The first observations of the anatomy of the autonomic nervous system were made by Galenos (A.D. 130–200) (see Ackerknecht 1974) during dissection of pigs. Galenos regarded the nerves as hollow tubes, through which the animal spirit could pass from one organ to the other, creating a coordination of the organs called sympathy. Although Galenos’ conclusions were somewhat at variance with the modern views of nerve function, the term sympathy (or rather sympathetic) has been retained till this day. More precisely, the term “les grands nerfs sympathiques” was used by Winslow (1732) to describe the human paravertebral ganglionic chains (sympathetic chains), which are a part of the autonomic nervous system.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.