Regimen sanitatis Salerni. The Schoole of Salernes most learned and iuditious Directorie…for the of Man, 

London, Imprinted by Barnard Alsop, to be sold by Iohn Barnes, 1617.


4to. [iv], 207 [i.e. 208], [xii]. A², B-2E⁴, 2F². P. 204-8 misnumbered 196, 197, 177, 206, 207. Black letter, Latin original quotation in Italic, English translation in Roman. Title within double ruled border, large floriated and grotesque woodcut initials and head-pieces, typographical ornaments,  contemporary autograph “Charles Crosse” at head of title and two biblical quotations on health in his hand “A noble and good heart will have consideration of his meate and diet. Eccl. 30.” and “By surfet have many perished, but he y.t dieteth himselfe prolongeth his life. 37. 30” on front free endpaper, “Charles Turner Norwich 1827” below, his engraved bookplate on pastedown, partially covered by that of Alfred Edward Alston. Light age yellowing, quire F a little browned, (poorly dried paper). A fine copy, in excellent contemporary limp polished vellum gilt, covers single and double gilt ruled to a panel design, pomegranate fleuron gilt to outer corners, corners of central panel with fine ‘eagle and sun’ gilt stamped corner-pieces, central arabesque gilt, spine triple gilt ruled gilt in compartments with central fleurons, yapp edges, lacking ties, a little rubbed, upper cover slightly chewed at upper and outer edges. 

An excellent copy, beautifully bound in contemporary vellum gilt, of the first edition of the English translation by Philemon Holland, with the original Latin text, of the Regimen sanitatis Salernitatum, which includes a translation by Thomas Paynell of the commentary by Arnaldus de Villanova. “The poem called Salerno Regimen of Health (Regimen sanitatis Salerntanum) was one of the most popular medical texts of the middle ages; in consequence, it survives in many different versions. The basic framework is constant: the dedication to a king of England (sometimes a King of France) prefaces a catalogue of maxims for healthy living, often structured as numbered points with mnemonic clues (for example, five tests for good wine). In practise, however, the Salerno Regimne was highly elastic. Verses could be added or taken out without any perceptible break in continuity, so different copies might vary in length by several hundred lines. The earliest manuscript dates from the thirteenth century; …  (this) version was accompanied by a commentary and circulated in the middle ages together with Arnau of Vilanova’s Regimen for the King of Aragon. The commentary came to be ascribed to Arnau, though it was not by him, and this borrowed authority boosted its popularity. An English version by Thomas Paynell was printed in 1528. [This] translation [appears in] a new edition in 1617 of Paynaell’s translation of the commentary, with a fresh translation of the poem by the industrious Elizabethan physician and ‘translator-general’,’ Philemon Holland (1552-1637). As usual, this revised version of the Regimen was designed for a popular market, but the formal occasion of its publication was the visit of King James I to Holland’s home city of Coventry. The career of the Salerno Regimen illustrates the ironic truth that health advice fo the masses always sells best when packaged as health advice for the elite.” Faith Wallis ‘Medieval Medicine: A Reader’ 

“One work above all others spread the fame of the school—the Regimen Sanitatis, or Flos Medicinae as it is sometimes called, a poem on popular medicine. It is dedicated to Robert of Normandy, who had been treated at Salernum, and the lines begin: “Anglorum regi scripsit schola tota Salerni” It is a hand-book of diet and household medicine, with many shrewd and taking sayings which have passed into popular use, such as “Joy, temperance and repose Slam the door on the doctor’s nose.” Osler ‘The evolution of modern medicine

ESTC S116395. STC 21603. Lowndes 1605. Wellcome I, 5392; cf. Simon BG 1272, 1634 edition


Print This Item Print This Item