Meanwhile, however, the return of the Popes to Rome (1374) and the displacement of the Albucasis and Avicenna by the Greek texts renewed the shriveling body of medicine, and with the help of anatomy, Italian medicine awoke again; though until the days of Vesalius and Harvey the renascence came rather from men of letters than of medicine. The Arabs and Paris said: “Why dissect if you trust Galen?” But the Italian physicians insisted on verification; and therefore back to Italy again the earnest and clear-sighted students flocked from all regions. Vesalius was a young man when he professed in Padua, yet, young or venerable, where but in Italy would he have won, I would not say renown, but even sufferance! If normal anatomy was not directly a reformer of medicine, by way of anatomy came morbid anatomy, as conceived by the genius of Benivieni, of Morgagni, and of Valsalva; the galenical or humoral doctrine of pathology was sapped, and soaring in excelsis for the essence of disease gave place to grubbing for its roots.

T. Clifford Allbutt, “An Address On The Historical Relations Between Surgery And Medicine” (1904)


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