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Medical Terminology Daily (MTD) is a blog sponsored by Clinical Anatomy Associates, Inc. as a service to the medical community, medical students, and the medical industry. We post anatomical, medical or surgical terms, their meaning and usage, as well as biographical notes on anatomists, surgeons, and researchers through the ages. Be warned that some of the images used depict human anatomical specimens.

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A Moment in History 

Martin Naboth, title page of De Sterelitate Mulierum 

Martin Naboth
(1675 – 1721)

Not much is known about this German physician and anatomist. He was born in 1675 in Calau, a town in Southern Brandenburg, Germany. He studied medicine at the University in Leipzig, receiving his doctorate in Philosophy in 1701 and his MD in 1703. Although his interests were based in chemistry, Naboth became an avid anatomist, with interest in the anatomy of the female reproductive system.

His main publication in 1707 was “De Sterilitate Mulierum” (On Sterility in Women). In this book he refers to small pearl-like transparent structures found in the uterine cervix. Believing that he had discovered the way women store eggs, he called these “ovarium novum” (new ovaries). His discovery was accepted by many and these structures came to be known as “Ovula Nabothii “. Only later were to understand these structures as cysts created by clogging of the opening of the glands found around the uterine cervix. These mucus-producing glands are known as the [cervical glands] and also as Nabothian glands. These cysts, which are common and do not represent a sign of cervical cancer, are known today as Nabothian cysts.

Naboth had only rediscovered these cysts first described in 1681 by Guillaume des Noues (1650 – 1735), although the eponym records Naboth’s name.

Naboth died in Leipzig in 1721 leaving a large anatomical collection. We have not been able to find an image of Naboth, so we are depicting the title page of his 1707 “De Sterilitate Mulierum”. If you click on the image you can see a larger depiction.

Sources
1. “Histoire de la M?decine, depuis son origine jusqu'au dix-neuvi?me si?cle” A. J. L. Jourdan ; E. F. M. Bosquillon  1815
2. “The Origin of Medical Terms” Skinner HA 1970 Hafner Publishing Co.


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Bernhard Siegfried Albinus


This article is part of the series "A Moment in History" where we honor those who have contributed to the growth of medical knowledge in the areas of anatomy, medicine, surgery, and medical research.To search all the articles in this series, click here.

Bernhard Siegfried Albinus (1697-1770). German-Dutch physician, surgeon, and anatomist, Albinus was born in Frankfurt an der Oder, but lived most of his life in Leyden, in Holland, his adopted country. His real name was Bernhard Siegfried Weiss, which means “white” in German, the Latin version of which is “albus”, from where derives his Latinized name “Albinus”.

His father was also a physician, Bernard (or Bernhard) Weiss (1653 – 1721). He also took the last name Albinus, which makes following their history and genealogy a bit difficult.

Albinus moved to Leyden (Leiden) when he was only five years old, excelling at his studies and entering the University of Leyden at 12. He later moved to Paris, France to continue his studies on anatomy and surgery. He received his medical degree in 1719.

He began work at the University of Leyden as a Professor of Anatomy and Surgery, where he continued working until his death in 1770. He is considered one the most well-known anatomists of the 18th century.

Bernhard Siegfried Albinus
Because of his work with his colleague Herman Boerhaave (1668-1738), Albinus came in contact with Jan Wandelaar (1690-1759) an artist and engraver. It was this collaboration and the art of Jan Wandelaar which have made Albinus’ books and illustration famous. Albinus was criticized for the luscious, detailed, and sometimes strange backgrounds of his anatomical images, yet he defended Jan Wandelaar and his artistic expression. Albinus and Jan Wandelaar were dedicated to the faithful reproduction of anatomy in their publications, developing a grid system to reduce errors in production and printing.

During his tenure, Albinus was twice appointed Rector of the University and President of the College of Surgeons of Leyden. During this time, he became aware of the discovery of the copper plates created by Eustachius’ and lost for over a hundred years. In 1744 he published the plates in the book “Explanation of the Anatomical Tables of Eustachius “with his comments, stressing the fact that these images were better than those of Vesalius, published in 1543. This is no surprise, as Vesalius’ images were woodcuts, done before the technique of printing with copper plates became popular.

Although not well-known, Albinus’ name is eponymically attached to the risorius and scalenus minimus muscles. His famous publications include  “Historia muscolorum hominis”  in 1734),  “Icones ossium foetus humani” in   1737, “Tabulae sceleti et musculorum corporis humani” in 1749, etc.

Some of Albinus and Jan Wandelaar can be seen in the following links that will open is separate pages:

IMAGE 1; IMAGE 2; IMAGE 3; IMAGE 4

Sources:
1. "Bernard Siegfried Albinus (1697-1770), German-Dutch anatomist" JAMA (1966), 196 (10): 910
2.“Bartholomeo Eustachio – The Third Man: Eustachius Published By Albinus” Fahrer, M. Ann Anat 187 (2005) 555—573
3. “Attic perfection in anatomy: Bernhard Siegfried Albinus (1697–1770) and Samuel Thomas Soemmerring (1755–1830)” Hildebrand, R. Ann Anat 187 (2005) 555—573
4. “Two Conceptions of the Human Form: Bernard Siegfried Albinus and Andreas Vesalius” Elkins, J. Artibus et Historiae, 7:14 (1986)  91-106
5. “Bartolomeo Eustachio: His Influence on Albinus and the Anatomical Models at La Specola, Florence” Hilloowala, R. J Hist Med All Sci (1986); 41 (4): 442 -462
Original image courtesy of Images from the History of Medicine