Berengario was also the first anatomist to use illustrations based on direct observations to complement his text Calkins et al. Both the Commentaria and the Isagogae breves contain several illustrations directly drawn from nature and perfectly integrated within the text, in contrast to previous works in which a few rare figures inspired by medieval iconography were added afterward.
They are believed to have inspired the paragon of Renaissance anatomy, Andreas Vesalius — , in the preparation of his landmark treatise De humani corporis fabrica that came out in Vesalius, Figure 3. The figure on the left folio 71v shows a man standing in nature with his muscular anatomy particularly well outlined, whereas the figure on the right folio 23v depicts a woman sitting in a chair with abdominal viscera, particularly the uterus, clearly visible.
The drawings are surrounded by floral motifs, and a detailed legend is provided on the left of each figure. Besides his original contribution to the organization of muscles and the nervous system see below , Berengario gave the first careful description of many anatomical structures of the human body, including the sphenoid sinuses, the vermiform appendix, the tympanum, the arytenoid cartilages, the thymus gland, the seminal vesicles, the pancreas, the kidneys, the pineal gland and its position in regard to the third ventricle of the brain.
He also provided the first comprehensive description of the action of the cardiac valves and the vocal organs. Berengario has shed a new light on the overall anatomical organization of the human brain and cranial nerves while providing one of the first realistic pictures of this organ that he saw as the major coordinator of cognition. His meticulous dissections of more than one hundred human heads, as well as that of many different animal species, allowed him to discover many new aspects of brain arrangement that he reported in detail in his Commentaria and, more succinctly, in his Isagogae breves.
We shall now briefly review his contributions to some features of the brain and associated structures to which he paid a particularly close attention. Galen, who attributed the discovery of this vascular network to Herophilus of Alexandria ca. Its existence was even emphasized by medieval anatomists, including Mondino, who provided detailed instructions for its dissection in his Anathomia. The enigmatic network has also been illustrated by several Renaissance anatomists and artists.
For example, the German physician and philosopher Magnus Hundt — has portrayed the structure in a highly schematic manner in his treatise Antropologium Hundt, Figure 4. It offers a crude, schematic view of a human head with layers of the scalp labeled a, b, c, d , bones, meninges and brain, cranial nerves, ventricles the three major cells and the rete mirabile.
The latter shown here for the very first time is depicted as a roughly triangular crisscrossed structure that extends from the bridge of the nose over both eyes to the lower part of the forehead. The illustration shows the upper arterial vascularization and includes a clear depiction of the rete mirabile the name has been added to the original drawing to facilitate its reading. Figure 5. The figure folio 9v displays a human body down to the knee, with the thoracic and abdominal cavities cut open, and surrounded by small figures representing six different stages of a human brain dissection.
The names of the parts are given mostly in German. Right: details from a figure plate QC7r drawn by Leonardo da Vinci around — The sketch in the upper left portion of the figure illustrates the ventricular system, as visualized following wax injection in the cerebral ventricles of an ox.
The drawing at the bottom of the figure depicts the base of a human brain covered, in part, by a spidery structure corresponding to the rete mirabile from Parent, He was nevertheless the first to shed doubt on the existence of the rete mirabile Russell, His disbelief is first expressed with some reservations in his Commentaria. It is true that posteriorly under the dura mater, at the right and left of the gland [pituitary] beneath the lacuna [infundibulum of the third ventricle] of Mondino, I often saw and touched something like an intricate network that might be judged to be the rete mirabile.
If there is a rete mirabile such as Galen mentions as fact, I believe that the aforesaid complexes are the rete mirabile , but since Galen said earlier that the rete mirabile is, at least in part, in the substance of the dura mater, I believe that the whole rete mirabile could not be seen because the dura mater would be so intricately involved with it that it would not be possible to distinguish one from the other. It is my opinion that if there is a rete there in the latter location, it must be concluded that Galen erred, because he says that when the ascending arteries are above the base of the skull, immediately they are divided very minutely and form the rete ; then he says that from all the branches of the rete again two branches of arteries are formed that perforate the dura mater and ascend to the brain.
This, however, is not true, because many times I have inserted a little stylus styllum above the dura mater into the aforesaid large ascending branches which are near the optic nerves [internal carotids], and I have found that the stylus penetrates directly downwards through those arteries without any obstacle as far as the base of the skull; and if the aforesaid arteries were so reticulated above the base of the skull and divided very minutely, as Galen says, the stylus would be unable to penetrate downwards through them to the bone because it would find the rete to be an obstacle.
