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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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Theo Dirix

Theo Dirix is an author and taphophile. He has successively held the office of Consul in Embassies of Belgium in Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Canada, the United Arab Emirates and, since 2011, Greece. Before 1989, he worked for the Flemish Radio 3 and commented on (mainly Moroccan) literature. He is constantly writing travel stories of his visits to cemeteries and graves.

Theo Dirix became directly involved in the quest to find the grave of Andreas Vesalius on the island of Zakynthos in Greece and as the Consul of Belgium was critical to the realization of the 2014 Vesalius Continuum meeting on the same island.

Theo Dirix

The same year (2014) Theo Dirix published his book "IN SEARCH OF ANDREAS VESALIUS; The Quest for the lost grave", a detailed story of the process of zeroing on the location of the grave, the politics of the island tourism, and the history and research on Vesalius' death.

Andreas Vesalius did not die returning from Jerusalem on a deserted beach in the Ionian Sea, the only victim of a shipwreck. He did not travel to the Holy Land under pressure of the Inquisition, neither as penance nor escape: he went there as a devout pilgrim with the support of his employer. Weakened by his stay and by his unfortunate return journey, he died in Zakynthos where he was buried in the Santa Maria delle Grazie Church. This and many other details are found in his book and research.

Thanks to Theo Dirix for collaborating with "Medical Terminology Daily" with the article "In Search of Andreas Vesalius, The Quest for the Lost Grave - The Sequel" which he co-authored with Pascale Pollier and Dr. Sylviane Déderix.

Following are some links to Theo Dirix's articles on the Internet:

The Quest for Andreas Vesalius' Grave
Visiting a cemetery
Theo Dirix at Academia.edu