An Interactive Annotated World Bibliography of Printed and Digital Works in the History of Medicine and the Life Sciences from Circa 2000 BCE to Circa 2020 by Fielding H. Garrison (1870-1935), Leslie T. Morton (1907-2004), and Jeremy M. Norman (1945- ) Traditionally Known as “Garrison-Morton”

15478 entries, 13333 authors and 1903 subjects. Updated: December 6, 2021


21 entries
  • 372

Tabulae anatomicae sex.

Venice: sumpt. J. S. Calcarensis, 1538.

Vesalius’ first anatomical publication, consisting of six oversized anatomical charts, resembling fugitive sheets. The three skeletal woodcuts are signed by the artist, Jan Stephan van Calcar, who also acted as the publisher. This is the only publication by Vesalius in which Calcar is specifically credited with authorship of images in Vesalius's works. The other woodcuts were engraved after drawings by Vesalius. Only two complete sets of the original edition exist–one in the Bibliotheca Nazionale Marciana, Venice, and the other in the Hunterian Collection at the University of Glasgow Library, donated by Sir William Stirling-Maxwell, who published a limited edition facsimile of his copy for private distribution (London, 1874). Singer and Rabin, A prelude to modern science, Cambridge, 1946, reproduces the sheets half-size with commentary. A full-size facsimile appears in Vesalius, Tabulae Anatomicae, Munich: Bremer Press, 1934. The woodcuts also appear with commentary in Saunders and O’Malley, The illustrations from the works of Andreas Vesalius, Cleveland: World Publishing, 1950.

Subjects: ANATOMY › 16th Century, ANATOMY › Anatomical Illustration, ART & Medicine & Biology
  • 9091

Guenter von Andernach: Institutionum anatomicarum secundum Galeni sententiam ad candidatos medicinae libri quatuor per Joannem Guinterium Andernacum medicum ab Andrea Vesalio Bruxellensi auctiores & emendatiores redditi.

Venice: D. Bernardinus, 1538.

Shortly after the publication of Tabulae anatomicae sex, Vesalius completed this revision of Institutiones anatomicae, a Galenic anatomical text by his teacher Johann Guinter first published in 1536. Vesalius justified his new edition by citing the numerous typographical errors in the original; however, he also incorporated much new material detailing the minutiae of dissection and offering several independent anatomical judgments. These included the anti-Galenic observation that the cardiac systole is synchronous with the arterial pulse, an observation he would discuss again in his venesection epistle.

This work was edited with an English translation, and notes from Vesalius's own copy, by Vivian Nutton, in 2017. See No. 9092.

Subjects: ANATOMY › 16th Century
  • 10165

Epistola docens venam axillarem dextri cubiti in dolore laterali secandam: & melancholium succum ex venae portae ramis ad sedem pertinentibus, purgari.

Basel: Robert Winter, 1539.

In this early study, written in the form of a letter to his friend and mentor Imperial Physician, Nicolaus Florenas, who had encouraged him to study medicine, Vesalius reported his study of the venous system of the human body, motivated by the need to determine where to bleed in the treatment of disease. At this time venesection was, of course, a mainstream therapy. Translated into English by John B. de C. M. Saunders and Charles Donald O'Malley as The bloodletting letter of 1539. An annotated translation and study of the evolution of Vesalius's scientific development (New York: H. Schuman, [1947]). Digital facsimile of the 1539 edition from Google Books at this link, of the English translation from the Hathi Trust at this link.

Subjects: Renaissance Medicine, THERAPEUTICS, THERAPEUTICS › Bloodletting
  • 376

Suorum de humani corporis fabrica librorum epitome.

Basel: Johannes Oporinus, 1543.