Berengario is even more categoric in denying the existence of the rete mirabile in man in the version of Isagogea breves , where he clearly mentioned not having been able to see that network. I believe that nature does not perform through many parts what she can achieve through few, and that she is able to refine this spirit in the very minute branches of the arteries ascending above the dura mater attached to the base of the skull and continuing through the pia mater as far as the center of the brain.
Therefore, this network does not exist in that place between the dura mater and the base of the skull. I have given many other reasons for this in the Commentaria on Mondino to which for the sake of brevity I refer the readers. Berengario da Carpi, , Isagogea breves , , folio 49v. One year later, Vesalius himself depicted this enigmatic structure in one of his Tabulae anatomicae sex Six anatomical tables published in Venice Vesalius, The rete mirabile in which the vital spirit is elaborated into animal spirit.
However, in his milestone treatise De humani corporis fabrica published 5 years later, Vesalius denied categorically the existence of the rete mirabile Russell, All prominent anatomists who came after Vesalius either denied the existence of the human rete mirabile or mentioned that this structure is insignificant in man. This model implies that inputs from the five external senses converge towards the anterior ventricle the seat of the common sense , that this information is then conveyed to the middle ventricle, where its significance is interpreted the seat of cogitation or cognition , and that the decoded information is finally stored within the third ventricle the seat of memory; Clarke and Dewhurst, ; Green, This concept, which pervaded the entire Middle Ages and a large part of the Renaissance, has led to a highly schematic depiction of the human brain, where little attention is given to anatomical details and emphasis placed on the ventricular cavities displayed in the form of three large and often interconnected circles Figure 4 , left.
The first realistic representation of the human brain appeared in a vernacular medical treatise entitled Spiegel der Artzny Mirror of medical art published in Strasburg in by Lorenz Fries, a Dutch physician best known under his Latin name Laurentius Phryesen ca. It shows the brain in the form of six different images scattered around the cadaver of a man whose thoracic and abdominal viscera are displayed.
The drawings, numbered 1—6, depict six different stages of a human brain dissection Figure 5 , left. This woodcut has been attributed to the German artist Johann Wechtlin fl. Despite its crudeness, the overall display is original, and the depiction of the brain in the form of six small figures surrounding the cadaver is new and unique Choulant, Leonardo da Vinci also provided some quite accurate depictions of the basis of the human brain, together with a sagittal and a transversal view that he used principally to illustrate the lateral ventricles, as will be discussed below Figure 5 , right.
They were known only to some of his close friends, so that they did not contribute, as they should have, to the development of brain iconography. Berengario also provided a representation of the human brain drawn according to nature. It appeared in the edition of his Isagogae breves , which, unlike the edition, featured four illustrations of the heart and two of the brain, with some variations in the woodcuts showing the muscles.
The woodcut offers two images of the human brain seen from above Figure 6 , with a faithful depiction of the ventricular system that contrasted markedly with medieval renditions that were current at that time Figure 4 , left. The upper picture shows a brain that is intact, whereas that at the bottom represents a more ventral plane of dissection allowing a clearer view of the ventricular system.
The position and relative importance of the lateral ventricles in respect to the third and fourth ventricles, referred to here as the middle and posterior ventricle, respectively, are also represented. This sentence reinforces the idea that Berengario was a pioneer in recognizing the usefulness of illustrations to enhance understanding of verbal descriptions in anatomy Clarke and Dewhurst, ; Russell, Figure 6. It offers two fairly accurate horizontal views of the human brain drawn from nature, with emphasis on the organization of the meninges, particularly the dura mater, and the ventricular system.
The top figure, which depicts the brain at a slightly more dorsal level than the bottom figure, shows the left hemisphere intact, with indications of sulci and gyri, whereas the right hemisphere has been dissected out so as to show the dorsal aspect of the lateral ventricle and its prominent vermis choroid plexus. The bottom figure provides a more detailed view of the ventricular system on both sides of the brain.
The anterior lateral ventricle is shown along its full anterior-posterior extent, with the middle third and posterior fourth ventricles depicted at a lower level. The middle ventricle is bordered anteriorly by the embotum infundibulum and pituitary stalk.
Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine. For each organ he systematically lists the main facts about its substance, size, shape, location, connection, and complexion: a typical scholastic procedure. His carefully recorded connections for members—liver by veins, heart by arteries, and brain by nerves—is a consistent attempt to place the specific organ in the overall organization of the body and it has some physiological and even pathological implications to which he alluded to in the short summary placed at the end of each organ account.
