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p a r t f o u r anatomy, pathology, and therapy Malpighi’s Posthumous Writings Mechanistic anatomists and physicians were involved in a number of debates and controversies both within their fold and with scholars opposed to their understanding of health, disease, and therapy. Given Malpighi’s key role among the mechanists, his works are crucial in exploring those debates and controversies. In 1697 the Royal Society published his Opera posthuma, an imposing folio volume including his Vita and Risposte to Lipari—discussed in chapter 2 for chronological reasons—and to Sbaraglia, which immediately became required reading for anatomists across Europe, as testified by the reprints in Venice and by two publishers in Amsterdam in 1698, in Geneva in the 1699 Bibliotheca anatomica, and again in Amsterdam in 1700. Taking the lead from Malpighi’s posthumous writings, including the Opera posthuma and his medical consultations that appeared in the eighteenth century, part IV studies anatomy, pathology, and therapy around 1700 and compares his anatomical, pathological, and therapeutic thinking with that of some of his contemporaries. This material can be seen from different perspectives. The works in the Opera posthuma share common traits, in that they were engineered by Malpighi to be published after his death and are all confrontational in style. By contrast, the medical consultations were published posthumously against his wishes. With regard to contents, however, the Vita is largely devoted to anatomy and specifically to defending from criticism everything Malpighi had put in print throughout his life. The Vita provides the historian with a remarkably detailed document on the fortunes of his work over several decades because Malpighi adopted a new, explicit, and aggressive style detailing his qualms and responses to the literature. The Risposta to Sbaraglia is mainly devoted to pathology and the connections between medical theory and practice; therefore, it serves as a suitable introduction to the consultations, dealing with medical practice. Figure PIV. De Graaf, De succo pancreatico: title page of the 1671 edition Anatomy, Pathology, and Therapy 273 Thus, part IV looks back at anatomy from the standpoint of the status and fortune of Malpighi’s Vita, but it also investigates the world of disease that is at the center of the consultations. Literary style emerges as an especially rewarding area of investigation not only for the Vita but also for the Risposta to Sbaraglia and consultations. Previous chapters have shown that anatomical research was profoundly interwoven with medical practice: the following chapters are especially devoted to this connection , with a growing attention to the practical side. A celebrated image from the 1671 edition of Reinier de Graaf’s Tractatus anatomico-medicus de succi pancreatici natura et usu beautifully captures the spirit of that connection: in the foreground a dog with fistulae attached to its belly and throat to collect pancreatic juice and saliva symbolizes vivisection experiments; the dead animals and postmortem scene symbolize anatomical research and the search for the cause and location of disease; finally, the sick patient in bed shows the purpose of the anatomist’s labor—not just studying the body’s structure and experimenting on it but also understanding and curing disease. The title, highlighting anatomy as well as medicine, is true to the book’s contents, since a large portion of it was devoted to understanding the role of pancreatic juice in disease. This page intentionally left blank ...


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