev discussed a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Medicine. He later on read at the university "history and literature of medicine". Lebedev dissertation was entitled "About the nature of weightless substances in general and vital powers in particular" (Dissertatio inauguralis physislogica de natura imponderab ilium in genere et de viribus vitalibus in specie, quam...in Universitate caesarea Mosquensi, pro gradu doctoris medicinae. . .elaboravit publiceque defendet chirurgus I-mae classis Nicephorus Lebedev, Mosquae, 1825. 28 p.). Lebedev, referring to Blumenbakh, dwelt on the idea that all vital processes â€” organic formation and growth as well as movement of already formed parts-possess their own source of a special vital power (55) . The vital power, according to his opinion, is an internal, inherent character in the organic body, which is the cause of life and at the same time seems to be its product (Vis vitalis est interna et proporia organici corpori qualitis, quae vitae causam constituit et simul ejusdem est quasi productum, thesis 9) . Works of similar kind are not characteristic of the common materialistic trend of Russian biological and medical sciences. Therefore, the dissertation of Lebedev served as a reference and mainly as an illustration of this negative influence, which was shown by the idealistic German philosophy and some representatives of Russian sciences especially the naturalists who worked under its direct influence (106) .
(28) Izef Gotlib Kelreiter (1733-1806), botanist and zoologist, worked from 1756 to 1761 as a junior scientific assistant at Petersburg Academy of Sciences, with which he kept in close contact after returning back to Germany and till the end of his life. In the period, from 1758 to 1811, 15 botanical and more than 20 zoological works of Kelreiter were published in Russian scientific and scientific popular editions (Novi Commentarii Acad. Scient. petropolitanae, Acta Acad. Scient. petropol. Nova Acta Ac. Sc. Petropl., Trudy Volnogo Ekonomicheskogo Obshchestva and in the journal "Sochineniya,K poize i uveceleniyu sluzhashchie") . His scientific fame is connected mainly with the study of reproduction and hybridization in plants (see Ioz. Kelreiter" Study about sex and hybridization in the plant", the editor with a biological essay was prof. E. V. Wolff, 1840).
The work of Kelreiter about the irritability in the plant, to which Wolff referred, was called: "Nouvelles observations et experiences sur l'irritabilite des etamines de l'epine vinette (Berberis vulgaris)", Traduit de l'allemand par M. I 1 adjoint Sewergin, Nova Acta Acad. Scient. Petropol., 4, 1790 (German original was received in Petersburg in 1788) (112).
(29) The point of view of A. E. Gaisinovich is similar to the presentation mentioned here about the outlook of Wolff (see Wolff "Theory of conception") . It is possible to combine with it the confirmation, that the studies on preformation and epigenesis do not always correspond to the demarcation between idealism and materialism in biology. The following serves as an evidence, that preformists were also idealists (Leibnitz, Haller, Bonnet) and mechanical materialists (for example, Lamettri) ; equally as epigenetics, were either idealists (Aristotle Harvei) ,
or mechanical materialists (Dekart, Maupertuis, Byuffon and Didar3t).A. E. Gaisinovich included Wolff as well in the latter category. His "absolute epigenesis" was grouped together with Gaisinovich in the mechanical materialism. For its complete verification, this statement could be desired as only a less categorical expression. In the evaluation of Wolff's outlook, it is impossible, apparently, to deny absolutely his fluctuations between materialism and idealism; these fluctuations were an unavoidable originality even by the most prominent thinkers of all historical epochs, preceding the formation of successive system, i.e. dialectic system and materialism (119) .
(30) Semen Gerasimovich Zybelin (1735-1802), after finishing the study in Moscow Ecclesiastical Academy, joined Moscow University till the opening there of a medical faculty. After he finished the course, he was sent to study medicine abroad. At Leiden, Zybelin defended a doctor's dissertation in 1764. After returning back to Moscow he read courses of anatomy, physiology, chemistry, pharmacology and therapy as a professor in the mediqal faculty. In 1784, he was elected member of the Academy of Science (121) .
(31) Prince Dmitrii Alekseevich Golitsyn (1731-1803), a prominent Russian diplomat, was a former ambassador in Holland and France, friend of Diderot and Galvetsy, known as author of many physical works (122) .
(32) Dzh. Needham in his "History of Embryology" prefaced the list of the literature sources used by him with a list of works, which he could not obtain. As "less important works on the history of embryology" Needham also mentioned Bezeke's book. It is difficult to decide, on which basis the English historian of embryology considered Bezeke's book less important, if we take into consideration that according to his confession, he never saw it (122) .
(33) Two extracts compose the contents of the already mentioned book of 1797 (in it, as stated, were present an essay on the history of a hypothesis about the conception and development of animals and in addition, "History of the origin of division of the natural bodies into three kingdoms") The third extract appeared in the form of a separate small volume in the year of the author's death (J. M. G. Bezeke. Allgemeine Geschichte der Naturgeschichte in dem Zeitraume von Erschaffung der Welt bis auf das Jahr N. C. G. 1791. Mitau, 1802, XXXIIÂ±154S) . For more details about the works of Bezeke see the article by the author of the present book in "Trudy instituta istoriii estestvoznaniya i tekhniki, V.IV, 1955" (Works of the Institute of History of Natural Sciences and Technique) (123).
