Article ID: CBB293878678

For the Benefit of Students: Memory and Anatomical Learning at Bologna in the Fourteenth to Early Sixteenth Centuries (2020)


The anatomical textbook in the late Middle Ages was one part of a greater pedagogical process that involved students’ seeing, hearing, reading, and eventually knowing information about the human body. By examining the role of the anatomical textbook and accompanying bodily images in anatomical learning, this article illuminates the complexity and self-consciousness of anatomical education in the medieval university, as professors focused on ways to enhance student memory of the material. Traditionally, the history of anatomy has been heavily influenced by the anatomical Renaissance of the late-sixteenth century, highlighting a focus on innovative medical knowledge and the scientific method. However, if we engage a pedagogical lens when looking at these medieval authors, it becomes quickly obvious that the whole point of university medicine was not to explore unknown boundaries and discover new ideas of medicine, but rather to communicate the current and established body of knowledge to those not familiar with it.

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Authors & Contributors
Donato, Maria Pia
Falk, Seb
Fiocca, Alessandra
Giglioni, Guido Maria
Grandi, Maura
Guenzi, Alberto
Archiwum Historii i Filozofii Medycyny
Journal for the History of Astronomy
Journal of Medical Biography
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Llull: Revista de la Sociedad Española de Historia de las Ciencias y de las Técnicas
Renaissance Quarterly
Cambridge University Press
Bononia University Press
L'Erma di Bretschneider
Neri Pozza
Neuer Merkur
Science education and teaching
Human anatomy
Leonardo da Vinci
Berengario da Carpi, Jacopo
Cardano, Girolamo
Alighieri, Dante
Fabricius, ab Aquapendente
Ilyas, Mohammad
Time Periods
15th century
16th century
14th century
17th century
Bologna (Italy)
Ottoman Empire
Persia (Iran)
Venice (Italy)
Università di Padova
Bologna. Università
Venice. Collegio di Medici

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