Opera omnia anatomica & physiologica, hactenus variis locis ac formis edita; nunc vero certo ordine digesta, & in unun volumen redacta. Accessit index rerum ac verborum locupletissimus, unà cum præfatione Dn. D. Johannis Bohnii.
Anatomy Fisiology Embryology
Fabrizio d’Acquapendente’s work, with its wonderful copper plates, was published in Leipzig almost seventy years after his death and was revised by Johannes Bauhinus. It is dedicated to Cristiano Mentselio, the personal physician of the Elector of Brandemburg. The preface includes a peculiar bibliography of works on anatomy. The author lists the works of ancient scholars and scientists like Galen, Ruffus Ephesius, Oribasius, Teophilus Protospatarius, Mundinus, Matteo Curtius, Jacopo Carpo and Riolanus, and also includes the works of his contemporaries Vesalius and Fallopius. The introductory part is called Sillabus Tractatuum. Here the author makes a list of the twenty-five subjects his work is about. He begins his treatise talking about the eggs of birds and poultry in the De formatione ovi pennatorum & pulli. There follow the wonderful chapters De formato foetu and De Larynge, which include a series of skilfully engraved and detailed plates. (See attached pictures 3 and 4 on pages 49 and 27). According to the author, the "explanatio" is essential and must be followed by a precise and proper terminology, ordered and listed in the Index rerum et verborum locuplentissimus. Fabrizio d’Acquapendente was an expert in embryology and his work deals with the development of the embryo in humans, vipers, deer, goats, oxen, sheep and pigs. He was the first scientist who wrote a treatise on comparative anatomy. On page 202 we find the plate called De visu, which is similar to a modern atlas of ophthalmology, and a detailed description of the eye, its parts and variants. However, the most beautiful part of d’Acquapendente’s work is maybe the De venarum ostiolis with its related plates that we can find on page 154. It is very rare to find an intact version of the Opera Omnia Anatomica, since its incredible plates were usually torn off to decorate the walls of doctors’ practices or surgery rooms.