This week, BBC Radio 4 launched a really excellent six-week series on the history of modern medicine, beginning with the Greeks.
Today’s episode was about Andreas Vesalius, the 16th Century Belgian doctor who single-handedly gave birth to modern anatomy (ewwww…bad mental image). He had a definite advantage over his predecessors, in that he got to cut up actual dead people, as opposed to monkeys and cows.
We’re even more fortunate that he left us the seven volume De humani corporis fabrica, illustrated with engravings by…well, we’re not sure who. But he was very good, whoever he was. The muscular anatomy plates are so clear and accurate, they’re still used by art students. I spent many a youthful hour copying his pensive skeletons and mincing flayed guys, like Overbite Man pictured above.
What I did not know is that ‘Andreas Vesalius’ is rendered in English as Andrew Weasel.
I am stonked with wonderousness.
If you have an interest in medicine or history or listening to people with really plummy accents, you’ve got to catch this one. Thirty episodes, beginning last Monday, at fifteen minutes each. They can be found on the series homepage. You’d better listen this weekend if you want to catch them all, though — Radio 4 usually hangs on to recordings for a week, and these are streams, not downloadable podcasts.