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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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The long road to the book "In the shadow of Vesalius" (3)

If you arrived directly to this article, the first article in this three-page series can be read HERE

I would like to shine a light on my husband poet /sculptor Bryan Green , who wrote a poem on Vesalius that is published in Theo’s book; “In Search of Andreas Vesalius: The Quest for the Lost Grave” and gave a performance at the Fabrica Vitae exhibition opening.. Bryan has constantly worked behind the scenes editing many letters, articles, books, and leaflets,  I couldn’t have done it all without his help and advice. He also made the long lorry journey to Zakynthos from Belgium with me and our friend James Gatehouse to deliver the monument.

Vesalius Continuum also marked the start of our touring exhibition “Fabrica Vitae” curated by Eleanor Crook, my sister Chantal Pollier, and myself. The exhibition toured all over Europe and the US with the help and support of Theo Dirix and Belgian Embassies world wide .

The conference and accompanying events could not have happened without financial funds and I hereby would like to thank all our sponsors: Professor Peter Abrahams with his infectious energy and professor Robert Jordan; St Georges University of Grenada, Ruth Richardson and Brian Hurwitz and Mark Gardiner for getting funding from the Wellcome trust, Marie Dauenheimer and the Vesalius Trust, BIOMAB, Ann van the Velde and The University of Antwerp, The AEIMS and MAA, William Nagels, warmly thank the local authorities and the mayor of Zakynthos, ARSIC,  Theo Dirix, and Stephen Joffe, and a special thank you also Stephen for writing a beautiful foreword for our book In the Shadow of Vesalius.

Bryan Green reading his poem in the book of Theo Dirix “ In Search of Andreas Vesalius”
Bryan Green reading his poem in the book of Theo Dirix “ In Search of Andreas Vesalius”
Click on the image for a larger version


You can imagine after such an exciting and wonderful adventure, which took quite a few years to organize, and a quite a few years to reminisce over, we decided we wanted to keep the momentum going and thus the Vesalius triennial was born.

In 2017 BIOMAB, in collaboration with Vesaliana, organized the first triennial in Zakynthos ‘Uniting Medicine with Poetry, History and Culture’

It seems like another world in which we made our plans for the 2nd edition of the Vesalius Triennial Congress, 4 months before the COVID-19 pandemic lock down. From the vain belief that COVID-19 would not hit most countries, to hopes that everything would have blown over by 13th November 2020 (the day when the next Vesalius Triennial Congress would take place in Antwerp) to realizing that we were going to have to take action, the scientific committee has transformed from one in which everyone knew their time-tried and perfected role, to one requiring invention in uncharted territory.

 New Vesalius Statue in Zakynthos

Canceling the 2nd  Vesalius Triennial was not a welcome prospect , since facilitating human communication is the corner stone of a scientific community. So we set sail for the vast virtual-reality realm. To discover just how far we could delve into virtual communication with a dedicated but small organising committee, was an eventful, insightful voyage. Sadly after long and careful consideration and several online meetings we finally decided to postpone all international congress keynote lectures and educational sessions until 2023.

However we would like to invite all the friends of Vesalius for a virtual book launch on Nov 13th we will soon post the event details on how to register for this event on social media, and on Vesalius continuum website

The book "In the shadow of Vesalius" can be ordered here: http://garant.be/shadow-of-vesalius/ 

 

Professor Vivian Nutton and Professor Omer Steeno looking at a first edition of the Fabrica
Professors Vivian Nutton and Omer Steeno looking at a first edition of the Fabrica
Click on the image for a larger version

 

Finally I would like to thank everyone who has been part of this adventure, special thank you to Professor Dr. Efrain Miranda ( Clinical Anatomy) for his continuous support, EBSA, Prof. Stefanos Geroulos, Vasia Hatzi (MEDinART), Pavlos Plessas, Nicos Varvianis, Maria Sidirokastriti-Kontoni & Fr. Panagiotis Kapodistrias,  the many wonderful speakers, the local organisers, our Keynote speaker Professor Martin Kemp for his wonderful contribution,  Eleni Andrianaki; ibis el greco , the wonderful delegates, the artists of the Fabrica Vitae exhibition, the museum and universities where we took our exhibition, a special thank you to Juris Salaks and Ieva Lebiete for hosting our exhibition at the Stradins museum and for all the help and support, Apostolis Sarris, Nikos Papadopoulos, Sylviane Déderix, Jan Driessen, Theo Dirix, Chr. Merkouri.and to the all the friends of Vesalius who like to keep his spirit alive.

Pascale Pollier-Green
Oct 2020

Personal note: I would like to thank Pascale Pollier-Green for authoring this series of articles and wish Professor Robrecht Van Hee the best success publishing this new book on the history and influence of Andreas Vesalius on anatomy, medicine, science, and the Arts. Dr. Miranda.