This book presents a new interpretation of how and why the discovery of the circulation of the blood in animals was made. It has long been known that the English physician William Harvey (1578–1657) was a follower of Aristotle, but his most strikingly ‘modern’ and original discovery - of the circulation of the blood - resulted from Harvey following Aristotle’s ancient programme of investigation into animals. This is a new reading of the most important discovery ever made in anatomy by one man and produces not only a radical re-reading of Harvey as anatomist, but also of Aristotle and his investigations of animals.

chapter Prologue|26 pages

‘Nine years and more’

An overview of the story

chapter |7 pages


chapter 3|17 pages

Aristotle's animal in Padua

The anatomical investigations of Fabricius 1

chapter 4|9 pages

William Harvey

Pupil, physician, professor

chapter 7|11 pages

Method and experiment

chapter 8|13 pages

‘The anatomy of the blood’

The blood as a new research object

chapter 9|17 pages

Precursing Aristotle

Why and how did we lose this Aristotle?

chapter 10|10 pages

Harvey and his historians

Why and how did we lose this Harvey?