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Lines of Thought : Lodoici Vassæi Catalaune[n]sis, in anatomen corporis hvmani tabulæ quatuor

Lines of Thought

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This copy of Loys Vasse’s work on the human body belonged at one time to Thomas Lorkyn (1529-1591), Regius Professor of Physic in the University of Cambridge. It is bound up in a volume with six other similar works, whether by Lorkyn or after he left it to the Library in 1591 is unknown. The items form a large and comprehensive set of anatomical works, including items published in France, Germany and Italy.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The particular interest in this copy of Vasse’s work lies in the notes Lorkyn made in the margins, describing two cases of dissection he oversaw at Cambridge. Candidates for the Bachelor and Doctor of Medicine at Cambridge were required to attend a minimum of two dissections. These were typically ceremonial occasions where students observed a surgeon at work on the corpse while the ‘instructor’ read out from a learned treatise. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>On the right-hand page shown here, Lorkyn wrote: Memorandum. Anno Domini 1565 the xxviii of marche I did make anatomie of richarde [overwritten: rauffe] tiple at maudlen colledge cotninuynge weddensdaie thursdaie & fridaie… [transcription by Peter Murray Jones]</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>On the left-hand page, he recorded in Latin a dissection on 11 March 1567. This was attended by William Gilbert (1544?-1604), who later wrote the De magnete. It is very rare to find records of actual dissections at Cambridge, and it is likely for administrative reasons that Lorkyn made his notes here. For a full discussion of these notes, see Peter Murray Jones (1988), 'Thomas Lorkyn's dissections, 1564/5 and 1566/7', <i>Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society</i>, 9, 209-29.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>This item was included in the Library’s 600th anniversary exhibition <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''><i>Lines of Thought: Discoveries that changed the world</i></a>.</p>

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