The De humani corporis fabrica [The Fabric of the Human Body] of Andreas Vesalius is deservedly famous as the first modern book of anatomy. A second edition was published in Basle in 1555, but little is known of Vesalius’ activities after that date. Only recently Vesalius’ own copy of the 1555 edition was found, heavily annotated in preparation for a never published third edition. In it Vesalius made hundreds of changes, most of them being stylistic or to the plates to give greater clarity or to correct mistakes by the original wood-cutter. There is little new anatomical material, although Vesalius continued to meditate about what he had earlier discovered. The number of annotations shows Vesalius’ passionate concern not only for accuracy but also for the most effective way of proclaiming his new anatomical message.

Lecture held in English.