Melvyn Bragg examines the history of mankind’s quest to understand the human body. The Greeks thought we were built like pigs, and when Renaissance man first cut his sacred flesh it was an act of heresey. We trace the noble ambitions of medical science to the murky underworld of Victorian grave robbing, we trace 2000 years of anatomical study. From the great showman Vesalius, enthralling the Renaissance Artists in the operating theatres of Italy to the sad and gruesome pursuits of Burke and Hare, Anatomy is mankind’s often frustrated attempt to understand the body of man. What role has science, religion and art played in the quest to understand the male and the female body?

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  • Harold Ellis No other episodes
    Clinical Anatomist, School of Biomedical Sciences, King's College, London
  • Ruth Richardson No other episodes
    Historian, and author of Death, Dissection and the Destitute, Phoenix Press
  • Andrew Cunningham No other episodes
    Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in the History of Medicine, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge University

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Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. The first great anatomist who laid down the principles of the workings of the human body for the next 1300 years was Galen.