Up until the 17th century, ideas surrounding the discovery of encephalic arteries were to remain largely influenced by the political and religious ideologies of the era. Parts of the encephalic arterial system have been called after several anatomists from this earlier period. From the 18th century onwards, scientists and doctors in particular, liberated themselves from the political and religious trends which had governed their work in previous centuries. Some progress was made by applying the clinico-anatomical method to neurology, but it was only at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century that discoveries about encephalic arteries had gained ground. During the same period, anatomists in several countries were producing detailed descriptions of this arterial system. Moreover, this period saw the advent of the first generation of vascular neurologists, one of whom, Charles Foix, is considered as the founder of the discipline.

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