Leonardo da Vinci - the anatomist (1930) 22

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McMurrich JP. Leonardo da Vinci - the anatomist. (1930) Carnegie institution of Washington, Williams & Wilkins Company, Baltimore.

   Leonardo da Vinci (1930): 1 Introductory | 2 Anatomy from Galen to Leonardo | 3 Possible Literary Sources of Leonardo’s Anatomical Knowledge | 4 Anatomical Illustration before Leonardo | 5 Fortunes and Friends | 6 Leonardo’s Manuscripts, their Reproduction and his Projected Book | 7 Leonardo’s Anatomical Methods | 8 General Anatomy and Physiology | 9 Leonardo’s Canon of Proportions | 10 The Skeleton | 11 The Muscles | 12 The Heart | 13 The Blood-vessels | 14 The Organs of Digestion | 15 The Organs of Respiration | 16 The Excretory and Reproductive Organs | 17 The Nervous System | 18 The Sense Organs | 19 Embryology | 20 Comparative Anatomy | 21 Botany | 22 Conclusion | References | Glossary of Terms | List of Illustrations
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Leonardo da Vinci - The Anatomist

Chapter XXII Conclusion

In the preceding pages an attempt has been made to set forth without prejudice Leonardo’s achievements as an anatomist, record being made of his failures as well as of his successes. There has been an endeavor, also, to provide an historical background against which those achievements may be judged, and there remains to be added a brief consideration of the position to be assigned to him in the development of modern scientific anatomy.

The Renaissance in art, when conventionalism began to give way to naturalism, may be traced back to Giotto and through him to Cimabue; it had already, in Leonardo’s time, been in progress for some two centuries. Indeed, it may be said to have reached its height when three such artists as Leonardo, Michel Angelo and Raphael were giving to the world their masterpieces at the same time. To depict objects naturally, that is to say accurately, required accurate observation, and for two centuries the artists had been cultivating that faculty, raising the standard of accuracy as time went on. Leonardo’s note-books abound in records of observations made for their bearing on a better technique, for improvement of his artistic accuracy; one finds, for example, notes on the changes of color tones in light and shadow, the effects of contrast in colors, the fighter tone of foliage blown by the wind, the effect of distance on the contour, and so on. The faculty of minute observation was one of the important factors in making him a great artist, and when his studies for Art’s sake led him to anatomy it was his habit of observation that made him a great anatomist. He combined in himself the two faculties, artistic ability and keen observation, which in later times cooperated for improvement in anatomical illustration and so for improved description. The artist undoubtedly played an important part in the advancement of anatomical knowledge (see p. 51).

No one will dispute Leonardo’s right to be termed a great artist, indeed, one of the greatest, and he also has a right to the title of great anatomist. True, he might be classed as an Arabist; he was undoubtedly greatly influenced by Avicenna and Mondino; his nomenclature is Arabistic and his physiology was largely so, but his Arabism was merely the foundation on which the artist and observer was building. The Arabists did not observe, they relied entirely on tradition or dogma; they either did not use illustrations in their treatises, or, if they did, they were conventional and crude. Leonardo initiated a new movement in anatomy, one destined in time to replace piece by piece the old foundations by more substantial ones. One may perceive strivings toward the new movement in the works of Phryesen and Reisch, but Leonardo’s artistic ability and the wider scope of his observations mark him as its true initiator.

This achievement alone, the inauguration of a revolution in descriptive anatomy, ranks him as a great anatomist and his right to that title is confirmed by the many important discoveries he made in follow T ing out his methods. He is guilty of many errors both of omission and commission, but these may be ascribed in part to his preoccupation in many other interests and in part to the influence of his Arabistic foundation. On the opposite page are to be placed to his credit important discoveries, the harvest of his reliance on observation. These have already been discussed and it will suffice to mention here merely his observation of the correct inclination of the pelvis, his discovery of the frontal and maxillary sinuses, of the moderator band of the heart, of the bronchial arteries, of arterial sclerosis, and his rediscovery of the thyreoid gland and of the unilocular structure of the uterus.

