2014 (1) 42-48

The library of the first veterinary students (France, 18th century) Part I: from Vegetius to de Garsault
P.E.J. Bols, H.F.M. De porte

In this first paper of a series of two, the origin of the veterinary literature during the Hellenic andRoman periods (Vegetius, 4th century AD) is briefly described. Further on, a survey of the (French)literature is given that might have been available to the first veterinary students, such as the referencebook ‘Le Nouveau Parfait Maréchal’ (first edition, 1741) published by François Alexandre de Garsault.These mostly very expensive books contain splendid and scientifically adequate anatomic descriptionsand illustrations, but knowledge of physiology and pathogenesis was virtually inexistent. Descriptionsof pathological conditions are succinct and often inadequate. Due to the lack of a formal form of veterinaryeducation, traditional handbooks, as we know them nowadays, did not exist before 1750.

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Veterinary past