The Latin Translations of Galen's De Uteri De Dissectione and Their Reception in The Renaissance


  • Concetta Pennuto Renaissance Center for Higher Studies (UMR 7323) François-Rabelais University, Tours


De uteri dissectione , Latin translations, Renaissance reception


This article provides a preliminary survey of the Latin translations of Galen’s De uteri dissectione  and of their reception in the Renaissance. Andreas Vesalius criticized Galen in De humani corporis fabrica (1543 and 1555), on the grounds that Galen was ignorant of human anatomy and the women’s womb. In order to make his point, Vesalius quoted, inter alia, De uteri dissectione , which was central in medical discussions at that time. This anatomical work of Galen had four Latin translations: the first one was done by Niccolò da Reggio in the first half of the fourteenth century, the other  three were published in 1533 (by Giovanni Bernardo Feliciano) and in 1536 (by Janus Cornarius and Guinther of Andernach). All these translations had various editions from 1490 to 1625, expecially that by Giovanni Bernardo Feliciano. Their text changed from one edition to another, and influenced modern anatomical terminology, as Charles Estienne shows in his treatise.