Even more striking than these, perhaps, is his emancipation from belief in the theory of innate heat, striking because it was the denial of one of the fundamental tenets of antiquity, accepted by the Arabists, and also because it illustrates a characteristic striving to explain phenomena on the basis of a natural rather than a supernatural causation. This is a very modern trait, the trait that led Newton to the discovery of the law of gravitation and Darwin to the formulation of the doctrine of evolution. It was the bourgeoning of the modern spirit of scientific investigation, contrasting with the prevalent reliance on tradition.

What distinguishes Leonardo from his mediaeval predecessors and his contemporaries in anatomy was his greater desire for thoroughness. The mediaeval anatomists dissected in order to demonstrate Avicenna’s teachings, the artists contemporary with Leonardo were satisfied with the study of the surface modeling of the body as revealed by flayed cadavers. But Leonardo, having seen a skeleton, must not only study and accurately portray each bone, but must inquire into its structure; having seen a muscle he must inquire as to its individual action, as to its intimate structure and as to how it functions. And then, not content with having more than covered the ground thought necessary for an artist, he extends his studies to the heart and its mechanism, to the digestive system and its functions, to the activities of the brain, to the organs that subserve generation and to the growth and being of the child within the womb. In short, the scientist predominates over the artist and he strives for knowledge for the sake of knowledge and seeks for a solution of the mysteries of life and death.


And yet Leonardo was not unpractical, merely a dreamer. To appreciate him as a scientist one must bear in mind his extraordinary fertility in invention, less evident in connection with his anatomy than with his studies in mechanics and hydraulics. These resulted in a wheel-barrow and armored cars, in a lamp chimney and a lifting crane, in plans for water mills and for extensive canals, for temples and cathedrals and for entire cities. These and many other inventions that might be mentioned were the products of a vivid imagination working on fundamental scientific data. Imagination was not lacking in the fourteenth and fifteen centuries; on the contrary it was most active, producing, for example, the marvelous Gothic cathedrals that excite our wonder and admiration. But for the most part mediaeval imagination was not based on scientific foundations, it found its field for play in metaphysics rather than physics. Some of Leonardo’s contemporaries may have equalled him in artistic ability, in keenness of observation, in imagination, or in diligence, but he combined all these qualities in an exceptional degree and added to them a searching curiosity to discern the fundamental laws of Nature and a conviction that natural phenomena were to be explained by natural rather than supernatural causes. He had —


The faith, the vigor, bold to dwell On doubts that drive the coward back,

And keen through wordy snares to track Suggestion to its inmost cell.

To Leonardo the individual, then, may be assigned high rank as a scientist and as an anatomist, but what is his status in the history of anatomy? The fact that his discoveries were not published and so given to the world at large lessened undoubtedly his influence on the progress of anatomical knowledge, but it can not have been entirely lacking. His studies were no doubt known to many of those frequenting the Florentine and Milanese courts, and among these were many of the then leaders of scientific thought in Italy, such as Pacioli, the Marliani and the Cardani. His fellow artists must have known of them and so too his fellow members in the Florentine guild of physicians and apothecaries, and there are reasons for a belief that his anatomical drawings were known far beyond the confines of Italy. For K. Sudhoff (1908) has pointed out that certain anatomical drawings in Albrecht Dlirer’s sketch books were undoubtedly copies of drawings by Leonardo, but when and where Diirer saw the originals is unknown. Some of the drawings are dated 1517, but at that time Leonardo was in France; Diirer probably heard something of Leonardo’s activities during his residence in Venice (1505-1507), five years after the visit to that city of Leonardo and his friend Pacioli.

Leonardo’s influence, then, may not have been as limited as has been supposed and it is worthy of note that the foundations for modern descriptive anatomy were laid in northern Italy, where his influence would be most readily felt. However, after all, great advances and great discoveries do not come as bolts from the blue; each has its period of preparation, of incubation, before it is given to the world. It was the Zeitgeist of the literary and artistic Renaissance that led to the advance in descriptive anatomy. It glimmered in Berengario da Carpi (1550) and Guinterius (1503-1579), more strongly in Estienne (1503-1564) and burst into flame in Canano (1515-1579) and Vesalius. But it shone with yet brighter luster in Leonardo even earlier than in any of these; through him it shed light on many fields of science and made him a conspicuous and typical figure of the scientific Renaissance.


