In 1564, in his 50th year, Andreas Vesalius died, alone and unattended, on the remote island of Zante, off the west coast of Greece. This year, 1964, commemorates the quadricentenary of the death of this illustrious and fearless iconoclast, the author of the epochal volume, De Fabrica Humani Corporis.
Vesalius, his name derived from the Flemish name Wesel, was born in Brussels in the year 1514. His forebears were closely affiliated with the medical profession: his great-great-grandfather, great-grandfather, and grandfather were physicians, his father was an apothecary. The bequeathal of this medical heritage to Vesalius was manifested in him at an early age. He began his medical studies at Louvain, where he displayed an avid interest in anatomical dissection, and became proficient in Arabic, Greek, and Latin. In 1533, Vesalius left for Paris to continue his medical education.
At Paris, the instruction of anatomy was directed by the eminent anatomists,