It was on this date, December 31, 1514, that Flemish anatomist Andreas Vesalius was born Andreas van Wesel in Brussels, Belgium. Vesalius had studied medicine in the tradition of the ancient Roman anatomist Galen (129-211), but in acquiring great skill in dissection – often practiced on the bodies of criminals stolen from the gallows – he discovered many errors in Galen’s work.
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Originally published December 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.
"In regard to religious matters," he wrote, "there is an intellectual cowardice instilled into the minds of the people from their infancy; to inquire or exert their reason is denounced as sinful."