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Embodiments of Will: Anatomical and Physiological Theories of Voluntary Animal Motion from Greek Antiquity to the Latin Middle Ages, 400 B.C-A.D. 1300

This book examines the two chief anatomical and physiological embodiment theories of voluntary animal motion, which I call the cardiosinew and cerebroneuromuscular theories of motion, from the time of Aristotle (384¿322 B.C.) to that of Mondino (d. A.D. 1326). The study of animal motion commenced with the ancient Greek natural scientist Aristotle who wrote the monograph 'On the motion of animals' (De motu animalium). Subsequent inquiries into voluntary animal motion may be found in a variety of Greek, Latin, and Arabic compendia, commentaries, and encyclopedias throughout the ancient and medieval periods. The motion of animals was considered relevant to natural philosophers and theologians investigating the nature of the soul, and to physicians seeking to discover the causes of disorders of voluntary movement such as epilepsy and tetany. The book fills a gap in the scholarly literature concerned with pre-modern studies of the anatomical and physiological mechanisms of will and bodily movement. The accompanying photographs of my own anatomical dissections illuminate ancient and medieval conceptual, empirical, and experimental methods of anatomical and physiological research.