Shortly after publishing his encyclopedic De humani corporis fabrica libri septem, Vesalius issued De humani corporis fabrica epitomealso from the press of Johannes Oporinus of Basel. This thin set of 14 unnumbered leaves, each containing images and text, and published in large folio format even larger than the Fabrica, was an outline, or précis, or road-map of essential information contained in the Fabrica, including some different and spectacular larger images. This was the first time that the author of a revolutionary medical or scientific work issued a condensation of his essential information roughly simultaneously with the main publication. Vesalius suggested that the large sheets of the Epitome might be mounted on the walls of dissection rooms as a guide to dissection. While the Fabrica was a very expensive encyclopedic work, Vesalius' Epitome, though larger in format, was a much less expensive work that presented essential anatomical information in a concise, comparatively easy to understand manner. It became far more widely published and distributed than the Fabrica. By August 9, 1543 Vesalius published a German translation of the Epitome in Basel, and many plagiarisms and adaptations of the Epitome were published in various European countries, in a wide variety of formats, throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Because of its much wider publication and distribution, even more than the Fabrica, Vesalius' Epitome was the publication that revolutionized the teaching and study of human anatomy. English translation by L. R. Lind (1949). Translated into French as Résumé de ses livres sur la fabrique du corps humain....Texte et traduction en français par Jacqueline Vons. Introduction, notes et commentaire par Jacqueline Vons et Stéphane Velut (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 2008).

Subjects: ANATOMY › 16th Century, ANATOMY › Anatomical Illustration, ART & Medicine & Biology
  • 375

De humani corporis fabrica libri septem.

Basel: Johannes Oporinus, 1543.

Published when the author was only 29 years old, the Fabrica revolutionized not only the science of anatomy but how it was taught. Throughout this encylopedic work on the structure and workings of the human body, Vesalius provided a fuller and more detailed description of the human anatomy than any of his predecessors, correcting errors in the traditional anatomical teachings of Galen. Even more epochal than his criticism of Galen and other medieval authorities was Vesalius’s assertion that the dissection of cadavers must be performed by the physician himself.

As revolutionary as the contents of the Fabrica and the anatomical discoveries which it published, was its unprecedented blending of scientific exposition, art and typography. The title page and series of woodcut musclemen remain the most famous anatomical illustrations of all time. The artist or artists responsible for these masterworks has been the source of continuing scholarly speculation for centuries. The latest interpretation follows the traditional view that many of the woodcuts were drawn by Jan van Calcar, and that some of the smaller, less artistic ones were drawn by Vesalius. In The illustrations from the works of Andreas Vesalius (1950) Saunders and O’Malley published reduced versions of all the illustrations from Vesalius’s writings, with a commentary and biographical sketch. The standard biography is C.D. O’Malley, Andreas Vesalius of Brussels, Berkeley, 1964. Harvey Cushing’s classic Biobibliography of Andreas Vesalius (1943) appeared in a second edition, Hamden, Conn., 1962. See also the dated but classic work, M. Roth, Andreas Vesalius Bruxellensis, Berlin, Reimer, 1892; reprinted Amsterdam,1965. The complete first edition of the Fabrica was first translated into English by William Richardson and John Burd Carman as On the Fabric of the Human Body. A Translation of De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem. 5 vols. San Francisco & Novato: Norman Publishing, 1998-2009. In 2014 Karger of Basel published in 2 vols. The Fabric of the Human Body. An Annotated Translation of the 1543 and 1555 Editions with Vesalius' Own Notes for a Never Published Third Edition by D.H. Garrison and M.H. Hast.

For further information on the 1543 edition see at this link.

Subjects: ANATOMY › 16th Century, ANATOMY › Anatomical Illustration, ART & Medicine & Biology
  • 1810.1

Epistola, rationem modumque propinandi radicis Chynae decocti…

Basel: Johannes Oporinus, 1546.

In this work on the discovery and therapeutic use of the china root (Smilax china) in the treatment of syphilis, Vesalius described the first attempt to formulate methods of identification of an exotic drug. He also offered physicians means of detecting adulteration of the china root, which was coming into common use.

Vesalius devoted most of the China-Root Epistle to a defense of his anatomical methods and doctrines as described in the Fabrica (1543). The work also contains important autobiographical data, including Vesalius's remarks about his teaching experiences at Pisa, his destruction of some of his early manuscripts (a disgusted reaction to the Fabrica's reception), and information concerning his medical forebears.

Cushing, Bio-bibliography of Vesalius (1943) vii.-1. 1. O'Malley, Andreas Vesalius of Brussels (1965) 187-224. 

  • 377

De humani corporis fabrica libri septem.

Basel: Johannes Oporinus, 1555.

Containing Vesalius’s final published revisions of the text, this edition is also superior for its enlarged format, improved typography and printing, better paper, larger woodcut initials, and changes to the lettering of the anatomical woodcuts. Most of the original woodblocks from the second edition along with the anatomical captions were splendidly reprinted as Icones Anatomicae by the Bremer Press for the New York Academy of Medicine and the University of Munich, 1934. The woodblocks had been preserved in the University of Munich, but were destroyed in World War II.

