Jewels in Her Crown: Treasures of Columbia University Libraries Special Collections

Exhibition Themes > Health Sciences > 142. Jacopo Berengario da Carpi

142.  Jacopo Berengario da Carpi (1460?-1530?).  Commentaria cum amplissimis additionibus super anotomia Mundini. Bologna: Hieronymus de Benedictis, 1521. Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, Archives & Special Collections

Human dissection was reintroduced into the study of anatomy for the first time in 1500 years by the Italian universities around 1300. Among the first notable anatomy teachers was Mondino de' Luzzi (d. circa 1318) whose Anothomia, published in 1316, would be a popular textbook for the next 200 years. Berengario da Carpi, one of Mondino's successors at the University of Bologna, produced this massive commentary on the Anothomia in 1521. It is the first anatomical text to contain illustrations based on human dissections, of which Berengario performed hundreds. The striking woodcuts are, unfortunately, too abstract to be useful to the student. Although both Mondinus and Berengario criticized the anatomical knowledge of the ancients, they did not succeed in overturning their authority, especially that of Galen, the 2nd century A.D. physician whose works defined medical orthodoxy in the Middle Ages and early Renaissance.

Purchased with the George Sumner Huntington Library, 1928

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