His description of the meninges and cranial nerves follows closely this procedure. Its form is flat, extended in a circular manner, embracing all the medulla [brain substance] within itself together with the pia mater of the brain. It is a single panniculus. Its service, beyond the services described, is to clothe the brain with the pia mater along its length, width, and depth by surrounding it and penetrating it has explained above.
It helps also by mediating between the hard bone and the quite soft pia mater. It also assists by sustaining the veins which nourish the brain and members near it. It suffers all kinds of ills. It is called the pia mater and the secundina [chorion] because it nourishes the brain as the secundina nourishes the fetus. In the section devoted to cranial nerves see folios 56v and 57r of the edition of Isagogae breves , Berengario follows his mentor Mondino and Galen before him in describing seven pairs instead of 12, as in the current usage.
His description of the cranial nerves is, as usual, detailed, lively, and offers some new and challenging concepts, as revealed by his depiction of the olfactory and optic nerves. Their heads are somewhat thick. These are called by many the mamillary carunculae [olfactory bulbs]; they are instruments of the sense of smell and Galen does not call them nerves, for they are soft.
These are seen to cross [optic chiasma]; concerning this point there is still no agreement. And these are called the optic nerves or of vision; according to some they are concave or perforated; this, however, is not visible in the dead creature.
Berengario also underlined the controversy that existed since the Antiquity about the partial or total decussation of the optic nerve fibers at the level of the optic chiasma and the role of such a crossing in vision. The third and fourth pairs correspond approximately to the sensory and motor roots of our trigeminal nerve, respectively. In his celebrated Cerebri anatome Brain Anatomy , published in , Willis identifies nine cranial nerves instead of seven Willis, His seventh pair is a merging of our facial and vestibulo-cochlear nerves, his eighth pair a combination of our glossopharyngeal, vagus and accessory nerves, but he also recognizes a separate accessory nerve Flamm, ; Pearce, It is only in the late 18th century that our present classification of 12 cranial nerves will be proposed, thanks to the work of the Prussian anatomist and polymath Samuel Thomas von Soemmerring — , who was then a doctoral student Pearce, But the bones of the head are nourished so that they may preserve their medulla.
Berengario emphasized the fact the human brain forms a single organ occupying the entire cranial cavity. After having portrayed grossly the medulla of the brain, Berengario undertakes a much finer and meticulous depiction of the ventricular system. The medieval three-circles model is here replaced by a realistic depiction of the ventricular system, with emphasis on the remarkable anterior-posterior extension of anterior lateral ventricle Figure 6.
He also noted the presence of choroid plexuses in all ventricles and pointed to a distinct foramen that links the anterior and middle third ventricles the foramen of Monro. Berengario also correctly interpreted the trajectory of the cerebral aqueduct leading to the posterior fourth ventricle and the topographical relationship between this ventricular conduit and the pineal gland.
The following excerpts are particularly revealing of his findings. The operations of one part of these ventricles are similar to the operations of the ventricle equal to it. In the ventricle on both sides near the base is a pellicular red substance called a worm [ vermis or choroid plexus], composed of veins and arteries that extend from one end to the other in each ventricle.
This has motion, according to some, opening and closing the ventricles voluntarily. Through this foramen the spirit and some humidities contained in them descend and pass out to a certain vacuity stretching toward the basilar bone near the place where there is a certain glandulous flesh [pituitary gland] under the crossing of the optic nerves.
This vacuity is called lacuna by Mundinus, head of the rose by Avicenna ab Avic. This vacuity is not in the cerebellum aforesaid, as many think, nor is it everywhere surrounded by the medullar substance of the brain, but it is situated between the posterior and anterior brain, notably surrounded toward the cerebellum by the pia mater which covers it [choroid plexus of the fourth ventricle]. Between this last vacuity and the middle ventricle aforesaid is a certain glandulous flesh [pineal gland] called coronarium because it is in the form of a cone or pineapple.
Berengario da Carpi, , , Isagogae breves , , folios 54v and Galen was one of the first anatomists to pay attention to the large masses of nervous tissue lying at the basis of the lateral ventricle, which he referred to as the gluteal parts of the brain.
In some of his treatises he used the Greek term glutia or buttocks to describe these structures, whereas in others he compared them to human thighs Parent, It is difficult to know precisely what Galen had in mind when he used these terms, but his awkward terminology was employed in the Medieval and early Renaissance periods, as mentioned by Berengario in his Isagogea breves.