Subjects: ANATOMY › 16th Century, ANATOMY › Anatomical Illustration, ART & Medicine & Biology
  • 3164

Pro magni, et illustr. Terraenovae Ducis fistula, ex levi axilla in thoracis concavum pervia, etc. In P. Ingrassia, Quaestio de purgatione per medicamentum

Venice: sumpt. A. Patessii, 1568.

Vesalius’s consilium to Ingrassia, dated Madrid, 1562, in which he clearly described the operation for empyema (pp. 92-98). Although treatment of empyema by surgery was referred to in classical times, it became unfashionable, and Vesalius seems to have been the first to revive the actual use of surgery for this illness. English translation in O’Malley, Andreas Vesalius of Brussels, Berkeley, Univ. of California Press, 1965, pp.398-402.

Subjects: RESPIRATION › Respiratory Diseases, SURGERY: General
  • 2972

Vesalius: Una cum D. Bartholomaei Velseri literis, Tuas, doctissime et mihi amicissime D. Achilles, accepi.... IN: Welsch, G. H., Sylloge curationum et observationum medicinalum centurias vi complectens (J. U. Rumler, Observationes medicae e bibliotheca Georgi Hieronymi Velschii, cum eius dem notis LXXXXI, p. 47).

Augsburg: Gottlieb Goebel, 1667.

In 1555 Vesalius was the first to diagnose an aneurysm of the thoracic and abdominal aorta in a living person. Vesalius wrote this consilium to Achilles Pirmin Gasser on July 18, 1557; it was not published until more than 100 years later. The consilium was in response to a notice from Gasser regarding the death of the Augsburg patrician, Leonard Welser, whom Vesalius had seen as a patient in 1555. Ever since a ride on horseback, Welser had suffered severe and constant pain. Upon examination Vesalius discovered a pulsating tumor in the region of the vertebrae, and immediatedly diagosed a fatal aneurysm of the aorta. After suffering with this disease for two years, Welser resorted to a quack, who, it was thought, contributed to his demise. Gasser's autopsy report confirmed Vesalius's original diagnosis. Regarding the consilium, in Andreas Vesalius of Brussels (1964) C.D. O'Malley translated Rumler's comments as follows: "When in 1557 that noble gentleman Leonard Welser finally died from an internal aneurism from which he had long suffered its various symptoms, on 25 June Adolph Occo, father and son, Ambrose Jung, and Lucas Stengel, physicians of Augsburg, dissected the body in order to find the cause of death, and Achilles Gasser, my maternal grandfather, sent their findings to Vesalius." Vesalius's consilium and much other material collected and preserved by Rumler seems to have been first published by Welsch, as part of a larger collection. O'Malley also translated Gasser's report to Vesalius on pp. 406-07, and translated Vesalius's consilium on pp. 395-96. Digital facsimile of the 1667 edition from Google Books at this link.

  • 8095

Opera omnia anatomica & chirurgica. Edited by Herman Boerhaave and Bernhard Siegfried Albinus. 2 vols.

Leiden: Johannes du Vivie, Johannes and Herman Verbeek, 1725.

Vesalius's collected works with the famous woodcuts reproduced as copperplate engravings by Jan Wandelaar (1690-1759). Notably Boerhaave and Albinus had this edition published because Vesalius's works still had practical value for physicians early in the 18th century before the application of microscopy to anatomy. Digital facsimile from ECHO, Cultural Heritage Online at this link.

Subjects: ANATOMY › 16th Century, ANATOMY › 18th Century, ANATOMY › Anatomical Illustration, ART & Medicine & Biology, Collected Works: Opera Omnia, SURGERY: General
  • 12685

Études sur André Vésale: Précédées d'une notice historique sur sa vie et ses écrits.

Gand, Belgium: C. Annoot-Braeckman, Imprimeur, 1841.

Digital facsimile from Google Books at this link.

Subjects: ANATOMY › History of Anatomy, BIOGRAPHY (Reference Works) › Biographies of Individuals, Renaissance Medicine › History of Renaissance Medicine
  • 8096

A bio-bibliography of Andreas Vesalius.

New York: Schuman's, 1943.

