Adrianus Spigelius’ (1578 – 1625) Ocular Anatomy

Konstantinos Laios, Evangellos Mavrommatis, George Kostoulas, Konstantinos Manes, Efstathia Lagiou, Pavlos Lytsikas-Sarlis, Maria Piagkou


The aim was to study Adriaan van den Spiegel’s ideas on ocular anatomy. He is better known by his Latinized name as Adrianus Spigelius (1578 – 1625). He was a Flemish physician and anatomist who lived and worked in Padua, where in 1605 he was elected to be Professor of Anatomy and Surgery. Chapter IX of book ten of Spigelius’ work on human anatomy, entitled De humani corporis fabrica libri X tabulis aere icisis exornati (1627) was devoted to an anatomical description of the eye. Corresponding to contemporary ideas of the production of knowledge Spigelius endeavoured to enhance Andreas Vesalius’ (1514–1564) anatomy, he did not repeat his predecessor’s theories of ocular anatomy. He conceptualised that the eye has six muscles, five tunics and three humors, while he gave a brief description of ocular physiology combining anatomy and the functional role of the anatomic ocular parts.

Conclusion. He managed to correct Vesalius’ errors and to present ocular anatomy with original notes, which so far, have been ignored and are highlighted now.


Adriaan van den Spiegel; Ocular Anatomy; History of Anatomy; Padua

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