Illustration of the heart and blood vessels in medieval times

Majid Khalili, Mohammadali Mohajel Shoja, R. Shane Tubbs, Marios Loukas, Farid Alakbarli, Andrew J. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Throughout history, illustrations had played a key role in the promotion and evolution of medicine by providing a medium for transmission of scientific observations. Due to religious prohibitions, color drawings of the human body did not appear in medieval Persia and during the Islamic Golden Age. This tradition, however, has been overlooked with the publication of the first color atlas and text of human anatomy, Tashrihi Mansuri (Mansur's Anatomy), by Mansur ibn Ilyas in the fourteenth century AD. Written in Persian and containing several vivid illustrations of the human body, this book gained widespread attention by both scholars and lay persons. In this article, a brief history of Mansur's Anatomy and an English translation of selected sections from this book regarding the heart and blood vessels are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-7
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 6 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Anatomy
  • Heart
  • Illustration
  • Medieval
  • Persian

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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