In the middle of the 17th century, Thomas Willis noted the striate appearance of this large mass of nervous tissue and, accordingly, named it corpus striatum or chamfered body. He realized that this structure, to which he assigned a role in the control of motor behavior, comprises an intra-ventricular portion our caudate nucleus and an extra-ventricular portion our lentiform nucleus , but did not specifically name these two components of the corpus striatum Willis, The first accurate depiction of the caudate nucleus, as well as that of most of the other basal ganglia components, emerged early in the 19th century from the work the great German neuroanatomist Karl Friedrich Burdach — When Berengario wrote his detailed description of the ventricular system, he was probably unaware that, a few years earlier, his illustrious fellow countryman, Leonardo da Vinci, had succeeded in producing a cast of the cerebral ventricles.
During the years —, Leonardo injected hot wax into the cerebral ventricles of an ox and, after peeling off the brain matter, obtained a faithful model of the ventricular system Clarke and Dewhurst, ; Parent, His direct transposition of the image of the ox cerebral ventricles onto one of his sketches of the human brain, although a scientifically questionable operation, nevertheless led to the very first realistic depiction of the ventricular system Figure 5 , right.
Berengario espoused the idea of the ventricular localization of higher brain functions. However, in contrast to the scholars of his time, who considered the anterior, middle and posterior ventricles as the seat of common sense, cogitation and memory, respectively, Berengario displaced these three major functions to the sole anterior ventricle. Hence, he believed that the complex mental operations underlying perception, interpretation and storage of information were sequentially executed in the voluminous lateral ventricle of the cerebral hemisphere.
Berengario da Carpi was born in the right place at the right time. He lived in one of the most exciting periods of European history: a time in which humans experienced a striking expansion of their geographical environment, with the discovery of new worlds, and a marked enrichment of their mind as a result of major achievements in the fields of sciences, arts, literature and philosophy.
Berengario was one of the most preeminent figures of the first contingent of pre-Vesalian anatomists, which also included Allessandro Achillini — , Allessandro Benedetti ca. We shall now briefly comment on the scientific contribution of each of these anatomists, their relationship with Berengario, and their effort to improve anatomical nomenclature. Allessandro Achillini was born in Bologna where he taught philosophy and medicine.
Most renowned for his philosophical contributions, he nevertheless wrote Annotationes anatomicae Anatomical notes , a medicine book that was published posthumously Achillini, , but which records observations that he made between and The Latin style of this series of ill-arranged notebooks is highly confusing and at time difficult to decipher.
The work nevertheless contains some interesting observations, such as a reference to the duct of the submaxillary gland Wharton duct and a description of the brain that is quite accurate for the time, with emphasis on the ventricular system, the fornix and the infundibulum. A native of the region of Verona, Alessandro Benedetti was successively an active physician in Greece Crete , a successful professor of medicine at Padua and an excellent military surgeon in the Venetian army.
His Anatomice Benedetti, is the first Renaissance medical treatises giving priority to the Greek anatomical nomenclature over the Latino-Arabic terminology. After Beregario, Gabriele Zerbi was the second most important figure of the first wave of pre-Vesalian anatomists. Born in Verona he taught medicine and logic at Bologna and Padua and died under torture by the Turks.
His Anathomie corporis humani Anatomy of the human body is the most complete and scholarly work entirely devoted to anatomy up to that year Zerbi, His description of the human brain Anathomie , folios r to v does not significantly improve that of Achillini. The information regarding the academic and personal relationships between these pre-Vesalian anatomists is scanty, but there is some evidence that Berengario, Zerbi and Achillini worked together at Bologna sometime during the last quarter of the 15th century: Berengario appears to have studied under Professor Zerbi, while dissecting with his colleague Achillini Lind, In contrast to the novelty of its content, which was an inspiration to the Renaissance anatomists, the form of this medieval treatise has posed them serious problems of interpretation.
The text is written in a debased Latin and is cluttered with corrupted terms borrowed from Arabic, Hebrew, Greek and Latin. Even worse, several terms are used to designate the same anatomical parts, whereas the same name is often employed to single out several parts.
Hence, pre-Vesalian anatomists progressively abandoned their search for the harmonization of Arabs and medieval scholastic authorities in favor a more practical approach, which consisted of substituting Greek for Arabic and Hebraic terms in the hope to generate a more coherent anatomical nomenclature.