References

The following list of references includes only the Vincian literature bearing on the questions discussed in the preceding pages and does not profess to be a complete bibliography even of this.

The list is arranged in two portions, the first of which contains the facsimile reproductions of Leonardo’s manuscripts together with the Forster manuscript and for these the customary reference symbols are employed. The second portion contains essays, critiques, etc., reference to which is made by date number.

References to works not directly concerned with Leonardo have been assigned to foot-notes.

AnA — I manoscritti di Leonardo da Vnci della Reale Biblioteca di Windsor. Dell’ Anatomiafogli A, pubblicati da Teodoro Sabachnikoff, trascritti ed annotati da Giovanni Piumati, Paris, 1898.

AnB — I manoscritti di Leonardo da Vinci della Reale Biblioteca di Windsor. Dell’ Anatomia fogli B, pubblicati da Teodoro Sabachnikoff, trascritti ed annotati da Giovanni Piumati, Milan, 1901.

QI-VI — Leonardo da Vinci Quaderni d’ Anatomia, pubblicati da Ove C. L. Vangensten, A. Fonahn, H. Hopstock, vols. I-VI, Christiania, 1911-1916.

Rouv — Feuillets inedits de Leonardo da Vinci accompagnes de plusieurs milliers de croquis et dessins (Royal Library, Windsor), Rouveyre, Paris, 1901 CA — II Codice Atlantico, nella Biblioteca Ambrosiana di Milano, riprodotto e pubblicato dalla Regia Accademia dei Lyncei sotto gli auspici e col sussidio del Governo; Trascrizione diplomatica e critica di Giovanni Piumati, Rome, 18941904.

A-M — Mss. in the Institut de France. Leonardo da Vinci: Les manuscrits publies en facsimile, avec transcriptions literates, traductions, etc., par Ch. RavaissonMollien, Paris, 1881-1891.

Tr — 11 Codice di Leonardo da Vinci nella biblioteca del Principe Trevulzio in Milano, trascritto ed annotato da Luca Beltrami, Milan, 1891.

Sa — I manoscritti di Leonardo da Vinci, Codice sul volo degli Uccelli, ecc., pubblicato da Teod. Sabachnikoff; Trascrizione e note di G. Piumati, con traduzione francese di C. Ravaisson-Mollien, Paris, 1893.

Leic — Leonardo da Vinci, Codice della biblioteca di Lord Leicester in Holkham Hall, pubblicato da G. Calvi, Milan, 1909.

BM — The Arundel Mss. 263 in the British Museum. I manoscritti e i disegni di Leonardo da Vinci, pubblicato della reale Commissione Vinciana sotto gli auspici del Ministero della Pubblica Istruzione, vol. I, Rome, 1923-1927.

SK — Mss. I-III (Forster Bequest) in the South Kensington Museum.

Ash — Ashburnham Mss. in Biblioth£que Nationale, Paris.

TP — Trattato della Pittura, of which there are many editions, one of the latest being Trattat von der Malerei, Nach der Uebersetzung von Heinrich Ludwig, neu herausgegeben und eingeleistet von Marie Herzfeld, Jena, 1909.


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, 1913 1 . Zu Heinrich Boruttau’s Erwiderung u.s.w. Arch, fur Gesch. der Medizin, Bd. VII.

Vasari, G. 1912. Lives of the most Eminent Painters, Sculptors and Architects. Translated by Gaston du C. de Vere, London.

Verdier, H. 1913. Leonard de Vinci physiologiste. Paris.

Washburn, W. A. 1916. Galen, Vesalius, Da Vinci, Anatomists. Bull. Soc. Med. History, Chicago.

Weindler, F. 1908. Geschichte der gynakologisch-anatomische Abbildung. Dresden.

Wright, W. 1919. Leonardo as Anatomist. Burlington Mag.

1922. Leonardo da Vinci’s Work on the Structure of the Heart. Proc. Third

Internat. Congress of the History of Medicine, London.


Glossary of Arabistic and Certain other Terms used by Leonardo

In preparing this glossary much use has been made of the two glossarial works of Hyrtl, Das Arabische und Hebraische in der Anatomie, Wien, 1879, and Onomatologica Anatomica, Wien, 1880; of Professor Fonahn’s Arabic and Latin Anatomical Terminology, chiefly from the Middle Ages, Kristiania 1922; and of the glossary contained in P. de Koning’s T rois traites d' anatomie arabes Leiden, 1903.

