it will no doubt be
apparent to the reader that the period 1814 - 1867 was one of
exceeding importance in the development of anatomical knowledge.
It is remarkable in that during this time the knowledge gained
was of a particularly definite and accurate nature, from which
fact this era must be regarded as epochal. The researches in
microscopic anatomy were largely responsible for the wonderful
strides made in the study of physiology, and so closely are
many of the anatomical discoveries of the day, related to the
subject of physiology,that it is somewhat difficult to
differentiate - to determine where the one ends and the other
begins. However every effort has been made to avoid the lure
of a discussion of the latter aspect and if such men as Bernard,
Pasteur, Bell and Magendie have not been discussed as fully as
we would like it is because their work, though anatomical in
certain respects, was largely of a physiological nature. Only
those of their great discoveries bearing more directly on our
subject have been presented. As mentioned previously,
certain skilled anatomists of the period, though they made no
first -hand discoveries of note, were responsible for great
advances in the art of surgery. These we have been reluctantly
compelled to pass over, though the fact that they existed and
that their art flourished must not be lost sight of in considering
the history of anatomy during the years under review.
We shall not endeavour to estimate the relative merits of
the various men and nations engaged in the great advance made,
for it appears to us that where science is concerned distinctions
are invidious and that in the compilation of a history criticism
and estimations are unwarranted.
From a certain more or less remote period in which we
read in Virgil that "Dido nursed the wound within her veins"
we have wondered how much anatomy the ancients really knew,
and in what manner anatomical knowledge developed through the
ages. The research entailed in the writing of these pages
has done much to clear the atmosphere in this respect and to
lead us to a full appreciation of the wonderful work done in
the development of anatomical knowledge during the epoch -
making years of the life -time of John Goodsir.