Leyden: Johann Maire, 1639.
3rd Edition. Hardcover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Very Good. Item #003263
Two parts in one volume. 4to (180 x 138 mm). , 267 ,  3-84 pp., including title with woodcut printer's device, separate half-title to second part, woodcut initials and tail-pieces, two engraved folding plates. The two unsigned leaves 'Ad lectorem' bound after first title. Signatures: (?)2 [pi]2 A-Kk4 Ll2 a-i4 l2. Pages 159-60 omitted. 19th century half sheep, spine lettered in gilt (leather dry and rubbed, upper spine chipped, light wear to extremities). Text only little browned throughout, occasional minor spotting, small hole in first title not affecting text. A very good copy internally. ----
Keynes 3; Heirs of Hippocrates 417; Grolier/Medicine 27 (first ed.); NLM/Krivatsy 5329; Parkinson and Lumb 1147; PMM 127 (first ed.); Waller 4089; Wellcome I, 3070; Norman 1006 (first ed.). - Third, but second complete, edition of the single most important and famous medical book ever published, containing Harvey's discovery and experimental proof of the circulation of the blood, which created a revolution in physiology comparable to the Copernican revolution in astronomy. Harvey's discovery was to become "the cornerstone of modern physiology and medicine" (Garrison-Morton). De motu cordis "is probably the most important book in the history of medicine. What Vesalius was to anatomy, Harvey was to physiology; the whole scientific outlook on the human body was transformed, and behind almost every important medical advance in modern times lies the work of Harvey" (Heirs of Hippocrates). "This is the earliest edition that collectors can reasonably expect to obtain, the first edition (Frankfurt, 1628) is of the greatest rarity with only about 68 copies having survived, nearly all in institutions" (Norman, 1006). The second edition (Venice, 1635), published with the Exercitationes of Emilio Parigiano (known as Parisanus), one of Harvey's many opponents, was fragmentary, lacking the plates, parts of the introduction and chapters I and XVI. In this edition, the publisher Maire restored these passages, included the illustrations, and also added the criticism and denials of James Primerose (Animadversiones, 1630) as a separate tract at the end of the book. The text of Harvey's treatise is printed passage by passage alternatively with the refutations of Parigiano.
In 1603 Harvey's teacher, Fabricius of Aquapendente, published a monograph on the valves in the veins - previously noted by others - the purpose of which he only partially understood. "It was left for Harvey to combine these discoveries, to conceive the idea of a circulation of the entire blood system, and demonstrate it conclusively by an exhaustive series of dissections and physiological experiments. For twenty years Harvey pursued his objective in both human and comparative anatomy. He proved experimentally that the blood's motion is continuous and always in one direction, and that its actual amount and velocity makes it a physical impossibility for it to do otherwise than return to the heart by the venous route, the heart being itself a muscle and acting as a pump. He showed how the whole of the blood passes through the lungs, is returned to the left side of the heart, then passes through the general circulation and returns to the right side; he even suspected the existence of the capillaries connecting the smallest arteries with the smallest veins, but without the microscope he could not see them.They were discovered in 1661 by Malpighi. The arguments and demonstrations marshaled by Harvey were too cogent to admit of long resistance, and his work was accepted by medical men in his lifetime. Descartes used the discovery as a basis for his mechanistic physiology; English experimental scientists regarded the discovery as of equal importance with Copernican astronomy or Galilean physics; Lower supplemented Harvey's work by discovering the role of the lungs in supplying the arterial blood with air. With all this, Harvey's work did not effect any change in medical practice nor fundamentally alter contemporary views on physiology" (PMM).
"Since antiquity, ideas about the physiology and pathology of most parts of the body had been based to an important degree on assumptions made about the function of the heart and blood vessels. In fundamentally changing the conception of these functions, Harvey pointed the way to reform of all of physiology and medicine. By the middle of the seventeenth century new mechanical and chemical systems of physiology incorporated the circulation as a basic assumption in the explanation of a wide range of vital phenomena, and while subsequent developments in physiology have led to great changes in our conception about the function of the circulation, they have confirmed the importance of Harvey's discovery." (Norman, 1006).
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