Publisher Information: Venice: 1555.
[Vesalius, Andreas (1514-64).] Henerus, Renatus. Adversus Iacobi Sylvii depulsionum anatomicarum calumnias, pro Andrea Vesalio apologia . . . Small 8vo. , 134, pp. Venice: N.p., 1555. 160 x 100 mm. Limp boards ca. 1555, front hinge cracking but sound. Minor staining, wormholes in upper margins (affecting headlines and a few letters of text) largely filled in. Very good.
First Edition of the first significant defense of Vesalius and his Fabrica against the criticisms of Jacobus Sylvius (1478-1555), who had been Vesalius’s professor of anatomy at the University of Paris. This is one of a tiny group of publications contemporaneous with the Fabrica that address Vesalius’s work in their titles. Rare on the market—Rare Book Hub, whose records go back to the 19th century, shows no record of any auction sales of Henerus’s work. Sylvius, a traditionalist and defender of Galenic medicine, was appalled at the growing influence of Vesalius’s Fabrica, which had disproven many of Galen’s claims about human anatomy. In 1551 Sylvius published the splenetic Vaesani cuiusdam calumniarum in Hippocratis Galenque rem anatomicam depulsio [A refutation of the slanders of a madman against the anatomy of Hippocrates and Galen], hailing Galen as “the sole parent of anatomy” and denouncing “that insolent and ignorant slanderer [Vesalius] who has treasonably attacked his teachers with violent mendacity and time and again distorted the truth of nature” (quoted in O’Malley, p. 247). In response another one of Sylvius’s students, Renatus Henerus, issued the pro-Vesalian Adversus Iacobi Sylvii depulsionum anatomicarum calumnias, in which
"after expressing his displeasure with Sylvian fanaticism and the cult of Galen, Henerus very sensibly remarked that Galen would have been one of the first to cry out against the authority his own name had acquired to the detriment of scientific advancement. Furthermore, it was foolish, he stated, to deny Galen’s very words indicating that he had been restricted to research in nonhuman materials [such as apes, dogs and pigs] . . . Recognizing the fallibility of Galen as a matter of fact, Henerus proceeded point by point to refute Sylvius’s arguments against the Fabrica as they had been presented in the Vaesanus. The defense was a clear-cut expression of the Vesalian victory that would henceforth permit a fairly consistent development of a scientific anatomy and physiology" (O’Malley, p. 266).
O’Malley, Andreas Vesalius of Brussels, pp. 246-247; 265-266.Book Id: 45025