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Eustachi, Bartholomeo. Tabulae anatomicae. (Romae: Ex Typographia Pauli Junchi, 1783).

Bartholomeo Eustachi, also known as Eustachio and Eustachius, was born in San Severino Marche in the modern province of Macerata, Italy, some time between 1500 and 1510. It is uncertain where he received his earliest training, but it is thought that he studied medicine in both Rome and Padua. He served as the physician to the Duke of Urbino and eventually became physician to Cardinal Giulio Della Rovere in Rome, where Eustachi lectured on anatomy at the Studio della Sapienza. He died in 1574 en route to Fossombrone to tend to the Cardinal. Throughout his career, Eustachi was a staunch supporter of Galenic anatomy, performing his own in depth investigations to oppose such reformers as Vesalius.

When Eustachi’s Opuscula anatomica was first published in 1564, it contained eight plates, mainly focusing on the kidneys and vascular system. More than 130 years after his death, however, Giovanni Maria Lancisi (1654–1720) found another thirty-eight copperplates engraved by Giulio de' Musi (fl. 1535–1553) for a planned work of Eustachi’s, but the text to accompany the plates was never found. Lancisi published the plates with his own explanations in Rome in 1714 under the title Tabulae anatomicae Bartholomaei Eustachii. A unique feature of Eustachi’s plates is the use of printed, numbered rulers on the edges which could be used in the text to locate anatomical structures without the use of letters or numbers in the images.

The edition scanned for this project includes text by Andrea Massimini (1727–1792) and George Martine (1702–1741) to accompany the plates, which were printed twice with the first set beautifully hand colored. Many of the editions, including Lancisi's first, bear an engraved title vignette by Pier Leone Ghezzi (1674–1755) showing Eustachi dissecting a cadaver in an anatomical theater.

Further Reading:

Choulant, L. History and bibliography of anatomic illustration. Trans. and annotated by Mortimer Frank. (New York: Hafner, 1962). Pp. 200-204.

Dizionario biografico degli italiani. (Roma: Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, 1960- ). Vol. 43, pp. 531-536.

Roberts, K. B. “Eustachius and his anatomical plates.” Newsletter of the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine, (1979) Apr.: 9-13.