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October 30, 1967

Die historischen Grundlagen der Leberforschung, part 2: Die Geschichte der Leberforschung von Galen bis Claude Bernard

JAMA. 1967;202(5):443-444. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130180109034

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In this interesting and well illustrated book we have, so to speak, an epitome of medical history, achieved through the history of a particular organ—the liver. Dr. Mani, in a fascinating account, narrates with great clarity our knowledge about the liver, its anatomy and physiology, the views regarding its status in the bodily economy. He does not, however, take up any pathological or clinical problems. The present volume covers the period from the Middle Ages to the latter part of the 19th century. A previous volume discussed knowledge of the liver in antiquity, and we fervently trust that a further volume will bring the story up to the very present.

Various observations and speculations, and discoveries and new thought modes leading to new observations, get woven together in an interesting fabric. The medieval period was dominated by Galenic concepts, in which the liver was the principal organ of the vegetative