The Arachnoid and the Myth of Arachne

The Arachnoid and the Myth of Arachne AbstractTHE DISCOVERY OF the arachnoid membrane is a relatively recent advance. Ancient anatomists noted the presence of the dura mater and pia mater, but the intervening arachnoid membrane was left undescribed. It was not until the 17th century that anatomists discovered a layer separating the pia mater from the dura mater and named this cobweb-like layer the “arachnoid.” Arachnoid means “spider-like” and has an interesting etymology that can be traced to the ancient Greek myth of Arachne. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Neurosurgery Oxford University Press

The Arachnoid and the Myth of Arachne

The Arachnoid and the Myth of Arachne

LEGACY Abhay Sanan, M.D., Harry R. van Loveren, M.D. Department of Neurosurgery (AS) and the Neuroscience Institute (HRvL), University of Cincinnati, and the Mayfield Clinic (HRvL), Cincinnati, Ohio THE DISCO VERY OF the arachnoid membrane is a relatively recent advance. Ancient anatomists noted the presence of the dura mater and pia mater, but the intervening arachnoid membrane was left undescribed. It was not until the 17th century that anatomists discovered a layer separating the pia mater from the dura mater and named this cobweb-like layer the "arachnoid." Arachnoid means "spider-like" and has an interesting etymology that can be traced to the ancient Greek myth of Arachne. (Neurosurgery 45:152-157, 1999) Key words: Arachne, Arachnoid, Cerebrospinal fluid, Meninges, Ovid T he arachnoid membrane is a cobweb-like structure that ance of the arachnoid membrane, demonstrating its anatomy lies between the dura mater and the pia mater. On a by blowing air under it (Fig. 1) (13). daily basis, neurosurgeons violate, split, or otherwise One of the most elegant and accurate descriptions of the encounter this membrane. Although the existence of the dura arachnoid was provided by the famous scholar Albrecht von mater and pia mater was well known to ancient authors, the Haller (1708-1777). He wrote: existence of an arachnoid membrane is a relatively recent Pellucid as water, very thin, and as far as its thinness discovery and was recognized only in the 17th century. This permits, firm, it completely envelopes the brain, passing article describes the discovery of the arachnoid membrane over its larger and smaller furrows, and inclosing the as well as the fascinating etymology behind the word larger vessels, so that they lie between the arachnoides "arachnoid." and pia mater (15). The first detailed study of the arachnoid membrane was provided by Bichat (1771-1802), who studied the tissue layers ANCIENT HISTORY of the body very carefully in his...
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Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© Published by Oxford University Press.
ISSN
0148-396X
eISSN
1524-4040
D.O.I.
10.1097/00006123-199907000-00034
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractTHE DISCOVERY OF the arachnoid membrane is a relatively recent advance. Ancient anatomists noted the presence of the dura mater and pia mater, but the intervening arachnoid membrane was left undescribed. It was not until the 17th century that anatomists discovered a layer separating the pia mater from the dura mater and named this cobweb-like layer the “arachnoid.” Arachnoid means “spider-like” and has an interesting etymology that can be traced to the ancient Greek myth of Arachne.

Journal

NeurosurgeryOxford University Press

Published: Jul 1, 1999

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