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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/209

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EARLY PRACTICE OF MEDICINE BY WOMEN.

models for the use of the professors in the Institute of Bologna. Anna not only aided her husband, but soon surpassed him in skill, and particularly in that scientific knowledge upon which the success of their joint labors so largely depended. About this time Giovanni Antonio Galli, a skillful surgeon and Professor of Gynecology, opened a school of obstetrics in his house, and, encouraged by him, Anna began to lecture on anatomy to private classes. In these lectures she not only imparted with peculiar talent the knowledge derived from her husband, but she also communicated many discoveries made by herself. So great was her skill in all dissections requiring delicacy of touch and minuteness of detail, and so clearly did she demonstrate both theoretically and practically the wonderful structure of the human body, that she rapidly acquired a European reputation, and her lecture-room was frequented by students of all countries.

In 1755 Anna Manzolini became a widow, and was left with very slender means of support, but her good qualities raised up friends who secured for her a comfortable subsistence. Though she received tempting offers from other Italian universities, and even from England and Russia, she preferred to remain in her native city, Bologna. Not long after her husband's death she was appointed to the chair of Anatomy in the Bologna Institute.

Anna Morandi-Manzolini enjoys the distinction of having been the first "to reproduce in wax such minute portions of the human body as the capillary vessels and the nerves." Her collection of anatomical models, still to be seen at the Institute of Science, bears silent testimony to her remarkable skill and accurate knowledge. "Her lectures were delivered in the fragrant cedar hall which is one of the modern sights of Bologna and in which Lelli's anatomical wooden figures supporting the canopy over the professorial chair attract general admiration." In the anatomical gallery of the university is to be seen her portrait in wax, modeled by herself at the request of many admiring friends. Anna Manzolini closed a laborious and honored life in 1774, at the age of fifty-eight years.

The city of Bologna, in the middle of the eighteenth century, saw three gifted women simultaneously occupying seats in the faculty of its ancient university. Besides Laura Bassi and Anna Morandi-Manzolini, of whom we have briefly spoken, Maria Gaetano Agnesi was equally distinguished.

Maria Agnesi was born at Milan, March 16, 1718. At an early age she manifested a remarkable facility for acquiring languages, and when only twenty years old was able to discourse in French, Spanish, German, Greek, and Hebrew, besides her mother-tongue. She displayed marked ability also in philosophy and mathematics, and while still young sustained one hundred and ninety-one theses which were afterward printed under the title "Propositiones Philosophicæ." In 1748 Agnesi published a treatise on algebra, including the differential and