This article explores the relationship between anatomy and geography by examining the creation of “toponymical eponyms” to name both geographical and anatomical features in the period ca. 1500 – ca. 1700. The manufacture of an eponymic system to classify and catalogue features in both the interior world of the human frame and in the macrocosm of the terrestrial world is shown to be very much the product of developing print culture. European navigators and natural philosophers, in their distinct spheres, were keen to preserve not just a record of the priority of discovery, but also to devise (in the case of geographical eponyms) a system of proprietorship or ownership. In the body, on the other hand, the issue was not so much the recognition of discovery, but the justification of the new science of anatomy. The article concludes by looking at the political implications of the “naming question” in the modern world.

You do not currently have access to this content.