Additamenti del core — QII, 3v. The term additamentum was in common use in anatomical terminology in the Middle Ages to denote a process or projection. Thus the great trochanter, the coracoid process of the scapula and even the olfactory lobes of the brain were termed additamenta. The term additamenta del core denotes the auricular appendages of the heart and is an exact translation of additamenta cordis used by Mondino.

Aiutorio — AnA, passim. An Italianized form of adjutorium, which, in turn, is a literal translation of the Arabic al-’adhid, derived from the verb 'adhada, to support. Strictly it denotes the upper arm or brachium and is so used by Leonardo, but sometimes it means the humerus. In one passage (AnB, 16v) it appears as aiutorio di sopra, as if the term might also be used for the forearm or its bones.

Alanchoidea or Alantoydea — QIII, 8v. Variations from allantoidea, allantois.

Alcatin. Sometimes denotes the pelvis (AnA, 16v) and sometimes the sacrum (QII, 16; QIII, 7v). In Mondino it is the concavity of the sacrum, but in Avicenna al-qatan stands for the lumbar vertebrae.

Anca. The Italian word for the hip or hip bone, from the same root as the English word haunch. Leonardo uses it for the ilium.

Animus, Animo — QIII, 8v. Erroneous spellings of amnios, now amnion.

Arteria venalis — QII, 2v. Probably the left atrium of the heart regarded as a part of the pulmonary veins, these then opening directly into the ventricle. See p. 153.

Ascia — AnA, 15v. Apparently the great trochanter of the femur. It suggests ischium, but may have its origin in scia, used frequently by the mediaevalists for the acetabulum or the head of the femur.

Astalis — QI, 13. A corruption of extalis, rectum. See p. 32.

Bellico — QIII, 3v. A modification of umbilicus.

Burella — QV, 3v. Patella.

Calcere — QII, 12. A fanciful term ( calcere , capstan) proposed for one of the chordae tendineae of the left ventricle.

Camicia — TP, 833. The bast or meristem of plants.

Caro. Flesh. Used in a somewhat indefinite manner to denote muscle, or the substance of which muscle is chiefly formed, or glandular tissue.

Caroncle — AnB, 35. Carunculi, used to denote the olfactory bulbs of the brain.

Catena — QIV, 15. Used for a moderator band of the heart, as it were a chain to prevent over dilation.

Catino — AnB, 20. Pelvis. The same as alcatin, q.v.

Celabro — AnB, 13v; Cielabro— QV, 6v. The brain, for cerebro.

Cervello — QI, 3v. The brain.

Chassa ( del polmone) — QI, 7v. The pleura.

Chassula del core — QI, 2v. The pericardium.

Cholatorio del chore — QII, 4v, 10. The interventricular septum of the heart, so named from the belief that it was traversed by minute pores through which the more subtilized blood might pass from the right to the left ventricle.

Coda — QIII, 4v. The coccyx.

Codrione — AnA, 8v. The sacrum and coccyx.

Colatorio — AnB, 40. The cribriform plate of the ethmoid bone.

Corda. Used variously for tendon or nerve.

Corde forate- — AnB, 2. Nerves, these being supposed to be hollow so that the vital spirit might flow through them.

Coscia — AnA, 15, 17, 18; AnB, 8. The thigh, coxa.

Coste mendose — AnB, 13v. The false ribs.

Ddjoflama — QI, 7v. Diaphragm.

Degiuno, Deiuno, Djguno. Various spellings for jejunum.

Emicicli — QII, 13v. The concavities formed by the semilunar valves and the sinuses of Valsalva.

Epigloto — QI, 5v; QIV, 10. The larynx. Epiglottis was the common mediaeval term for the larynx, what is now termed epiglottis being known as linguella, coopertorium, etc.

Epiglottide scutale. The epiglottis.

Fistola — QIV, lOv. The larynx.

