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Book and Media Reviews
July 14, 2010

De Humani Corporis Fabrica (The Structure of the Human Body)

JAMA. 2010;304(2):214-215. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.946

With the completion of this monumental 5-volume English translation of Andreas Vesalius' De Humani Corporis Fabrica (1543), Jeremy Norman of Norman Publishing has redressed several hundred years of neglect accorded to Vesalius, the 16th-century “reformer of anatomy.” Although Vesalius' achievements are widely (but superficially) known, it has not been possible—until now—to read his text in a comprehensive and accurate modern translation, nor to admire the complete set of beautiful woodcut images placed alongside relevant text. This relative obscurity, attributable largely to the declining interest in Greek and Latin, is now ended—one of the most important and influential works in the history of Western science is readily available to all, in its entirety.