The standard annotated bibliography of Vesalius's works, known for its unusual system of numbering entries. Posthumously edited for publication by John F. Fulton and Arturo Castiglioni. Digital facsimile of the 1943 edition from at this link. Second edition with addenda, Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1962. See also Elly Cockx-Indestege, Andreas Vesalius: A Belgian census: Contribution towards a new edition of H.W. Cushing's Bibliography (Brussels, 1994).


Subjects: ANATOMY › 16th Century, ANATOMY › Anatomical Illustration, ANATOMY › History of Anatomy, BIBLIOGRAPHY › Bibliographies of Individual Authors, Renaissance Medicine › History of Renaissance Medicine
  • 372.1

Andreas Vesalius's first public anatomy at Bologna, 1540. An eyewitness report by Baldasar Heseler, together with his notes on Matthaeus Curtius's lectures on Anatomia Mundini. Edited, with an introduction, translation into English and notes by Ruben Eriksson.

Uppsala, Sweden: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1959.

A unique manuscript discovery helping us to bridge the gap in the development of Vesalius’s ideas between the Tabulae anatomicae sex (1538) and the Fabrica (1543). Vesalius typically preceded his anatomical demonstrations with Matthaeus' Curtius's commentaries on the Anatomy of Mundinus .

Subjects: ANATOMY › 16th Century
  • 12693

Andreas Vesalius of Brussels, 1514-1564.

Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1964.

Subjects: ANATOMY › 16th Century, ANATOMY › History of Anatomical Illustration, ANATOMY › History of Anatomy, BIOGRAPHY (Reference Works) › Biographies of Individuals, Renaissance Medicine › History of Renaissance Medicine
  • 13024

Vesalius: The China Root epistle. A new translation and critical edition, edited and translated by Daniel H. Garrison, with added illustrations from the 1543 and 1555 De humani corporis fabrica.

New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

  • 9092

Principles of anatomy according to the opinion of Galen by Johann Guinter and Andreas Vesalius. Edited [with an English translation] by Vivian Nutton.

London & New York: Routledge, 2017.

The first translation into English of Johann Guinter’s textbook as revised and annotated by Guinter’s student, Andreas Vesalius, in 1538. Despite Vesalius’ fame as an anatomist, his 1538 revision has attracted almost no attention. However, this new translation shows the significant rewrites and additional information added to the original based on his own dissections. 250 newly discovered manuscript annotations by Vesalius himself, preserved in his own copy of the book and published here in full for the first time, also show his working methods and ideas. 

Subjects: ANATOMY › 16th Century
  • 10543

The Fabrica of Andreas Vesalius: A worldwide descriptive census, ownership, and annotations of the 1543 and 1555 editions.

Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2018.

Detailed bibliographical information, ownership records, and worldwide census, including description of the handwritten annotations in the surviving copies of the first two editions of Vesalius's De humani corporis fabrica.

Subjects: ANATOMY › 16th Century, BIBLIOGRAPHY › Bibliographies of Individual Authors
  • 13105

Andreas Vesalius and the Fabrica in the age of printing: Art, anatomy and printing in the Italian renaissance. Edited by R. F. Canalis and M. Ciavolella.

Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2018.

Subjects: ANATOMY › History of Anatomical Illustration, ANATOMY › History of Anatomy, BIBLIOGRAPHY › Bibliographies of Anatomy
  • 13668

In the shadow of Vesalius: An exciting series of new insights into life and work of Andreas Vesalius and his friends. Edited by Robrecht Van Hee.

Antwerp: Garant Uitgevers, 2020.

Subjects: ANATOMY › 16th Century, ANATOMY › History of Anatomy
  • 13667

Vesaliana: An updated and annotated Vesalius Bibliography, including all known publications on Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) and his works. Compiled by Maurits Biesbrouck.

Roeselare, Belgium, 2021.

A bibliography of studies about Vesalius and his works.

When I added this entry in October 2021 the latest version was a 582-page PDF dated January 2021.

Subjects: ANATOMY › 16th Century, ANATOMY › History of Anatomy, DIGITAL RESOURCES
  • 13669

Inventory of the editions of Andreas Vesalius's works and letters (Opera litteraeque Andreae Vesalii). Compiled by Maurits Biesbrouck.

Roeselare, Belgium, 2021.

An update of Harvey Cushing's Biobibliography.

When I added this entry in October 2021 the most recent online version of this bibliography was a 506-page PDF dated January 2021.

Subjects: BIBLIOGRAPHY › Bibliographies of Individual Authors, DIGITAL RESOURCES