online exhibition

rare book library



physiology & medicine

previous page next page

Harvey, William (1578-1657)
Exercitationes anatomicae, de motu cordis & sanguinis circulatione. Cum duplici indice capitum and rerum. Accessit Dissertatio de corde… Jacobi de Back.
Roterodami, ex officina Arnoldi Leers, 1660.

Image from Harvey's Exercitationes anatomicae

William Harvey’s De motu cordis is the most important early modern work in physiology. It was the first work to argue for the circulation of the blood. One problem Harvey did not solve was the cause of the motion of the heart. Descartes argued that it worked like a furnace while Harvey claimed that it worked like a pump. This edition of De motu cordis contains the Dutch physician James de Back’s Discourse of the Heart which contains two lengthy refutations of Descartes’ view. Its publication with Harvey’s masterpiece should be seen as part of an anti-Cartesian polemic.

Another image from Harvey's Exercitationes anatomicae
previous page next page