KYPER, Alberti [with] PUTEANUS, Eryci [with] PLEIER, Cornelius [with] HERING, Honorius.


KYPER, Alberti [with] PUTEANUS, Eryci [with] PLEIER, Cornelius [with] HERING, Honorius. Medicinam Rite Discendi et Exercendi Methodus [with] De Anagrammatismo [with] Medicus Criticus Astrologus [with] Syntagma Medicum Theorico-Practicum Tripartitum De Arthritide in genere, & Podagra in specie.

Lugdunum (Lyon), Hieronymus de Vogel, 1643 [and] Bruxellae (Brussels), Ioan Mommarti, 1643. [and] Noribergae (Nuremberg), Sumptibus & typis Simonis Halbmayeri, 1627. [and] Bremae (Bremen), Haeredes Hoismannianos, 1639.


FIRST EDITIONS. 12mo. Pp. 320 (iv); 84; 238; 142. Roman letter, some Italic. Woodcut printers device or ornamental vignette to tps. Third work has woodcut and printed astrological symbols and diagrams in text, full page astrological figure at end. C17 ex libris to fly of Johannes Follini, doctor at the medical faculty at Cologne, three line notes above in same hand as marginalia and almost certainly Follini’s. C19 stamp of library of the Monastery at Lambach to first tp, ex libris C1700 of Dr. Francis Muller, beneath. Half a dozen lines of medical notes on blank verso. Extensive C17 marginalia in first work in Latin commenting on and criticising text, e.g. p. 41 questions the validity of an Aristotle reference. Some leaves in fourth work browned (poorer quality paper), small wormhole to black inner margin of last leaf. A good clean copy in attractive contemporary vellum with richly gilt contemp. abbatial armorial on upper cover with initials M-AL, crane in vigilance, mermaid and mitre above.

Impressive collection of important and rare medical and cabbalistic works in one volume. The first is by the German physician, Albert Kyper (1614-1655). He studied at the University of Königsberg where he began in philosophy. However, conflict struck Germany during the Thirty Years War and he fled to the Netherlands. It was here that Kyper commenced his medical studies at the University of Leiden, eventually completing his PHD on venereal disease in 1640. Kyper was a humanist, and never lost touch with his philosophical roots, favouring the approaches of Aristotle and Galen in his research. Later in his life Kyper taught at both the Illustre Gymnasium in Breda and the University of Leiden. His illustrious career was cut short in 1655 when he died of plague. The first work informs the reader on the correct methods for practising medicine in a conversational and anecdotal manner, including discussion on the perfect doctor and the best locations to study.

The second work is by the humanist and philologist Erycius Puteanus (1574-1646) from Venlo in the Netherlands. Puteanus studied at Dordrecht and Cologne as well as following lectures on ancient history by the Flemish academic Justus Lipsius at Leuven. He travelled to Italy and was appointed professor of Latin at the Palatine School of Milan from 1600 to 1606. Following this, he took over Lipsius’s position at Leuven and taught there for forty years. During this time Puteanus established himself as one of the pre-eminent professors. He produced encyclopaedic works on philology as well as more than ninety other topics including music and this work which includes a list of distinguished doctors.

The third work in this handsome volume is by the Franconian doctor Cornelius Pleier (1595-1646/49). Pleier studied at Coburg, Jena, Wittenberg and Basel and received his doctorate in medicine in 1620. Pleier was appointed Coburg and Kitzingen City Physician and professor of medicine at the Casimirarnum High School. Around 1628 Pleier took the dramatic decision to convert from Protestantism to Catholicism and fled the city of Kitzingen. During the Thirty Years War he worked as a field doctor on the imperial side and for his efforts was appointed Count Palatine. Later in life Pelier moved to Prague and was professor of medicine at Charles University. Pleier is known for his part in the Malleus Judicum, a lawsuit which sought to oppose prevalent beliefs in witches. The pamphlet boldly stood against witch persecution and inhumane litigation practices. This work examines the connection between medicine and astrology, featuring an attractive woodcut of a rather ambiguous astrological man. It states illness is due to conflict between stars, and requires the physician to find plants and animals linked by Sympathia to the star under attack in order to accumulate positive energy and restore the health of both the star and the patient (Cantamessa 6201).

The fourth work is by the doctor Honorius Hering and examines in particular arthritis in the aged and gout, including the causes of gout and the ways to treat and prevent the disease. Hering was also known for his Schediasmata, which were short writings compiled on medical subjects, a genre originated by the great scholar Henry Estienne (Pomata, Gianna. Sharing Cases: the Observationes in Early Modern Medicine, 2010).   

The cover has the arms of the Abbott of Lambach with the characteristic female figure in a boat, the arms of the city of Lambach. The Benedictine Monastery at Lambach dates back to 1040 and was the school of Adolf Hitler. He allegedly got the symbol of the swastika from the Hakenkreuz used in much of the decoration of the building.

These works are all very rare and the first two are not found in the standard bibliographies.

1: Not in BM STC Fr. C17th, Graesse, Brunet, nor the standard medical reference works. 2: Not in BM STC Low Countries C17th, Graesse, Brunet. 3: BM STC Ger. C17th P763; Cantamessa 6201; not in the standard medical reference works. 4: BM STC Ger. C17th H905; not in the standard medical reference works.
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