Article ID: CBB033673611

Justification of Anatomical Practice in Jessenius’s Prague Anatomy (2016)


The physician and philosopher Johannes Jessenius (1565-1621), an enthusiastic anatomist in Wittenberg, often had to defend his anatomical practices against Lutheran orthodoxy, as is apparent from the invitations he wrote concerning his dissections. His most systematic defence can be found in the introduction to his description of the dissection performed in Prague in 1600, where he provides three different strategies for the justification of anatomical research. The first method traditionally builds on the use of the ancient dictum ‘know thyself;’ the second strategy is based on teleology, which Jessenius adopted from Vesalius’ work; and the final method is derived from the philosophical tradition of the Renaissance. Jessenius makes use of the concept of the dignity of man in order to support the dignity of anatomical practice. The fundamental meaning of the philosophical framework of Jessenius’s approach emerges from the comparison with both Andreas Vesalius, whose Fabric was one model for Jessenius’s anatomical work, and with the speech delivered by Adamus Zaluzanius a Zaluzaniis prior to Jessenius’s Prague anatomical performance.

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Authors & Contributors
Ballestriero, Roberta
Bouley, Bradford
De Ceglia, Francesco Paolo
Rupieper, Hermann-Josef
Danneberg, Lutz
Krafft, Fritz A.
Bruniana & Campanelliana: Ricerche Filosofiche e Materiali Storico-testuali
Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies
L'Erma di Bretschneider
Mitteldeutscher Verlag
Walter de Gruyter
Medicine and religion
Human anatomy
Medicine and art
Wax modeling
Luther, Martin
Melanchthon, Philipp
Pomponazzi, Pietro
Macrobius, Ambrosius Theodosius
Time Periods
Early modern
16th century
17th century
18th century
Tuscany (Italy)
Persia (Iran)
Universität Wittenberg

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