Guided essentially by Latin translations of Arabic renderings of the major Greek treatises—the original works appeared in print only around —Achillini, Zerbi and Berengario worked hard along this line. These efforts to develop a coherent anatomical nomenclature should not be viewed as the result of a rejection of Arabic works, quite the contrary.
Their formative influence has extended from the medieval period to the 17th century Russell, We owe them a remarkable synthesis of the Greek and Hellenistic knowledge about the brain, the nerves and the senses, particularly the visual system, and the Latin versions of their texts became standard textbooks throughout Europe during centuries. They also provided the first schematic neurology-related diagrams that served as models for the medieval scholars Choulant, ; Nutton, ; Russell, Their description of the functional organization of the motor and sensory systems by analogy with the mechanisms of hydraulic automata anticipated similar notions that appeared in the 17th century.
Hence, despite the pre-Vesalian effort to eradicate Arab anatomical terminology, the notions developed by Arabic scholars in regard to the anatomical and functional organization of the nervous system remained at the heart of the Renaissance thinking, teaching and drawing. Among the various pre-Vesalian anatomists of the second wave, Johannes Dryander of Marburg deserves a particular mention because he was first anatomist to devote an entire treatise to a single part of the human body, namely the head.
His Anatomia capitis humani Anatomy of the human head , first published at Marburg in Dryander, , is a dissection manual that comprises essentially the legends of 12 figures intended to describe the entire anatomy of the human head. The text is short and the illustrations rudimentary compared to those of Berengario, but the book nevertheless provides interesting dissection cues and, for the first time, illustrates the stages of a progressive dissection of the head and the brain Russell, His figure XII, which can be seen as the take-home message of the entire work is rather disappointing.
The other pre-Vesalian anatomists of the late contingent—de Laguna, Massa and Guenther—have complemented the overall study of human anatomy initiated by their predecessors, but none of them surpassed Berengario in regard to the description of the human brain. It is hoped that this brief review will convince the reader that Jacopo Berengario da Carpi has played a catalyzing role in the transmutation of medieval morphological knowledge into a modern anatomical science based upon direct observation and experimental demonstration.
This indefatigable physician, surgeon and anatomy teacher mustered enough courage to challenge Galen and to promote independent research in the field of human anatomy, including neuroscience. His remarkable treatise on skull fractures published years ago has worth him the title of a pioneer in skull fracture surgery, whereas his Commentary on Mondino—a veritable treasure of rare information and new experiences—made him the founder of a new epoch in anatomy characterized by the supremacy of sensory over textual versions of the truth.
Berengario was the first anatomist to recognize the value and significance of anatomical illustrations in clarifying the text and, in so doing, he paved the way to the anatomists who came after him, including the great Vesalius. Berengario embodies the transition from the uncritical repetition of old notions to reliance on empirical observation, a shift that led to the development of scientific anatomy.
The author confirms being the sole contributor of this work and approved it for publication. The author declares that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. Some of the major themes that form the core of the present review were addressed briefly in a poster presented at the 38th annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience that was held 11 years ago in Washington, DC.
An abstract summarizing this presentation was published on line in and the reference is as follows: Parent Berengario da Carpi and the renaissance of brain anatomy. Program No. Washington, DC: Society for Neuroscience, Achillini, A. Annotationes Anatomicae. Edited by G. Bologna: Hieronymus de Benedictis. Benedetti, A. Historia Corporis Humani, Sive Anatomice. Venetiis: Bernardino Guerralda.
Berengario da Carpi, J. Bononiae: Giustiniano da Rubiera. Bononiae: Hyeronymus de Benedictis. Bononiae: Girolamo de Benedetti. Bononiae: Beneditcum Hectoris. Venetiis: Benardinum de Vitalibus. Burdach, K. Accessed 23 Apr.
More Definitions for carpus. Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free! Log in Sign Up. Save Word. Definition of carpus. First Known Use of carpus , in the meaning defined at sense 1. History and Etymology for carpus New Latin, from Greek karpos — more at wharf. Learn More About carpus. Time Traveler for carpus The first known use of carpus was in See more words from the same year.
Statistics for carpus Look-up Popularity. Style: MLA. Medical Definition of carpus. More from Merriam-Webster on carpus Britannica. Get Word of the Day daily email!
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The Carpi or Carpiani were an. See also: carpís and Carpis. LatinEdit. VerbEdit. carpis. second-person singular present active indicative of carpō. Carpi definition, plural of carpus. See more.