Progression Of Anatomy

James Alex Plunk
FHS Sickness and Healing
The Progression of Anatomy
Anatomy is the study of the components that make up the human body. Throughout history, it has faced technological and social challenges that have hindered its growth and have resulted in various errors made by significant leaders in the world of medicine. The distinction between the eras of anatomical knowledge can be differentiated by the dominating theories of the times or their respective key medical figures. The Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus serves as evidence for the birth of anatomy in Egypt around 1500 B.C. Assessment of the body was further developed through the dynasty of Greek culture and the human dissections found in Alexandria under Ptolemy Soter. From
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He had an accurate understanding of the skeletal system, due to his ability to actually observe human skeletons washed out of their graves. However, the remainder of his theories presented various errors that would be taken for granted until Vesalius. The main error asserted by his work was the theory of the three pneumas, a physiological theory that proposed that there were three essential spirits that were responsible for the functions of organs. His studies in anatomy were small in comparison to his work in the rest of medicine, despite his emphasis on the importance of anatomy. However, his significance was not mainly rooted in the development of anatomy, but for his influence on the physicians to come. The following era’s physicians and medical scholars would honor his work, relaying incorrect information through generations of medicine and referring to his texts as the ultimate authority in medicine. This was due to the decline of scientific emphasis during the middle ages, following the fall of the Roman Empire and eradication of the remaining traces of Greek scholars. The rise of Christian culture in the western world introduced new waves of spiritual …show more content…
The drving force behind the taboo placed on human dissection can be attributed to religions, other than paganism. Religion, being an extremely influential factor on government and society as a whole, effectively established legal limitations on these practices in accordance with their principles and beliefs. While it can be said that religion, mainly Judaism, Christianity and Islam, halted the growth of medicine, the principles held by the majority of people were represented by these research-limiting laws. It can be assumed that the law makers of ancient and medieval eras realized that the advancement of medicine would be negatively affected by laws limiting the research of the human body, however, they made judgements based on their willingness to give up scientific progress for upholding their

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