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VESALIUS project

"De Humani Corporis Fabrica"

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The volume De Humani Corporis Fabrica by Andreas Vesalius is a milestone in medicine, typography and science history.

For the first time, in the area of medicine and anatomy Galeno's dogma are bravely proved to be wrong and anatomical lessons are rearranged in line with a new teaching method carried out by the author himself. According to Andreas Vesalius, anatomical dissections are not to be any longer performed by ordinary barbers, devoid of any medical knowledge, rather by anatomical scientists.

In the area of typography, a little while after 80 years since the invention of moving typefaces printing, this in folio printed book of more than 600 pages clearly shows the technical ability and the mastery of the printer. Illustrations, title page and xylographies (full-page and small) represent the most famous series of anatomical tables ever published.

Finally, the anatomical text is a breaking point in the history of science, as it is ascribed among the masterpieces marking the passage from the medieval age, based on the unquestionable truths of the scholastic philosophy, to the Renaissance.

A copy of the first edition of the volume, printed in Basil in 1543, is shelved in the Health Science Library of the St. Anna Hospital in Ferrara.

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During the period he was writing the book, Vesalius visited Ferrara several times contributing to the anatomical work of Gian Battista Canani. At that time, the school of medicine of the university of Ferrara was famous all over Europe thanks to its fundamental input to the development of the revisionist scientific theory, begun by Giovanni Manardo and continued by Niccolò Leoniceno.

Few copies of the original text by Vesalius exist and now, through the digital technology, the full version of the volume is available to all who might wish to consult it whenever necessary, having it at absolute disposal. Moreover, the high-quality resolution allows to fully appreciate any detail without losing the original characteristics.


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The DVD "De Humani Corporis Fabrica" is not on sale: its distribution aims at collecting funds to be partly assigned to finance a scholarship, partly destined to support projects concerning the restoration, digitalization and divulging of historical-scientific work of the St. Anna Hospital, partly addressed to CUAMM-Medici con l'Africa, an Italian NGO, involved in a health care cooperation project in Tanzania.



For information regarding free contributions and distribution of the digital version of "De Humani Corporis Fabrica":

Biblioteca di Scienze della Salute
Azienda Ospedaliero - Universitaria di Ferrara
"Arcispedale S. Anna"
Via Aldo Moro, 8 - 44124 Cona, Ferrara - ITALY.

Website: www.ospfe.it
E-mail: d.bragatto@ospfe.it



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