Anatomia. Cui responsiones ad Riolanum anatomicum parisiensem in ipsius Animadversionibus contra Veslingium additae sunt

Autore: MARCHETTI, Domenico (Padova 1626-1688)

Tipografo: Matteo Cadorino

Dati tipografici: Padova, 1654

Formato: in quarto

4to (240x170 mm). Pp. [10], 179, [1: errata]. Collation: [π]4+1 A-Y4 Z2. At l. [π]1r engraved frontispiece showing an anatomy lecture at the Univeristy of Padua. At l. [π]2v engraved portrait of Pietro Marchetti (1589-1673), Domenico's father, who was also an anatomist and a physician (Gio. Georgius incidit). Contemporary cardboards, ink title on spine (spine mostly broken and defective). Small repair to the lower outer corner of frontispiece bearing an unreadable stamp, worm track to the gutter of about 15 leaves (pp. 65-95) which sometimes affects the manuscript marginal notes, slighlty, uniformly browned, volume quite loose (the last two leaves are unbound), uncut with deckle edges.


Second edition, a reprint of the first issued by Pasquati in 1652. The book, divided into 20 books, is according to Boyle & Thillaye (Biographie medicale, Paris, 1855, I p. 477) “un bon abrégé d'anatomie qui, selon le sentiment du célèbre Haller, est trop peu connu. L'Auteur est vraiment original, car il a rempli cet ouvrage de quantité d'observations nouvelles et qui lui sont propres”. The main purpose of Marchetti's work was that to defend his mentor Johann Vesling (†1649) against the attacks of Jean Riolan (1580-1657), professor of medicine at the University of Paris. From 1632 to 1649 Vesling had the chair of antomy and surgery at Padua. His main work, the Syntagma anatomicum (1641), was translated into many languages and reprinted several times.

The entire volume, wit the only exception of the last five leaves, has the inner and outer margin profusely annotated by a regular and very small hand. The explanatory annotations punctually refer to the printed text. They report in most cases an opinion, a dissent or even an improvement proposed by the anonymous scribe with respect to Marchetti's text. Many annotations are introduced or closed by the name “Mollinetus”, “Molinetus”, “Moll:” (and other variants) accompanied by “dicit”, “dixit”, “existimat”, “negat”, and so on. They refer to Antonio Molinetti (1620-1675), successor of Vesling and since 1661 professor of anatomy and medicine in Padua. Most of the manuscript notes therefore report Molinetti's doctrine exposed in parallel to Marchetti's text and written by a third anatomist whose name we do not know. This was probably a young graduate, who was trying to make a career within the faculty. From time to time the writer speaks in first person and reports anatomical observations made by himself on a certain date. For example, on p. 29: “hoc anno 1657 vidi duplicem lienem”; on p. 45: “Et hoc year 1660 sub excellentissimum Molinetus vidi similem tumorem”; and again on p. 72, speaking of the difficulty of detaching the pericardium from the heart muscle: “tamen hoc year 1666, vidimus hanc tunicam separatam (?) a D. Boldino”. This last note is particularly interesting because it mentions the figure of Francesco Boldini, who was a prosector, i.e. the one charged with preparing the corpses for the anatomy lessons.

The dates quoted in the notes cover a period of about 10 years, from 1657 to 1666, ending before the appearance of Molinetti's only printed work, the Dissertationes anatomico-pathologicae (Padua, 1669).

Domenico Marchetti, born in Padua in 1626, was the son of the famous surgeon Pietro Marchetti. He studied medicine in his native town and in 1644 became a collaborator of the great anatomist Johann Vesling, to whom he succeded in the chair of surgery in 1649. In 1652 he performed the first nephrectomy in the history of surgery and in 1665 he described for the first time a post-traumatic pericarditis. He was also responsible for the introduction of the method of injecting the blood vessels. Marchetti published only one work, the Anatomia, first printed at Padua in 1652, then reprinted in 1654 and again at Harderwijk in 1656 and at Leiden in 1688. In 1669 he was appointed to the main chair of anatomy at the University of Padua, that his father Pietro had held for over 15 years (G. Vedova, Biografia degli Scrittori Padovani, Padua, 1832, I, pp. 581-583).

NLM 17th century, no. 7414; Wellcome, IV, 51; Hirsch, IV, 128; Piantanida, no. 1956.