Mini Stories from the Life of Andreas Vesalius

Public dissection of the body of a notorious criminal

In 1543, Andreas Vesalius conducted a public dissection of the body of a notorious criminal from the city of Basel, Switzerland. He assembled the bones and finally donated the skeleton to the University of Basel. This preparation is known as “The Basel Skeleton”.

Andreas Vesalius's body was thrown to the animals!

In 1564 Andreas Vesalius’ s pilgrimage ship was wrecked on the island of Zakynthos. Here he soon died in such debt that, if a benefactor had not paid for a funeral, his remains would have been thrown to the animals. At the time of his death he was scarcely fifty years of age. Andreas Vesalius often referred to as the founder of modern human anatomy.

Vesalius wperformed an autopsy on an aristocrat when the heart was still beating?

For many years it was assumed that Vesalius's pilgrimage and consequent death was due to pressures of the Inquisition. It appears the story was spread by Hubert Languet and he claimed in 1565 that Vesalius was performing an autopsy on an aristocrat in Spain when it was found that the heart was still beating, leading to the Inquisition condemning him to death. The story went on to claim that Philip II had the sentence transformed into a pilgrimage.
Hosted by: datatorch