Forcula, Forchola, Furchula. The clavicle. Hyrtl has pointed out that strictly furcula (dim. of furca, a two-pronged fork, yoke) denotes both clavicles and it is so used for the united bones in birds. Leonardo, however, usually follows the Latin Avicenna in using it for either of the two bones. Mondino uses it for the sternum and it has been used for the suprasternal notch.

Futile. A modification of focile, the usual Arabistic translation of the arabic word zand, used for the bones of the forearm and crus. According to Blumenbach (quoted by Hyrtl) the Arabic word denoted a wand or rod of wood which could be rubbed against another to produce fire, hence the word focile (focus, a hearth). The words focile majus were used for the ulna and tibia and/oci7e minus for the radius and fibula.

Fuso del gamba— AnA, 9. The tuberosity of the tibia.

Inbelliche — QI, 7. LTmbilicus.

Ipopletiche — AnB, 37v. The carotid artery. See venae apoplecticae.

Lacerta. Used for a long and somewhat slender muscle.

Lacrimatori — AnB, 38v; Lacrimatoio — AnB, 41, 42. The eyelids.

Linguella — AnA, 3. Epiglottis.

Lombi — QII, 16v. The psoas muscles.

Luce — D passim. Employed sometimes for the pupil of the eye, sometimes for the cornea.

Maestre — AnB, 24, 41v. The canine teeth. Avicenna and Mondino both use the term canini. Maestre probably refers to their greater length ( magister , magis).

Mascellari — AnB, 24, 41v. The molar teeth ( Maxillares ). Not unusual in mediaeval authors, though not used in the Latin Avicenna nor in Mondino. It is probably not directly from maxilla, but from the common stem-root seen in macero, to soften or crush.

ill erf. The usual Arabistic term for the oesophagus, the arabic mari.

Mesopleuri — AnA, 7; AnB, 27v. The Galenic term for the intercostal muscles.

Mirac. The Arabistic term for the anterior abdominal wall, the Arabic maraqq.

Monocolo— AnA, 15v; AnB, 14v. The caecum. “The Arabs found it inappropriate that a portion of the intestine that really possessed one opening should be termed blind (caecum). Consequently they named it: al-a’war, one-eyed, which the translators plainly enough expressed with the Graeco-Latin hybrid monoculum” (Hyrtl).

Muscolo del chore — QI, llv. Papillary muscle of the heart.

Musculi dilatanti — AnB, 27v. Name suggested for the serratus anterior from its action in dilating the thoracic cavity.

Muscolo del dolore — AnA, 13v. The frontal portion of the occipito-frontalis.

Muscolo delira — AnA, 13v. (1) The corrugator supercilii (?). The zygomaticus minor.

Muscoli latitudinali — AnB, 15; QI. 16. The obliqui abdominis.

Muscoli longitudinal i — AnB, 15; QI, 16. The recti abdominis.

Muscolo massimo della spalla — AnA, 2. The infraspinatus.

Muscoli tiranti — AnB, 27v. Proposed for the serratus posterior superior to indicate its action in drawing the ribs upward.

Muscoli trassversali — AnB, 15; QI, 16. The transversi abdominis.

Nervo. The mediaevalists continued to be influenced by the Aristotelian confusion of nerve and tendon. The word nervo is used for a nerve, a tendon, a ligament, or even a small artery.

Nervi reversivi — AnA, 16; QIV, 7. Properly the term is applicable to the recurrent laryngeal nerves, and Leonardo sometimes uses it in that sense (QI, 13v). In other passages it is used for the vagus nerve as a whole.

Nuca or Nucha. The history of this word has been fully worked out by Hyrtl, who shows that it has an Arabic origin and is a modification of two quite different words. Consequently it has two quite different meanings, (1) as a modification of the arabic nuqra it means the back of the neck (AnA, 8v, 16v), in which sense it is still used in ligamentum nuchre and in nuchal. (2) As a modification of the Arabic nukha’ it means the spinal cord (AnB, 23).

Omore albuginea or alhusinio— D, 7v. Aqueous humor of the eye.

Omore crystallina — D, 7v. The lens of the eye.

Orca — QII, 12. A fanciful name suggested for one of the chordae tendineae of the left ventricle of the heart. Orca, a brace or stay, nautical term.

Orecchio. Literally an ear, but used to denote the auricular appendages of the heart or the vermiform appendix of the caecum.

