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Realdo Colombo

Realdo Colombo or Renaldus Columbus (c. 1516-1559) was a professor of anatomy and a surgeon at the University of Padua (1544-1559). He was a pupil of Vesalius and his successor.

He published a book of anatomy entitled De re anatomica in which he corrected some of the omissions and errors of his master.

His contributions to anatomy and medicine included the following:

  • showed that the lens lies to the front of the eyeball, not in the centre
  • showed that arteries expand with each heartbeat
  • showed that the pulmonary valve of the heart closes during diastole, preventing reflux
  • demonstrated that blood flows from the right side of the heart through the lungs

The book was also known for describing the Censored page, which he called the "love or sweetness of Venus," and which he claimed to have discovered. This claim was disputed by Gabriel Fallopius, who claimed that he had discovered it. Both claims were later dismissed by Kasper Bartholin in the 17th century, who stated that the clitoris had been widely known to anatomists since the second century AD. [1]

His discoveries paved the way for William Harvey's discovery of the circulation of blood. Harvey studied in Padua some 50 years later.

See also: Timeline of medicine and medical technology.

Last updated: 02-10-2005 04:00:18
Last updated: 03-18-2005 11:16:12