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Medical and Scientific Library of W. Bruce Fye Part IV / STENO, NICOLAUS (NIELS STEENSEN). 1638-1687. De musculis et glandulis observationum specimen cum epistolis duabus anatomicis. Copenhagen 1664.

LOT 1179
STENO, NICOLAUS (NIELS STEENSEN). 1638-1687.
De musculis et glandulis observationum specimen cum epistolis duabus anatomicis. Copenhagen: 1664.
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STENO, NICOLAUS (NIELS STEENSEN). 1638-1687.

De musculis et glandulis observationum specimen cum epistolis duabus anatomicis. Copenhagen: 1664.
4to (198 x 150 mm). Engraved title page. Contemporary vellum. Light soiling and one chip to binding, worming to paste-downs, front hinge cracked and free front endpaper loose, some browning.
WITH: W. Bruce Fye. "Niels Stensen." Clinical Cardiology. 1996;19:440-441. Signed xerographic copy.

FIRST EDITION. "Stensen described the structure of muscles, the fibra motrix, confirming that contraction actually occurs in the muscle fibers, not in the tendon as Galen had thought. He attempted a geometrical description of muscle contraction. He described the anatomy of the heart and its function as a muscle, and described the anatomy and function of the respiratory muscles including the diaphragm" (Garrison-Morton-Norman). "This work contains Stensen's reports of observations and discoveries made between 1662 and 1664, from which he drew comprehensive conclusions concerning the structure and functions of the muscles. He confirmed that contraction actually occurs in the muscle fibers, not in the tendon as Galen had thought. He attempted a geometrical description of muscle contraction, described that anatomy of the heart and its function as a muscle, and explained the anatomy and function of the respiratory muscles, including the diaphragm." (Norman 2011.) "In a letter of 26 August 1662, Stensen told Thomas Bartholin how fascinated he was by the independent motions of the vena cava, which continued even after the stopping of the heartbeat; this stimulated Stensen to make many investigations of the heart and respiratory organs. On 5 March he had spoken of a careful investigation of the heart musculature, and on 30 April he had stated: 'As to the substance of the heart, I think I am able to prove that there exists nothing in the heart that is not found also in a muscle, and that there is nothing missing in the heart which one finds in a muscle.' From [his] research [reported in this volume] Stensen drew comprehensive conclusions regarding the structure of the muscles: in each muscle there are arteries, veins, fibers and fibrils, nerves, and membranes; that each muscle fiber ends in a tendon on both sides ... he then applied all his findings to the heart and proved its muscle structure from both positive and negative evidence. He stated that the muscle possesses all the characteristics of a muscle structure and that it is neither the seat of joy nor the source of the blood or of the spiritous vitales. The automatic movement, independent of the will, is shared by the heart with other muscles" (Scherz, DSB 13:30-35). Garrison-Morton-Norman 576; Willius and Keys, pp 101-104. See also Poulsen and Snorrason, 1986, esp. pp 97-134.

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