Ossi glandulosi — AnA, 1, 12. The sesamoid bones of the great toe.

Ossi petrosi — AnA, 7v. The sesamoid bones of the great toe.

Osso dell’ aiutorio — QIII, passim. The humerus. See aiutorio.

Osso basillare. This term is applied to three different bones. (1) The bone at the base of the skull, probably the occipital, AnA, 3; (2) the cuboid bone of the tarsus, AnA, 3v; and (3) the trapezium of the carpus, AnA, lOv.

Osso del coda — AnA, 5. The coccyx.

Osso del coscia. In AnA, 15 and 15v, this denotes the femur (see coscia ), but it is also used for the os innominatum, AnA, 9.

Osso della forcula — AnA, 3. The clavicle. See Forcula.

Osso del pettine — QV, 24. The pubic bone.

Osso della schixna — AnA, 8v. The spinal column, back bone.

Osso della spalla — AnA, lv. The scapula.

Padella. A misspelling of patella and may indicate that bone, AnA, 9, or the scapula, AnA, lv, 3, 4, 13.

Paletta. Also a misspelling of patella, denoting the scapula, AnB, 23.

Panniculi. Used for membranes in general, but also specially applied to the atrio-ventricular valves of the heart, QI, 3; QII, passim, on account of their membranous character.

Penule — AnB, llv. A mediaeval term applied to the lobes of the liver. Probably from the Latin psenula, a mantle or cloak, in allusion to the manner in which the lobes of the liver were supposed to cover the stomach (see figs. 7 and 9). Leonardo extended the use of the term to the lobes of the lungs, QII, 1.

Pesce del'brachio — AnA, 14v; AnB, 22. M. biceps brachii.

Pesce della coscia — AnA, 9. M. rectus femoris.

Pettignone— TP. 338, 341. Mons veneris.

Pettine — QI, 6v; QIII, 4v, 7; AnB, 15v, 6v. Used by Leonardo most frequently in the sense of pubes. It also denoted the hand, especially with the fingers extended, pecten manus, and from this it came to be applied to the palm of the hand. Leonardo uses it in this sense on AnA, lOv.

Polpa or Pompa della gamJba — AnA, llv. The calf of the leg.

Pomo granato — AnA, 18; QIII, v; TP, 338, 341. The xiphoid process of the sternum. See p. 33.

Pori ( Poli ) ureterici — AnB, 14, 37. The ureters.

Porta. Most frequent'y used in the sense of porta hepatis, but sometimes for the atrioventricular orifices of the heart, QII, 12.13v, and for the opening of the inferior vena cava, QI, 2v.

Portinario — QIII, 1. The hymen.

Portinaro — QII, 16; QIV, llv. The pylorus of the stomach.

Punta della spatola — AnA, 14v. The coracoid process of the scapula.

Rosetta — AnA, 14. The Arabistic term for the carpus, corrupted from the Arabic rusgh, which denotes either the carpus or the tarsus.

Rete — QIII, 3. The great omentum.

Rostro della spalla — AnA, 14v. The coracoid process of the scapula.

Rotula ( Rotella ) — AnA, 9; TP, 340. The patella.

Scutola — AnA, 3. The thyreoid cartilage.

Secondina — According to Hyrtl secundinx is a barbarism, the classical Latin word for the afterbirth being secundx. Leonardo uses the term with various spellings, sometimes for the chorion, QIII, 8v, sometimes for the placenta, QII, 1; QIII, 8.

Sifac. — The usual Arabistic term for the peritoneum, from the Arabic sifaq.

Spalla — Literally, the shoulder, as in osso della spalla, but Leonardo uses it, AnA, 2, for the deltoid muscle.

Spatula, Spathula or Spatola. The Scapula.

Spera albuginea — D. 7v. The aqueous humor of the eye.

Spera crystallina — D, 7, 10. The lens of the eye.

Spera vitrea — D, 8v. The lens of the eye.

Spetie — The particles or simulacra supposed to be emitted by objects and which, reaching the optic nerve, give the sensation of vision.

Spina del dorso — AnB, 37v. The spinal column.

