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STENSSON, Olof, preses, RUDBECK d.ä., Olof (1630–1702), resp.

Disputatio anatomica, de circulatione sangvinis.
Arosiæ, Eucharius Lauringerus, 1652.

First edition of Rudbeck’s earliest medical treatise, in which he introduced Harvey and the doctrine of the circulation of the blood into Swedish medical literature. Rudbeck’s intention was clear: he wished to proceed cautiously and first acquaint Swedish academicians with the new revolutionary physiology before he presented his own remarkable discoveries. In this dissertation Rudbeck presents 26 theses, in one of which he denies the role of the liver as an organ for formation of the blood – proving that he was far in advance of Harvey’s standpoint. Like his Nova exercitatio anatomica (1653), in which he reported his discovery of the lymphatic vessels, Rudbeck’s Circulatione sanguinis was printed in the provincial town of Västerås, and is as rare as that one. In the fall of 1650, when he was 19 years old, Rudbeck reported on previously unknown vessels (lymphatic vessels) that carried a colourless fluid from the liver. At the same time, and independently of Pecquet, he discovered the thoracic duct, through which the lacteal vessels discharge chyle into the veins. He performed a number of systematic dissections and vivisections on dogs, calves, sheep, and cats, and was able in the following year, 1651, to elucidate the structure of this system and to demonstrate its connections with lymph glands. In April, 1652, Rudbeck demonstrated his anatomical discoveries, using a dog as his subject, before Queen Christina and her court at Uppsala. It might thus be considered that he had communicated them at this time, although he postponed publication. Instead, he published and defended an academic dissertation, De circulatione sanguinis, under professor Olaus Stenius, said to have been Uppsala’s first Cartesian. Not until the summer of 1653 did he publish his work on the lymphatic vessels, a clear and comvincing description of the newly discovered vessels and their course and valves, the upper glands, and the nature of the lymphatic fluid. Rudbeck later stated that he had used almost 400 animals in his numerous experiments.

Collation: Pp (16), with one folding engraved plate (210 x 160 mm), drawn by Rudbeck and engraved by Magnus Celsius. The plate is signed “M N H” (Magnus Nicolai Helsingius, a name then used by Celsius). Titlepage slightly soiled. The engraving is in fine impression but the plate is miscoloured grey.

Binding: Disbound.

Provenance: Detta exemplar av Rudbecks dissertation, den kanske raraste av alla tryck i Hagströmer Biblioteket, hittades i en bunt dissertationer i KIB SB 318:1-27 men hade hoppats över bland de 27 och var således okatalogiserad.. Alla de övriga dissertationerna i bandet var tyska från mitten av 1700-talet.

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