(from through,and to cut, or from to dissect).
Anatomy is the art of dissecting the human body in order to demonstrate the shape, structure, connexion, and situation of the parts; this, though it does not teach the remedies of a disease, leads us to understand the situation of the diseased part, and the influence of the disease on the functions. In short, whatever perfection the art of healing might have arisen to by the aid of practical experiments and observation, it cannot be denied that its greatest lights were received from anatomy and physiology. To know the peculiar structure of each part, its use, what functions it performs, what connexion it hath with other parts, and influence on them, whether near or remote, are advantages too obvious to be denied.
The sympathy of the nerves leads us to distinguish many diseases, the seat of which is in one part of the body, whilst a very distant one is the part complained of. The intercostal branch, and the eighth pair of nerves, run almost all over the body.
Hippocrates, though he only once had the opportunity of viewing a human skeleton, yet used every method in his power to inform himself in this branch of his art, and hath left behind a tolerably good description of the human bones.
After Hippocrates, succeeded Alcmaeonof Crotona, Aristotle, Herophilus, Erasistratus, Aretaeus, Praxago-ras, Galen, Oribasius, Nemesius, Mundinus, Alexander Achilinus, Guido decauliaco, Jacobus Berengarius Carpensis, Nicolaus Massa, Andreas Vesalius, Jacobus Sylvius, Michaelis Servetus, Realdus Columbus, Am-brosius Paraeus, Bartholomaeus Eustachius, Volcherus Coiter, Andreas Caesalpinus, Hieronymus Fabricius ab Aquapendente, William Harvey, Theophilus Bonetus, William Cooper, James Douglas, Clopton Havers, Mar-ccllus Malpighius.nathaniel Highmore,anthony Nuck, Pecquet, Monro, sen. Morgagni, Needham, Nicholls, Ruysch, Steno, Winslow, Cheselden, the two Hunters, the second Monro, and many others, who, as physicians, surgeons, or both, did honour to their profession.
The first anatomical publication in the English language was, The Englishman's Treasure, or the true Anatomy of Man's Body, by Thomas Vicary, Surgeon in London. It was printed and reprinted three or four times between the years 1548 and 1633.
It is the advice of the greatest anatomists, that authors on this subject should not be read before an acquaintance with the parts is, in some degree, obtained by seeing bodies dissected; previous to dissection,books rather retard than facilitate the progress. When, by seeing all the parts demonstrated and their uses explained, the student hath a clear idea of them, reading will be necessary, both to fix the impression on the mind, and to inform him of different opinions and disputed points, which he will now be in some degree able to appreciate and determine.
Those whose circumstances do not favour their attendance on dissection, may acquire a good general knowledge of the anatomy of a human body from Che-selden's work, which is still an excellent introduction; and Bell's Anatomy, in three volumes octavo. Window's Anatomy seems best calculated for the attention of those who have already been familiar with dissections, and the demonstrations given by able anatomists; but one of the most useful works for students is a System of Anatomy and Physiology, published at Edinburgh, 1791.
The Anatomical Tables of Albinus, Eustachius, Jenty, and Cooper, should be attended to. Bell's plates of the bones and muscles are indifferently executed: those of the vessels and nerves in a superior manner.
Several parts of the human body, particularly the internal, arc excellently delineated in Mailer's Icones; and the brain very minutely and elegantly engraved in Viq. dazyr's works. The plates of the lymphatics in Hew-son's little tract, and of the lacteals in Mr. Sheldon's work, are particularly correct, and many plates of the latter exquisitely finished. The gravid uterus has been illustrated with some admirable plates from Dr. Hunter and Dr. Denman; and the parts concerned in the disease of hernia illustrated in some very distinct masterly engravings by Mr. A. Cooper. Mr. Cheselden's Anatomy of the Bones is the most correct work in osteology, and Albinus' in myology. Eustachius' Tables contain chiefly these subjects, but some of the internal parts are added, and sufficiently explained byalbinus; for the copper-plates of Eustachius were discovered without' his own explanations. The gradual development of the parts of the human body, from the period when they can be first discovered, is delineated with equal delicacy and elegance by Hunter and Soemering.
Anatomy, comparative. This subject has of late only obtained its share of attention; and the little application that it admits of in the practice of medicine, prevents us from enlarging on it. Where the parts of animals illustrate the functions of the human economy, we shall describe them in their places. Those who wish to pursue the subject will not yet find very ample assistance. The first Dr. Monro (for he confessedly merits this epithet in every view) left a little tract on comparative anatomy, which, in the limited circle to which he confined himself, is very satisfactory. In the beginning of the last century Blasius published his Ana-tome Animalium; Mr. Collinstwo folio volumes on this subject, with numerous plates by Faithorn: the descriptive part is, however, vague and imperfect; the plates are clear and distinct. At this time M. Cuvier is preparing a large, and what will be a most valuable, work on comparative anatomy, with numerous very elegant plates. He has permitted one of his pupils to publish his Lectures, of which two octavo volumes only have appeared, and these have been translated into English. Two other volumes were announced as in the press long since; but they have not yet been published. Dr. Harwood, of Cambridge, published some years since a small part of a magnificent work on comparative anatomy. It comprehends chiefly the organs of the throat, including, if we recollect rightly, the larynx; and Kircher, in his Musurgia, has delineated this organ in all the variety of birds. The detached papers on the same subject,in the Philosophical Transactions, and the Memoirs of the French Academy, we cannot enumerate. A part of the latter may be found in Buffon's Natural History; and many facts of importance in a French continuation of Geoffroy's work on the Materia Medica, by Nobleville, containing the animal kingdom. In the anatomy of insects no modern author can rival Reaumur in attention and ingenuity, or Swammerdam in the patient industry and minute dexterity displayed in the Biblia Naturae. We must add, that the anatomy of fish has not been so carefully and accurately described as by the elder of the present Monros. The anatomy of the cow has been described by Vitet, and that of the horse in numerous modern veterinary publications.
Anatomy, morbid. Dissections arc of the utmost consequence, in connecting the morbid changes with the symptoms that have preceded. Unfortunately, we can more often trace the effects of disease than its cause; and to add to the difficulty of drawing from dissections any useful consequences, in a very few instances only have we received an accurate account of the previous symptoms. Morgagni's work, De Sedibus et Causis Morborum, is a most ample and valuable collection of dissections; but, unfortunately, the symptoms of the disease are often imperfectly detailed; and the cases taken from the communications of his friend, Valsalva, are much less satisfactory than his own: this work has been translated by Dr. Alexander; and we have received a valuable abstract of the first part from Dr. Hamilton of Edinburgh. Bonetus, an indefatigable collector, preceded him in this path; and his Sepulcretum Anatomi-cum, amidst many vague and useless narratives, contains facts of value and importance. A selection from this almost forgotten author would still be valuable. The collection of Lieutaud, viz. Historia Anatomico Medica, would be more useful, had the previous symptoms been more carefully detailed. At present, many of the facts are numerous and important. The first volumes of the collection of Ruysch's works, contain many singular effects of disease, with excellent plates; and Haller's little volume of Pathology is curious in the same view. Dr. Baillie's late fasciculi of morbid anatomy are very important and valuable, as they are illustrated with plates, executed with equal accuracy and elegance: and the medical collection, in our own language, contain many well detailed cases, with the dissections. These volumes are now become so numerous, that a descriptive index to the whole number would be valuable.
Anatomy is sometimes used in the sense of analysis, as we find in anatomia spagyrica: sometimes figuratively for an exact search and examination.