Experimentum anatomicum ad verarm durae matris motus causam detegendam institutum . . . In Ephemeridum Academiae Caesareo-Leopoldinae
by Ridley, Humphry
Nuremberg, 1706. Ridley, Humphrey (1653-1708). Anatomia cerebri, mechanicam hujus atque physiologiam comprehendens . . . In Ephemeridum Academiae Caesareo-Leopoldinae naturae curiosorum. Appendix ad annum IX & X, decuriae III (Nuremberg: C. S. Froberg, 1706), pp. 76-164; 6 engraved plates. Whole volume, 4to. , 164pp. 198 x 160 mm. Modern vellum. Light toning, tiny wormholes in first few leaves, but very good. First Edition in Latin of Ridley’s Anatomy of the Brain (1695), which was the first original treatise on neuroanatomy published in the English language. “Ridley described the venous anatomy of the eponymous circular sinus in connection with the parasellar compartment. His methods were novel, unique, and effective. To appreciate the venous anatomy, he preferred to perform his anatomical dissections on recently executed criminals who had been hanged. These cadavers had considerable venous engorgement, which made the skull base venous anatomy clearer. To enhance the appearance of the cerebral vasculature further, he used tinged wax and quicksilver in the injections. He set up experimental models to answer questions definitively, in proving that the arachnoid mater is a separate meningeal layer. The first description of the subarachnoid cisterns, blood-brain barrier, and the fifth cranial nerve ganglion with its branches are also attributed to Ridley” (Thakur et al., “Humphrey Ridley [1653-1708]: 17th century evolution in neuroanatomy and selective cerebrovascular injections for cadaver dissection” [abstract], Neurosurgical Focus 33 ). This Latin translation of Ridley’s work, which appears to have been overlooked by our standard sources on neurology, was prepared by Michael Ernst Ettmüller (1673-1732), professor of medicine at Leipzig University. The Latin version includes Ridley’s memoir on the motion of the Dura mater, “Experimentum anatomicum ad veram durae matris motus causam detegendam institutum,” originally published in the Philosophical Transactions, vol. 23 (1702-3). (Inventory #: 43849)
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