The Anatomical Exercises of Dr. William Harvey: De Motu Cordis and De Circulatione Sanguinis
Of all the books in the history of medicine, none has attracted the attention of scholars more than this work. It is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest intellectual achievements. For generations it, together with Vesalius's De Humani Corporis, was sought by collectors as the chief prize of a medical book collection. Today scholars continue to study this volume and although it has been reprinted more than any other medical book, demand for the text remains strong. Harvey's monumental work is the foundation of modern physiology and the volume that grants to the heart the status of the most important organ in the body. As Sir William Osler pointed out, "The accuracy and vividness of Harvey's description of the motion of the heart have been appreciated by generations of physiologists... The De Motu Cordis constitutes a unique piece of work in the history of medicine. Nothing of the same type had appeared before. It is a thoroughly sensible, scientific study... It marks the final break of the modern spirit with the old traditions..."