Renaissance: triumph of the anatomists

Table of contents:

Renaissance: triumph of the anatomists
Renaissance: triumph of the anatomists

A new look at people

Natural sciences flourished at the end of the Middle Ages. Anatomists studied the human body and did the previously unthinkable: disproving ancient medicine.

The medicine of the European Middle Ages was based to a large extent on what was preserved from antiquity or what became accessible to scholars from the Byzantine and Arabic regions over the course of the millennium. In the 15th century, recourse to the original writings made it possible to critically examine the ancient models and finally, especially in the natural sciences and medicine, even to overcome them. The awakening in the early modern period, known as the Renaissance, largely replaced the religiously influenced worldview of the Middle Ages, which was geared to otherworldly happiness, with a humanistic worldview that focused more strongly on people and their here and now.

This movement also gained momentum thanks to the invention of Mainzer Johannes Gutenberg (around 1400–1468): book printing with movable type triggered a media revolution whose social impact probably surpassed that of today's digitization. Instead of copying works by hand or carving blocks out of wood for entire pages, the individual letters cast in lead could now be flexibly arranged in frames to form texts. Books, pamphlets and other printed matter soon became more affordable throughout Europe. Researchers were able to share new discoveries with a far larger audience than before…

Popular topic