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Raymond Vieussens


THIS year marks the tercentenary of the birth of the celebrated French anatomist Raymond Vieussens; the exact date of his birth is not ascertainable. He was born at a village of the same name in Rouergue, the son of a lieutenant-colonel. He received his medical education at Montpellier, and at the age of ‘thirty became physician to the Hospital of St. Eloys. During the first ten years of his service there he performed five hundred autopsies not only to find out the cause of death but also to discover the normal structure of the brain and spinal cord and follow the nerves from these organs to their insertions. In 1684 he published the results of his investigations in a work entitled “Neurographia Universalie”, which contained the most complete description of the brain and spinal cord hitherto given and won him a great reputation throughout Europe. He was elected fellow of the Royal Society in 1688 and a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences in Paris.

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Raymond Vieussens. Nature 147, 743 (1941).

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