Albertus Magnus

On Veins and Arteries

Introduction by Courtney Roby

Albertus Magnus says: “We should say that a vein is equivocal of two things or is twofold, namely one that pulses, and this specifically is called an artery, and the other that does not pulse, and in a man it is called by the specific name "vein." A pulsing vein or rather an artery is necessary for the continuation of heat and the carrying away of the spirit to each of the limbs, for these are, so to speak, the center of life, and therefore these arteries are born from the part of the heart in the left side, in which abounds the maximum heat of the heart and vital spirit. But a vein that does not pulse is necessary for the delegation of nutrients, namely of humors, to each of the limbs and for sustaining of warmth and spirits, and for the restoration of what is lost, because when nourishment is received in a defined part, unless it had passage to each limb, the loss would not be able to be repaired in each.”

Original Latin