Dissections by the Royal Anatomist
By Troels Kardel
During his sojourn in Copenhagen as Royal Anatomist 1672-74 Steno performed a number of dissections. The best known is his public dissection of a female corpse in the university’s Theatrum Anatomicum preceded by his inaugural address, the Prooemium Demonstrationum Anatomicarum which was held at 2 p.m. on 29 January, 1673. This address was published by Thomas Bartholin in his Acta Medica & Philosophica Hafniensia and in Maar’s edition of Steno’s scientific works, Opera philosophicae (OPH 31). Steno’s student Holger Jacobæus (Jakobsen) gave an account of the lecture and the dissections which took place January 30th to February 8th in a manuscript, Exercitatio anatomica, which is also contained in Maar’s edition (OPH 36).
Steno’s description of the dissection of the muscles of an eagle is found in Acta Hafniensia, (OPH 32). There are no illustrations.
Steno’s dissection of a reindeer was described by his teacher Thomas Bartholin in Acta Hafniensia. The three illustrations are in the style of Holger Jacobæus.
 Kardel and Maquet, eds. ”Nicolaus Steno, Biography and original papers of a 17th century scientist, 2013, 679-684.
 Ibid., 685-701.
 Kardel and Maquet, Anatomy of a reindeer dissected in Copenhagen in 1672 by Niels Stensen as reported by Thomas Bartholin. Rangifer 2012; 32 (1), 49–55. http://septentrio.uit.no/index.php/rangifer/article/viewFile/2363/2183