University of Virginia Historical Collections at the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library

Francis Glisson (1597-1677)

Francisci Glissonii…Anatomia hepatis…. Amstelodami: Apud Joannem Janssonium a Waesberge, & Elizeum Weyerstraten, 1665. Fulltext online, 1659

Glisson,…Anatomia hepatica…, title page
Francis Glisson,…Anatomia hepatis….
Glisson,…Anatomia hepatica…, p 235
Francis Glisson,…Anatomia hepatis…. Anatomy of the liver.

Like his colleague William Harvey, Francis Glisson was a Cambridge-trained physician. Both were committed to a scientific regimen of experimentation, accompanied by careful observation and description. Though a professor of physics at Cambridge for 40 years, Glisson made his professional home in London, where he practiced medicine and became known as an able clinician, pathologist, and physiologist.

Glisson’s classic treatise on the liver, based on his own dissections, contributed to the understanding of the structure and functioning of the liver, and constituted, when published, the most advanced physiological description of the digestive system to date. He described the fibrous tissue which encases the liver and which became known as “Glisson’s capsule.” His work contributed also to advances in the practice and theory of human anatomy.

next author: Thomas Bartholin (1616-1680).