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March 28, 1966


JAMA. 1966;195(13):1147. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100130121038

Jacques Dubois, humanist and anatomist, the son of an impoverished weaver, was born at Louville near Amiens, France, from which he derived his Latin cognomen Jacobus Sylvius Ambianus.1 From Sylvius are derived the following eponyms: fissure, artery (middle cerebral), aqueduct, ventricle (fifth ventricle), the caro quadrata muscle (flexor accessorius muscle of the foot), and valve (Eustachian valve of the heart). In all except the last instance, however, the structures have been attributed incorrectly to him, as they were neither originally described nor specifically identified by him.2 The fissure and fifth ventricle were described by Franciscus Sylvius (de le Boë), and Barengarius described the aqueduct many years before the publication of the anatomical works of Jacobus Sylvius.

Sylvius prepared at the College of Tournay near Paris, excelling in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and mathematics; however, he was too poor to continue preparation for a degree. Turning to the instruction of

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