History of Medicine
Physiognomy: A Study in Character
Physiognomy was the science of predicting a person’s character and health according to his physical appearance, especially the face and head. This ancient science dated back to Hippocrates in the fifth century BC, and Giambattista della Porta (1535?-1615) popularized it two thousand years later, comparing different human forms to animals. In this image, he shows that noble humans often resemble the noblest of animals, the horse.
Physiology and the Science of Motion
Physiology, or the science of how the body functions, was studied in tandem by horse veterinarians and physicians, as each tested their hypotheses on their patients. Giovanni Alfonso Borelli (1608-1679) was one of the first physicians to apply the concepts of physics and mechanics to the human and animal body, viewing the bones and joints as levers and the heart as a pump.