GAZIO, Antonio.


GAZIO, Antonio. Florida corona que ad sanitatis hominum conseruationem ac longeuam vitam perducendam sunt pernecessaria continens.

Lyon, S. Bevilacqua, 1516.


Large 4to. ff. (vi) CCXX. Gothic letter, double column. Title in red and black, woodcut printer’s device, decorated initials. A little toning, title a trifle dusty, occasional minor water stain or foxing along upper or fore-edge, upper edge of a few ll. chewed, little tear from extreme lower outer blank corner of p1, tiny worm trail at head of 3 ll. just touching running title, the odd marginal ink mark. A very good copy, on thick, high-quality paper, early recasing in a C16 limp parchment French tacketed stationery binding, C14 rubricated ms. used as spine lining, fore-edge envelope flap with small ornamental alum-tawed lacing, three overbands of thick dark leather with ornamental alum-tawed lacing and three cords (a couple missing), centrally-placed overband formerly extended into a strap and tie across flap, a.e.r., part only of central overband, minor holing to covers. C16 ownership inscriptions of Jordan Favres de Vercors to outer covers, another of Gaspard Favre de Vercors with sketched coat of arms to inner upper cover, short note to inner lower cover. Autograph ‘1516 Chorier’ and ‘11 no 76’ to title, occasional ms. marginalia in two C16 hands.

A very good copy of a scarce, beautifully printed Lyonnese edition (the third overall) of this very popular manual on diet and good health, edited by Barthélemy Trot – ‘un des traités d’hygiène les plus complets du XVe siècle’ (Oberlé). Antonio Gazio (1461-1528) taught medicine at Padua, and travelled Europe extensively. He was in Hungary in 1508-15, where his services were sought after. Count János Thurzó took him to Poland, where Gazio successfully treated King Sigismund I, working as royal physician for the rest of his life.‘Florida corona’, i.e., ‘wreath of flowers’, was a compendium of medical advice intended to help its readers live a longer life through a suitable ‘regimen sanitatis’. The introductory chapter explains that, albeit inevitable, death may be postponed by physicians; how to tell charlatans from true physicians; the best medical books; how a good physician should behave (from the patient’s point of view); the healthiest quality of air, abode, exercise and food; moderation in sexual intercourse and appetite. The work continues with sections on specific types of foods and drink, their cooking methods and effects on the body, with a focus on bread, sundry kinds of meat, eggs, milk (especially when it is off), cheese, fish, herbs, pulses, fruit, mushrooms, tubers, honey, ginger, wine and water. The final part is devoted to the benefits of fasting, sleep, phlebotomy, purgation, and even the bodily effects of envy. A contemporary annotator glossed the table of contents extensively, and a few sections in the text, marking information drawn from Galen. A slightly later annotator glossed several passages on food. This copy includes a dedication to an unspecified addressee, absent in other copies, where the leaf is blank.

The C16 binding reprises the ‘stationery’ style, most frequently found on archival bindings produced in Lyon. The present was formerly on a ms ledger, for possessions in Menglon, belonging to the French family of the Favres de Vercors, from Die, in the Drôme department. The sketched coat of arms matches theirs (i.e., ‘d’arg. à la bande d’azur, enfilée dans trois couronnes d’or’, Rietstap I, p.652). The two noblemen and cousins Jordan and Gaspar (fl. 1550s-60s), whose autographs appear on this ‘recycled’ binding, were important Protestant landowners in the area. Gaspard (who always showed a willing Catholic) also served as captain of infantry under Henry II; Jordan disappeared without a trace (‘Bulletin’, pp.58-60).


NLM, Illinois and Harvard copies recorded in the US. USTC 144580; Baudrier VIII 431 et II 21; Durling 2032; Pettegree & Walsby 71684; Osler 7437 (earlier eds); Simon 283 (mentioned); Oberlé 424: ‘important traité’; Wellcome (other eds). Not in Brunet. ‘Essai historique sur les Vercors’, Bulletin d\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'archéologie et de statistique de la Drôme, 20 (1886).
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