The full content of Annals is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >
Medical Writings |

Men with No Spleens and Carved-Out Feet: What Is the Meaning in the Words?

Matityahu Oren, MD; Joseph Herman, MD; and Jacob Elbaum, PhD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

Safed, Israel Netivot, Israel Jerusalem, Israel Acknowledgment: The authors thank the congregants of Sha'arei Tefila for their encouragement. Requests for Reprints: Joseph Herman, MD, 24 Megadim Street, Y'fe Nof 96185, Jerusalem, Israel. Current Author Addresses: Dr. Oren: Department of Surgery, Rebecca Sieff Government Hospital, Safed, Israel.

Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1998;129(9):756-758. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-129-9-199811010-00044
Text Size: A A A

The assignment of priority in writings on the history of medicine is fraught with hazard. Not only may priority be overturned at any time by newly discovered material from medical libraries, but it is under constant threat from outside sources that usually have little to do with the physician's work. For example, Hua T'o (115-205), the great Chinese surgeon, is thought to have performed the first successful splenectomy [1]. This assumption is challenged, however, by a third-century Jewish source [2], Rav Yehuda (219-299), who comments on a passage from the Bible. Rav Yehuda makes the astonishing claim that in King David's day (960 years before the advent of Christianity), at least 50 men existed who were “without spleens” and who had the soles of their feet “carved out.” What do these words mean?

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview





Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Submit a Comment/Letter
Submit a Comment/Letter

Summary for Patients

Clinical Slide Sets

Terms of Use

The In the Clinic® slide sets are owned and copyrighted by the American College of Physicians (ACP). All text, graphics, trademarks, and other intellectual property incorporated into the slide sets remain the sole and exclusive property of the ACP. The slide sets may be used only by the person who downloads or purchases them and only for the purpose of presenting them during not-for-profit educational activities. Users may incorporate the entire slide set or selected individual slides into their own teaching presentations but may not alter the content of the slides in any way or remove the ACP copyright notice. Users may make print copies for use as hand-outs for the audience the user is personally addressing but may not otherwise reproduce or distribute the slides by any means or media, including but not limited to sending them as e-mail attachments, posting them on Internet or Intranet sites, publishing them in meeting proceedings, or making them available for sale or distribution in any unauthorized form, without the express written permission of the ACP. Unauthorized use of the In the Clinic slide sets will constitute copyright infringement.


Buy Now for $32.00

to gain full access to the content and tools.

Want to Subscribe?

Learn more about subscription options

Topic Collections
Forgot your password?
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.