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First edition of one of the most important of all anatomical books.
It includes the first specific treatise on the kidney, the first account of the Eustachian tube in the ear, the first description of the thoracic duct, and the Eustachian valve, as well as the first systematic study of teeth.
«In 1562 and 1563 Eustachi wrote a series of anatomical treatises on the kidneys (“De renum structura”), the organ of hearing (“De auditus organis”), the venous system (“De vena quae azygos graecis dicitur”) and the teeth (“De dentibus”), which he issued together under the title Opuscula anatomica. The treatise on the kidney, the first work devoted specifically to the organ, showed a detailed knowledge of the kidney surpassing any earlier work; it contained the first account of the adrenal (suprarenal) gland and a correct determination of the relative levels of the kidneys. The treatise on the ear provided the first 58 post-classical account of the Eustachian tube, while the work on the azygos vein contained the first description of the thoracic duct and of the valvula venae in the right ventricle of the heart, the so-called “Eustachian valve.” In his treatise on dentistry Eustachi was the first to study the teeth in any great detail: basing his work on the dissection of fetuses and stillborn infants, he gave an important description of the first and second dentitions, described the hard outer tissue and soft inner structure of the teeth, and attempted an explanation of the problem (not yet completely solved) of the sensitivity of the tooth’s hard structure. This last work was also issued separately: it bears its own title-leaf dated 1563. » (Norman).
The fine etchings illustrating the edition “were the first eight in an intended series of forty-seven anatomical plates engraved by Giulio de’ Musi after drawings by Eustachi and his relative, Pier Matteo Pini, an artist. These were prepared in 1552 to illustrate a projected book entitled De dissensionibus ac controversiis anatomicis, the text of which was lost after Eustachi’s death. Had the full series of plates been published at the time of their completion, Eustachi would have ranked with Vesalius as a founder of modern anatomy” (Norman).
A washed copy, first 5 leaves slightly shorter. From the library of Jean Blondelet with his signature and annotations on the end papers of the book.