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November 1994

Leonardo da Vinci: The Anatomy of Man

Author Affiliations

New York, NY

Arch Ophthalmol. 1994;112(11):1412-1413. doi:10.1001/archopht.1994.01090230026012

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The Neuroanatomy of Leonardo da Vinci  by Edwin M. Todd, 189 pp, with illus, $75, Park Ridge, Ill, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, 1991.Nineteen hundred ninety-two was the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. Whether one thinks of his trip as the discovery of the New World or the beginning of the invasion of the Americas, no one denies that the world and man's conception of it changed dramatically after Columbus.As Columbus set out, medicine was beginning a slow transformation to modern science. From the time of the Roman physician Galen (c 129-199 ad), medical knowledge hardly changed. Religious and legal prohibitions on human dissection meant that the most fundamental medical science—anatomy—was based on tradition and philosophy, practical experience with injuries and wounds, and animal anatomy. The artistic achievements of the Renaissance are widely appreciated; but it is not well known that

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