(34) Matvei Khristianovich Peken was born in Petersburg, he studied medicine in Ien, where he obtained the degree of Doctor of Medicine (according to other data-- in Gettingen) . When he returned back to Russia he worked as the admiralty doctor, read a course of obstetrics in Petersburg hospitals. From 1793, he travelled to Moscow, where he read pathology and organized the first therapeutic clinic with ten beds (124)
(35) Nestor Maksimovich Maksimovich-Ambodic (1744-1812) finished Kiev Ecclesiastical Academy, studied medicine in Strasburg, where he defended a doctor dissertation about "human liver" (1755). At Petersburg admiralty hospital, he read obstetrics and wrote a lot of works and manual books. The second part of the family (Ambodic) was written by himself in connection with accord of patronymic and family (127) .
(36) "Dictionary" of Maksimovich Ambodic is composed of two parts: Russian-Latin-French and Latin- Russian, which was prefaced with 65 pages of the text, explaining the significance of this first Russian terminological dictionary, contents of anatomy and physiology and even some information about these sciences.
In "the foreward to the dictionary in general", Maksimovich-Ambodic writes: "During collection of the words, related to my subject of practice, I have been collecting bees for more than 10 years. The major reason was that the Russian words had been collected from various ancient and recent manuscripts belonging to church and civics."
It is difficult to overestimate the significance of this work as a result of the great quantity of terms created, which were absent in the Russian language. This significance is not diminished by the bulkness of some terms which are not contained in scientific language together with others which are archaic and have disappeared from the language in the process of its evolution.
The historian of national medicine Ya. A. Chistovich drew a special attention to the significance of "the dictionary" of Maksimovich-Ambodic. He noted the unfair relation to Maksimovich on the part of V. M. Richter, who "did not offer him a single line in his biographical History of Medicine in Russia". Fortunately, the voice of this light word was fair and, in defiance of the partial historian, preserved the name of Maksimovich from undeserved oblivion" (Ya. Chistovich. First obstetrician schools in Russia (1754-1785. Essays from history of Russian medical institutions of the 18th century. SPb., 1870, p. 199) (131).
(37) Khristian Elias Genrikh Knakshtedt was born in Braunshveig in 1749, studied surgery in Bryunn and in 1786 travelled to Petersburg, where he was professor of anatomy and surgery at Kalinkinsky hospital. In 1790, due to the work "Beschreibung der trockenen Knochen des menschlichen Korpers" (SPb., 1791) the medical college awarded him the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Knakshtedt died in 1799. In addition to the mentioned works, he also published "Descriptio praeparatorum maximam partem osteologicorum rarissimorum"
(Braunschweig, 1785) and Latin-German terminological medical dictionary "Erklarung lateinischen Worter, welche zur Geliederungslehre Physiologie; Wundarzneywissenschaft und... Ordnung" (Braunschw., 1784, 2nd edition, SPb., 1788). In the title page of the latter he called himself Russian surgeon and ordinary teacher of studies about bones and all their diseases at the imperial surgical school in Petersburg.
To the work of Knakshtedt mentioned in the text "Anatomical description of the monster" an invitation to Medico-surgical school is addressed to "all famous persons and members of medico- surgical sciences" to attend the meeting "near Kalinkinsky bridge at Ekateringofskaya and listen to "some works and speeches by some teachers and students. The meeting was proposed to take place on January 7 at 10 a.m. (131) .
(38) Petr Andr^evich Zagorskii (1761-1845) is the one who founded the first Russian anatomical school . After teaching at the Cheringovsky college he went to the hospital school in Petersburg. After he finished there, he worked for three years as prosecutor Petersburg medico-surgical school with professor N. P. Karpinsky. From 1799 to 1833, he was junior assistant, and then professor in medico-surgical school, and from 1805 up to the end of his life he was a member of the Academy of Sciences. Zagorskii organized excellent anatomical museums at the medico-surgical school and Academy of Sciences, published the first Russian manual book on anatomy and a great number of works on anatomy, teratology and different medical topics.
(38a) The same opinion on the origin of monsters was also supported by the academician N. Ya. Ozeretskovskii, who informed the Academy on April 25, 17991 about two cases of double monsters in the preparations of the academic museum of natural history. One of these cases was united twins (union in the region of the upper part of the chest, both partners were completely formulated) . The second case was the doubling of the head end, beginning from the girdle region; the monster had three correctly- formulated hands, two normal and one underdeveloped legs. The description of the monsters (the first case was illustrated by two excellently-engraved figures, representing the twins from the front and from behind) was concluded with a brief account about the reason for the monsters appearance. By comparison of the described cases, Ozeretskovskii made the conclusion that monsters can be very variable and that each monster, must possess its natural cause. "The physiologists â€” Ozeretskovskii wrote â€” must explain these causes and find the specific original source of these monsters â€” whether their origin is due to the union of two embryos, or from strengthened, weakened or incomplete development of parts of the body" (p. 371).
