Giovanni Battista Morgagni, Adversaria anatomica omnia (Leiden, 1723), frontispiece with portrait of the author.
Giovanni Battista Morgagni (also known as Giambattista), was born in 1672 at Forlì and died almost a century later in 1771. Appointed as professor of anatomy at Padua on the death of Michelangelo Molinetto (1651–1714), Morgagni’s reign would continue for much of the eighteenth century. During that time, he became famous throughout Europe, becoming a fellow of the leading scientific societies of the age: the Royal Society (1724); the Académie des Sciences (1731), the Imperial Academy of St Petersburg (1735) and the Academy of Berlin (1754), and, as Porzionato et al, note, a statue to him was erected in 1769, during his lifetime, by the grateful students of the Natio Germanica at Padua, acknowledging his position as the ‘Prince of Anatomists’:
‘JO. BAPT. MORGAGNO NOB. FOROLIV. ANATOMICOR. TOTIVS EVROPAE PRINCIPI POST ANNOS LIV IN HOC THEATRE ADHVC DOCENTI NATION GERMANICA ARTIST. PROTECTORI AMANTISS. ET LIBERALISS. VIVENTI P. A. MDCCLXIX LOCVM D. D. III LITTER’.
Worth owned a copy of Morgagni’s Adversaria anatomica omnia (Leiden, 1723) in which he had discussed, among other things, the larynx and female pelvic organs. The text had initially been published in 1706 and arose out of his dissection work at Bologna, prior to his appointment in Padua. Worth did not possess Morgagni’s most famous work, his De Sedibus et causis morborum per anatomem indagates (Venice, 1761), which earned him the title of the ‘founder of pathological anatomy’ for the simple reason that Worth died in 1733. That Worth had an interest in the topic may, however, can be deduced from the fact that he owned a copy of Théophile Bonet’s Sepulchretum sive Anatomica practica, ex cadaveribus morbo denatis, proponens historias et observationes omnium penè humani corporis affectuum, ipsorumq; causas reconditas revelans (Geneva, 1679).
Text: Dr Elizabethanne Boran, Librarian of the Edward Worth Library, Dublin.
Persaud, T.V.N., A History of Anatomy. The Post-Vesalian Era (Springfield, 1997).
Porzionato, Andrea, et al. ‘The Anatomical School of Padua’, The Anatomical Record, 295, no. 6 (2012), 902–16.
 Porzionato, Andrea, et al. ‘The Anatomical School of Padua’, The Anatomical Record, 295, no. 6 (2012), 911.
 Persaud, T.V.N., A History of Anatomy. The Post-Vesalian Era (Springfield, 1997), p. 236.