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Learning Human Anatomy

Miriam explains in The Deadliest Lie that her favorite school subject was anatomy:

My tutor Hector would tell us about Herophilos of Chalcedon, one of the founders of our great medical school. Herophilos spent most of his life in Alexandria, one of the few cities that permitted the dissection of human cadavers. Because of the tradition of Egyptian mummification, which entails eviscerating the body, the practice was acceptable here until the Romans banned it.

The early Ptolomies would send Herophilos the corpses of their criminals. As if that didn’t horrify people enough, some accused him of performing hundreds of vivisections as well. Cornelius Celsus, a physician contemporaneous with Miriam, wrote a gruesome account in De Medicina of how Herophilos would “lay open men [criminals] whilst still alive” and called it a “dire cruelty.” Nevertheless, Herophilos among other accomplishments, wrote the first detailed description of the brain, recognized the brain as the seat of all intelligence, and identified the cerebrum and cerebellum, the latter referred to as the “little brain.”

Fortunately, you don’t have to be an expert in brain dissection to help Miriam figure out who stole her high-stakes alchemical documents. But you will need to use your cerebrum. Just click here.


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