1. N. Ozeretskovskii. De doubus foetibus humanis, monstrosis. Nova Acta Acad. Sc. imp. Petropol., 14. 1805, p. 367-372. The article of Ozeretskovskii was published in the same volume of Nova Acta Academiae Petropolitanae , where the above mentioned report of Zagorskii was also published.
In another article, whose contents were received by the Academy one year before (on October 25, 1798)1, a description was given for non-hatched hen's egg with an opening in the shell; through this opening the end of a blood vessel passed. When the egg was opened, in addition to yolk and egg white, a pear-shaped body was found in it, which was full of clotted blood. Ozeretskovskii considered the described content in the egg as a polyp of the oviduct, torn at the time of yolk passing, falling in the egg together with the white. In connection with this, he assumed, that the presence of similar kinds of strange bodies in the eggs of birds may be the cause of appearance of monsters, as the mechanical pressure on the delicate parts of the developed embryo inevitably leads to their deformation. During this, Ozeretskovskii referred to cases of development in double-yolk eggs of doubled embryos which â€” as a rule â€” are monsters. During more or less normal development of these twins, they can unite with each other. "Some years before" Ozeretskovskii wrote "we saw here, in Petersburg, doubled chickens, hatched from one egg, provided with all organs and united at the backs; when one of them stood on the legs, the other lied on it on the back with legs upwards in the most unnatural position. It is clear that, only the narrowness of the shell was the cause that the twin chickens, which were pressed to each other, united by the backs, similar to the united apples, which, beginning from the moment of flowering, closely adjoined each other".
1. N. Ozeretskovskii. De ovo perforata. There also, 12.1801, pp. 364-368.
Both mentioned articles of Ozeretskovskii witness that the Russian academician considered the deformity a result of the caused changes of normal development by external influences, i.e. explained their appearance epigenetically (134).
(39) K. Fr. Kielmeyer (1765-1844), is a famous German naturalist, held in great respect by the contemporaries although he hardly left published works. The most famous work of Kielmeyer was his speech "About the relation of organic powers between each other" (1793) . Kielmeyer particularly suggested the idea of powers, inherent within the living beings â€” irritability, sensibility and reproduction. Their combination in the form of ascending and descending rows corresponds to the stage of the individual development as well as the stage of development of all the organic world, in which, according to Kielmeyer, "the plan of nature" is found. By comparison of the stages of development with these rows, in which adult forms may exist, Kielmeyer made a conclusion, stated by him in a conversation with Gete (1797), that the higher organisms pass many stages in the process of embryonic development, in which they become lower. Shelling attached a very great importance to the ideas of Kielmeyer considering, that they usher in a new epoch in science. In fact, he found later on that before Kielmeyer a similar idea was stated by I. G. Gerder (17441863), who was a publicist, poet and philosopher. The works of Gerder, in particular, had a relation to the question discussed â€” "The ideas of the philosophy of the humanity history", were highly evaluated by Gete. They were popular in Russia as well and had a known effect on Karamzin, Shevryev and Maksimovich (143) .
(40) Prince A. P. Baryatinskii a personality of the Southern Secret Society and active propagandist became, towards the end of 1825, the chief of Kilchinskaya board (in Tul'chin the staff of the 2nd army was present, in which Pestel and some other members of Southern Secret Society served) (148) .
(41) Efrem Osipovich Mukhin (1766-1850) studied at the Kharkovsky College and Elisavetgradskaya Hospital School, and then at Moscow University. He was a junior assistant at the department of pathology and therapy at Moscow Medical School, and later on a professor at the university. He wrote a great number of manual books and special works (162) .
(42) Vilglin Michailovich Rikhter (1767-1822) was born in Moscow, finished Moscow University and published a doctor's dissertation in Erlangen. From 1790 he was a professor of obstetrics at Moscow University. Rikhter is the author of project "Practical obstetrical institute" and many manual books (162) .
(43) Ivan Fedorovich Wenssowitsch (1769-1811) studied at the Kharkovsky college and Moscow University secondary school, from where he joined the university, where he successively joined the faculties of philosophy, law and medicine. He finished the university and became a candidate of medicine. In 1803, he defended a doctor's dissertation in Moscow. From 1805 he was a professor of anatomy, physiology and forensic medicine. He published "journal medico-physical He died from tuberculosis at the age of 42 (163) .
(44) Yakov Kuzmich Kaidanov (1779-1885), from Kiev Ecclesiastical Academy, studied in the Petersburg medicosurgical school. After finishing there, he was sent to Vienna to study veterinary medicine. After his return back, he became a junior assistant at the Medico-surgical Academy. From 1809, he became a
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