Dissections, before they became widespread, usually took place around Catholic Carnival, right before start of Lent o Important time to do it because it was almost always Februrary, happened during winter which kept bodies from rotting too much o Anatomy did not take place during summer, so professors of anatomy began to undertake botany during the summer Cutting of dead bodies potentially in opposition to Catholic theology o Is it theologically ok? Wasn’t a good idea to use a body of someone who was a good person o To get around restrictions on using bodies, anatomists resorted to using the bodies of dead criminals Natural theology: through studying the natural world, you can learn about the divine world o Anatomy – is an important way to explore the idea of intelligent design, and by studying the natural human body, can learn about the divine, the divine plan, etc Sense of license surrounding Carnival time: it is a time when unusual things are permitted to happen o Anatomy fits into the Carnival because it pushes the boundaries of the flesh o Posh people, who usually don’t go down to street level to mingle with the masses, believe it is ok to do so on carnival, but often do it wearing carnival masks Anatomy lectures were attended almost exclusively by men Despite anatomy being performed first around Carnival and then during university lectures, there was a large overlap between what happened during the dissections Leonardo da Vinci – huge amounts of his information were not published or made available to the public o He was working on his own, there was lack of transmission to the public
o Leonardo was illegitimate son, as such was prohibited from entering universities, part of what made it hard for him to diffuse his work o Was self-taught o Leonardo’s contributions to science were largely unknown for centuries after he did them, they were just rumours o Because he was as interested in engineering as he was in anatomy, da Vinci was interested the human body as an engineered machine – ex: recreates the aortic valve in a wooden model o Importance of printing press: if Leonardo had had access to the printing press, he would have been muuuch more important during his time than he was Copernicus publishes his model of the cosmos in 1543, Vesalius publishes his De Fabrica, “On the Fabric of the Human Body” in the same year o Common perception of this as the beginning of the Scientific Revolution; cosmology, anatomy completely overturned so that a revolution of learning is unleashed o Dear shows that the works of Vesalius and Copernicus are actually just building on humanism o Humanists were concerned with improving on the ancient texts, and translations of the ancient texts o Copernicus was trying to renovate the classical understanding of the cosmos in this way, he was trying to improve on it, rather than completely disprove it and establish a new understanding Vesalius is a university trained physician; scholar who reads Greek and Latin texts, finds best
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