Body symmetry and asymmetry in early greek anatomical reasoning

Enrico Crivellato, Domenico Ribatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This historical note focuses on some of the earliest reports of human anatomy found in Greek medical literature. These passages testify the initial steps taken by Greek scientists in building a theoretical model of the human body. In these excerpts, one finds erroneous anatomical descriptions, which shed light on the epistemological approach used by these intellectual pioneers. Because of the lack of systematic dissection, it appears that early Greek anatomists developed a somewhat stylized idea of the human body that used a certain degree of symmetry. Overcoming the concept of a strict left-right bilateral parallelism in human body architecture was a challenging intellectual task that required prolonged observation of dissected corpses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-282
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Anatomy
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • Anatomy
  • Aristotle
  • Hippocratic texts
  • History
  • Man

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy

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