Spondili — From spondyles, the Latinized Greek term for vertebra;. It was used in the Latin Avicenna and hence was the term in common use by mediaeval writers, eventually being replaced by vertebra; when Celsus, who uses that term, became popular. In addition to using it in this sense Leonardo also uses it, AnA, 5, to denote the lesser trochanters of the femora. See vertebrum.

Tallone — QII, 24. The usual meaning is heel, but the word is derived from the Latin talus, which meant heel or ankle or ankle bone. Leonardo seems to use it in this place for malleolus.

Testiculi — Applied to both testes and ovaries, AnB, 13.

Trachea — Denotes not only what is now termed trachea, but all its branches (bronchi and bronchioles) as far as they could be followed.

Usscio, Uscioli — QII, passim. These might be expected to denote the openings guarded by the valves of the heart, but they are used for the valves themselves.

Uvea — D, 7. The retina of the eye.

Vena — Frequently used in the modern sense, but also in the general sense of a bloodvessel.

Venx apoplecticx — AnB, 32v. The carotid arteries. The term is used by Mondino and is explained by the belief commonly held during the Middle Ages that if these arteries were compressed the individual would fall insensible. The belief dates back to classical times, being stated by Aristotle; Galen, however, did not accept it.

Vena arteriale — QII, 2v, 17v. The pulmonary artery. On QII, 4, it denotes the aorta.

Vena cilis — QV. The ureter.

Vena chili or del chilo. The Arabistic designation of the vena cava. It may be noted that the word chilo has nothing to do with chyle, but is the Latin transcription of the Arabic transliteration of the Greek word koile-cava.

Vena magiore — QI, 10. The vena cava.

Vena massima — QI, 1. The vena cava.

Vena meseraica — QI, 1; QIII, 7. The mesenteric vein.

V ene mulgenti — QII, 7; QIII, 7v. The renal veins

Vena nera — QII, 4. A cardiac vein.

Vergha — QIII, 1. The penis.

Verme— QI, 3v; QIV, 11. A problematical structure in the brain, supposed to contract and expand and so close or open the communication between the third and fourth ventricles. It may be the vermis of the cerebellum, though Hyrtl argues that primarily it meant the chorioid plexus of the lateral ventricles.

Vertebrum — AnB, 37v. Not vertebra, for which Leonardo used spondili {q.v.) but seemingly the spinous process of a vertebra, recalling the use of spondili for the lesser trochanter, both words implying etymologically a turning movement. Mondino uses vertebrum for the spherical head of the femur.

Zirbo — AnB, 3, llv, 34v. The Arabistic term for the great omentum. A corruption of the Arabic tarb.



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Pages where the terms "Historic" (textbooks, papers, people, recommendations) appear on this site, and sections within pages where this disclaimer appears, indicate that the content and scientific understanding are specific to the time of publication. This means that while some scientific descriptions are still accurate, the terminology and interpretation of the developmental mechanisms reflect the understanding at the time of original publication and those of the preceding periods, these terms, interpretations and recommendations may not reflect our current scientific understanding.     (More? Embryology History | Historic Embryology Papers)
   Leonardo da Vinci (1930): 1 Introductory | 2 Anatomy from Galen to Leonardo | 3 Possible Literary Sources of Leonardo’s Anatomical Knowledge | 4 Anatomical Illustration before Leonardo | 5 Fortunes and Friends | 6 Leonardo’s Manuscripts, their Reproduction and his Projected Book | 7 Leonardo’s Anatomical Methods | 8 General Anatomy and Physiology | 9 Leonardo’s Canon of Proportions | 10 The Skeleton | 11 The Muscles | 12 The Heart | 13 The Blood-vessels | 14 The Organs of Digestion | 15 The Organs of Respiration | 16 The Excretory and Reproductive Organs | 17 The Nervous System | 18 The Sense Organs | 19 Embryology | 20 Comparative Anatomy | 21 Botany | 22 Conclusion | References | Glossary of Terms | List of Illustrations


Reference: McMurrich JP. Leonardo da Vinci - the anatomist. (1930) Carnegie institution of Washington, Williams & Wilkins Company, Baltimore.


Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2020, July 11) Embryology Leonardo da Vinci - the anatomist (1930) 22. Retrieved from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Leonardo_da_Vinci_-_the_anatomist_(1930)_22

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