The Anatomy of the Human Body




Monro Collection A6


London: Printed by William Bowyer


Seneca, in his Epistulae Morales LVI, wrote of massage as being, ‘the systematic manipulation of the soft body tissues for therapeutic purposes: ‘I have lodgings right over a bathing establishment, he said, ‘So picture to yourself the assortment of sounds... I notice some lazy fellow, content with a cheap rub-down, and hear the crack of the pummelling hand on his shoulder, varying in sound according as the hand is laid on flat or hollow.’ So picture the masseur – precursor to the physiotherapist – working away on the triceps, deltoids, vastus internus (medialis, or teardrop muscle) or other muscles as depicted in William Cheselden’s classic Anatomy of the Human Body (1740). The rope securing the ankle and wrist is an interesting innovation.


1 Cheselden Anotomy TAB XIX.jpg


William Cheselden, “The Anatomy of the Human Body,” | OUR Heritage, accessed July 24, 2024,