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Gasparo Aselli - bibliography

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Italian surgeon and anatomist, born 1581, Cremona; died April 1626, Milano.


  • De lactibus sive lacteis venis, quarto vasorum meseraicorum genere novo invento, dissertatio, qua sententiae anatomicae multae, vel perperam receptae convelluntur, vel parum perceptae illustrantur etc. Morte praeventus ut ederetur curarunt Alexander Tadinus et Senator Septalius physici de Coll. Nob. Mediol. Etc.
    Published posthumously by Alessandro Tadini and Ludovico Settala. Mediolani, apud Io. B. Bidellium, 1627.
    Later editions in Leyden, 1641.
    Also published with the works of Adrian Spigel in Amsterdam 1645.
    In Geneva 1685, in the Bibliotheca anatomica edited by Daniel Leclerc (1652-1728) and Jean-Jacques Manget (1652-1742).
    Also included in a 1647 edition of William Harvey’s De motu cordis. Reprinted in Leipzig, 1968, Milan, 1972.
    The first edition is typographically rather special, as it includes the first anatomical plates printed in colours – four chiaroscuro woodcuts, 16” x 10”. In later editions these have been replaced by much smaller copperplates. Works by others:
  • Bertolomeo Eustachi:
    Opuscula anatomica. Venetis, V. Luchinus, 1564.
    Eustachius recognized the thoracic duct in the horse and even detected some of its valves. His work on this structure was forgotten until Aselli's description of the lacteals.
  • Jean Pecquet (1622-1674):
    Experimenta nova anatomica, quibus incognitum chyli receptaculum, et ab eo per thoracem in ramos usque subclavis vasa lactea deteguntur.
    Parisiis, Apud Sebastianum Cramoisy et Gabrielem Cramoisy, 1651.
    Pecquet discovered the thoracic duct in dogs and its relation to the lacteals. Using a dog that was digesting, he described the thoracic duct, its entry into the subclavian veins, and the receptaculum chyli or chyle reservoir. The chyle reservoir had been sought after since Aselli's discovery of the chyliferous vessels (lacteals) in the dog. English Translation, London, 1653. Biographical and bibliographical:
  • August Hirsch (1817-1894), publisher:
    Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Ärzte aller Zeiten und Völker.
    2nd edition. Berlin, Urban & Schwarzenberg, 1929.
    First published in 6 volumes 1884-1888. 3rd edition, München 1962.
  • Jeremy M. Norman, editor:
    Morton’s Medical Bibliography. An annotated Check-list of Texts Illustrating the History of Medicine (Garrison and Morton).
    Fifth edition. Scolar Press, 1991.

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