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Monday, June 25, 2007

The Birth of the Anatomy Theater

posted by on June 25 at 10:33 AM

What does this 17th century etching of an anatomy theater show us?
Z1anatomy.leiden.jpg That in the way it’s almost impossible to separate the history of religion from the history of science, it’s almost impossible to separate the history of science from the history of entertainment.If you happened to be in Europe in the 17th century, and also happened to be well-to-do, bored, and looking for something to do with your free time, one place to go was the anatomy theater. There you could meet friends, chat about how things are going in the world, and exchange gossip as the body of a dead prisoner is dissected and the cause of science is advanced.

Here’s another etching.
hogarthanatomytheatre.jpg Indeed, it’s far better to be a living dog than a dead man.

RSS icon Comments

1

And now we have Grey's Anatomy...

Posted by boydmain | June 25, 2007 10:31 AM
2

That in the way itís almost impossible to separate the history of religion from the history of science

Brilliant observation, Mr. Mudede. Something to ponder.

Posted by BD | June 25, 2007 10:39 AM
3

It may have been crude but at least they were diving into science.

Posted by Just Me | June 25, 2007 10:39 AM
4

Itís almost impossible to separate the history of religion from the history of anything. Art, architecture, literature, government... just about everything was related to religion in some way.

Posted by JC | June 25, 2007 10:54 AM
5

And these same people(well their blood family you know, the ones that were not scientists) had the nerve to label the Inca, The Mayans, and the Aztecs savages. Yes,they were andvancing science, but when does that very painful experiment stop on the living.
Knowing enough is Knowing enough, thats science. No need to
Doing it because they get a thrill out of it is sick, twisted and religous. I sure wouldn't wish that on anybody, what they did back in those days.
Thank god for the future to come along.

Posted by summertime | June 25, 2007 11:05 AM
6

#5
There are surgery shows on television, here in the future.

Posted by JC | June 25, 2007 11:15 AM
7

Are we sure the guy on the table in the second etching is supposed to be dead?

Posted by keshmeshi | June 25, 2007 11:16 AM
8

#7 thats what I was thinking. How do we know? either that or I read to many horror and sci-fi novels.

Posted by summertime | June 25, 2007 11:22 AM
9

i like this logic but in a way charles' inference is using circular reasoning, which we all know is a fallacy.

Posted by brad | June 25, 2007 12:16 PM
10

Are they making people soup in that little cauldron there. I say witchcraft.

Posted by Giffy | June 25, 2007 12:46 PM
11

And what about the birth of Anatomy Musical? Would you say that's "Sweeney Todd"?

Posted by Chris B | June 25, 2007 1:16 PM
12

"Indeed, itís far better to be a living dog than a dead man."

Unless you live with Descartes.

Posted by buzzkill | June 25, 2007 2:27 PM
13

I think some dogs have it a lot better than some living humans.

Posted by Gitai | June 25, 2007 2:50 PM
14

if you enjoy thinking about 17th century anatomy theaters, then i highly recommend the book "stiff: the curious life of human cadavers." pretty interesting stuff.

Posted by stacy | June 25, 2007 8:54 PM
15

@11- Sweeney Todd is not comparable- it's about the character more than his bloody acts.

I'd probably say something similar of today's medical dramas- they tend to be a little better written- with their dose of surgical voyeurism.

CSI might be more up that alley- all pseudoscience and no plot.

Posted by stiletto | June 26, 2007 2:13 AM

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