• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Claudius Galen and the history of blood circulation.

Extracts from this document...


Until the early 17th century Claudius Galen's (c. AD129 - 216) books were still being used in some medical schools. Although some had proved some of his ideas to be incorrect, Galen's explanation of the heart was still preferred by most doctors. It was William Harvey (1578-1657) who proved that Galen was wrong and so made one of the most famous of medical discoveries. Harvey was a doctor at St. Bartholomew's hospital in London and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. He was also the physician to James I and Charles I. ...read more.


Harvey realised that these valves stopped the blood from travelling back the wrong way to the heart. Galen's theory (that the body made new blood as its supplies were used up, using food it had ingested) was proved wrong. In 1628, Harvey published details of his work in his book entitled 'An Anatomical Disquisition on the Movement of the Heart and Blood.' Harvey's work made little difference to general medical practice at the time. Blood letting continued to be a popular practice and it was not until the 20th century that doctors realised the importance of checking a patient's blood flow by taking a pulse. ...read more.


Being a doctor at a gladiator school gave Galen the opportunity to develop his interest in anatomy and skills as a surgeon. He dissected pigs, goats and apes and applied what he had learnt to the human body. Galen's ideas dominated medicine throughout the Middle Ages. He discovered that blood moved in the body, although he did not know that it circulated. To help with the diagnosis of patients, Galen took their pulse, a practice that is still used today. His drawing of the heart was studied by doctors until the 16th century. Sketch of valves on the arms from William Harvey's book Galens dissection of a pig ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Humans as Organisms section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Humans as Organisms essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    What made Galen famous? Galen was born in AD 129 in Pergamum, Greece.

    3 star(s)

    He did not stress the polytheistic (more than one God) side of Roman culture so he didn't offend the later monotheistic Muslims and Christians. By 1100 versions of Galen's work were being translated into Latin in Spain, which was partly Christian and partly Islamic.

  2. Who Contributed More to the Progress of Medicine Versalius, Pare, or Harvey?

    It explained an experiment he had carried out to prove that the blood travels only one way through veins. Harvey said that if the upper arm is bandaged the valves show up as nodules on the vein. If a finger is pushed along the vein one valve to the two

  1. Becoming a Surgeon

    You have to wear gloves to avoid getting infected from the patients and infecting them. Wearing masks avoids accidents such as blood being squirt onto your face whilst in surgery because of the germs. You have to wear clothes such as overalls which straight away after will be put in

  2. Investigating the density of blood

    When I perform the real experiment I will have a better idea of what I am doing and the techniques needed to gain more precise results. The method I used was fine however I feel one modification needs to be made.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work