This series begins with dissection in the ancient world, focusing on Egypt, Greece, and Rome. How and why did Egyptian priests remove organs from the bodies of pharaohs and mummify their remains? How did religion and the search for the soul drive the rise of anatomical science? How did key figures like the Greek philosopher Aristotle and the Roman physician Galen advance the study of dissection by anatomizing animals?
This second part considers the rise of anatomy in the medieval universities. Rather than oppose dissection, the Catholic Church in most instances actually encouraged anatomical study. How did medieval physicians and surgeons study and teach anatomy? What cultural fears and theological concerns were triggered by the dissection of human bodies?
This third part focuses on the dramatic advancement of dissection in the European Renaissance, the very first time in human history when wide scale dissection of human bodies was possible. How did pioneering Renaissance anatomists like Vesalius and Columbo team up with artists like Titian and Michelangelo to create anatomical textbooks?
his final lecture concludes by examining the rise of dissection in the modern world. How did the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution both advance the study of dissection and debase our attitudes about the human body? What forces gave rise to the Victorian grave robbers.