Sunday, 13 January 2013

The Renaissance

The Renaissance was a time of knowledge, it means ‘rebirth.’ It started because of the Church’s authority becoming lesser than the monarch’s authority, called the ‘Reformation of the Church.’ Due to this, many people started to prove Galen wrong, one of these people was Andreas Vesalius.

Andreas Vesalius was the Professor of Anatomy at the University of Padua, in Italy. He is famous for his very important book: “On the fabric of the human body” it is now considered one of the most influential books on human anatomy. He proved that Galen’s theory of the human jaw consisting of two bones, when actually it was two. He is now considered to be one of the greatest men in the field of anatomy.

Another of these people was William Harvey, who trained at Cambridge and Padua. He was an expert in the field of Physiology. He proved Galen to be wrong, like Vesalius, especially on the fact that blood was not manufactured in the liver and that the veins only carried blood, not a mixture of blood. He also wrote a great book which marked the end of Galen’s influence on physiology: “On the motion of the Heart and Blood.”

Both of these historical figures had shown that Galen was wrong on many things about the human body, mainly because he wrote these ideas with an animal that was similar to a human: a baboon. But nevertheless, Galen was still important in the field of anatomy, even if he was wrong. The Renaissance was a time of knowledge, a time for art, a time for medicine. On the other hand, neither of them actually helped cure disease and some people still believed in Galen and still blood-let people.

By Aynan Muse

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