Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Anatomy, Bloodletting and Emblems

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

The title-page of Nathaniel Highmore's Disquisition on the Anatomy of the Human Body (1651) depicts mythological and historical characters, anatomical and medical symbols and embodiments of anatomy, contemplation and different forms of bloodletting. This chapter presents Nathaniel Highmore's methods of investigation, his views on the relationship between anatomy and medicine, and his anatomical findings. In particular, it calls attention to his argument that the effectiveness of bloodletting can only be explained on the premise that blood circulates. The standard narrative in the history of early modern medicine is that physicians ignored anatomical findings, and the continuation of venesection long after William Harvey's discovery that blood circulates is held up as a case in point. Highmore's and van den Spiegel's title-pages share several striking features: in both Queen Anatomy is enthroned at the top of a three-tier edifice holding a skull-orb.

Keywords: bloodletting; medical symbols; Nathaniel Highmore; Van den Spiegel; William Harvey



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Observing the World through Images — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation