Herophilus


Herophilus

biographical name

(born c. 335 BC, Chalcedon, Bithynia—died c. 280) Alexandrian physician, often called the father of anatomy. He performed public dissections on human corpses; studied the cavities of the brain, which he regarded as the centre of the nervous system; traced the sinuses of the dura mater to their junction (the torcular Herophili); and classified nerve trunks as motor and sensory, distinguishing them from tendons and blood vessels. He described the eye, liver, salivary glands, pancreas, genitals, duodenum, and prostate gland (naming the last two) and was the first to measure the pulse. A student of Hippocrates' doctrine, he emphasized the curative powers of drugs, diet, and gymnastics. He wrote at least nine works, including a commentary on Hippocrates and a book for midwives, all lost in the destruction of the library of Alexandria.

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