Wednesday, 3 January 2007

The History of Anatomy - Crime & Punishment

During the Middle Ages Claudius Galen's work in the research of anatomy would be lectured while a barber-surgeon performed a dissection on a body (usually a criminal who had been sentenced to death) and another pointed to points of interest with a stick. Criminal Executions and dissections often took place at carnivals while an audience watched the proceedings (presumably with morbid interest). In time this form of punishment, execution followed by dissection was feared worse than death and was only given out for either treason or murder. For a long time bodies used for dissection came from criminals who were hanged for their crimes.


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