Libellus De Dentibus and Opuscula Anatomica
Bartolomeo Eustachio was born in 1500 or 1514 in San Severino, Italy and died in 1574. The son of a physician, Bartolomeo followed in his father's footsteps, studying medicine in Rome at the Archiginnasio della Sapienza. Worked in Urbino as physician to the Duke of Urbino and in Rome at the invitation of the Cardinal, Giulio della Rovere. In 1549 was made professor at Sapienza. He was contemporary of Andreas Vesalius, the Flemish anatomist and author of the most famous text in Anatomy (1543, "De Humanis Corporis Fabrica"). Eustachio along with Vesalius and a few other contemporary anatomists placed anatomy on firm scientific footing based on personal dissections. His discoveries include a detailed description of the suprarenal glands, of the bones of the middle ear, the tube that connects the middle ear to the pharynx, the structure that bears his name. Our collection includes the first complete description of the teeth and oral anatomical structures supporting it. Entitled: Libellus De Dentibus and organized in 30 chapters, it was published in 1563 both as a separate book and as part of a larger volume entitled Opuscula Anatomica. Our collection contains both. As Shklar and Chernin describes it, "Eustachio's Libellus de Dentibus is the first complete description of the structure and function of the teeth". J. Hist. Dent. 2000 Mar; 48(1)25-30.
Similar to Vesalius who worked with Ian van Calcar to illustrate his famous book, Eustachio worked with Pier Matteo Pini who prepared a series of 47 engravings. Eight of those were part of Opuscula Anatomica that was published in 1564 (our volume is a first edition from 1563). The rest of the plates were lost and recovered only in 1711 in the possession of a descendent of the artist and published in 1714 under the title "Tabulae Anatomicae Bartholomaei Eustachi".