MÉRINDOL, Antoine Ars medica, in duas partes secta

Aix-en-Provence, Jean Roize, 1633


FIRST EDITION. Fol., 2 parts in one, separate t-p to second, pp. (xxxii) 419 (xxix); (iv) 153 (xv). Roman letter, some Italic, text within printed line border throughout, woodcut floriated and historiated initials, typographical ornaments, charming woodcut headpieces with foliage, angels and birds. First t-p within handsome engraved architectural border, Yahweh in Hebrew and Latin quotes at head, standing figures holding an anatomy book and instruments at sides, animals of different species, Honser fecit and Roize excudit at foot, splendid full-page engraved portrait of author, woodcut emblem of the Universitatis Aquensis to second t-p. Some central gatherings very lightly browned, slight waterstain to lower blank margin at gutter, small ink burn to outer fore-edge of a couple of ll., tiny wormholes to blank outer margins of a few ll., wormtrail within ruled border of three gatherings (not affecting text), paper flaw to one fol. with loss of a couple of letters on either side. A very good copy, crisp and clean, in contemporary vellum over boards, lower cover a bit soiled, yapp edges, early ms. title to spine. Ex libris expertissimi D(omini) D(octoris) Duvivier empt(us) ii as(sibus) pec. camb. 27 junii 1753 to fly.

First edition of this rare medical treatise by the French physician Antoine Mérindol (1570-1624). Born at Aix-en-Provence, Mérindol was appointed personal physician to Louis XIII in 1616 and became the first professor of Medicine at the University of Aix in 1621. He is here portrayed in a splendid full-page engraving: a cartouche in the upper right angle reads He died on the 26th of December 1624 at 54 years of age . This volume, containing Mérindol’s complete medical writings, was edited and published after his death by the son, Jean, and dedicated to the king. Ars medica is a detailed and comprehensive medical manual in two books. The first begins with introducing medicine as a subject and its history, then presents all the basics of physiology starting with the elements and their qualities, moving on to humours and temperaments and finally ends with pathology, discussing the difference between health and illness and listing the causes of many diseases. The second book is dedicated to fevers, their symptoms and cure. At the end is a long and interesting section on pharmacology, listing all different types of drugs (solid and liquid, syrups, powders, waters, oils) and containing recipes of countless cures for internal and external illnesses. Among them are are gargles, baths, Nasalia (powders that have to be breathed through the nostrils and that can purge the brain ), Masticatoria (medicines to relief toothache that have to be chewed), and even aromatic compounds that revive the spirits thanks to their pleasant smell. This part also describes how to administer clysters and injections. This volume was bought in 1757 by the French most expert doctor Duvivier for two asses in 18th century France and Flanders (particularly Belgium) the Latin word as is sometimes used to indicate sol , the common currency (at the time, a loaf of bread costed around 4 deniers, corresponding to 1/3 sol). Three doctors with the surname Duvivier were active about 1757: one at Mons (Belgium, see Histoire de la Société Royale de Médecine , 1779, p. 38), one at Leuven (Belgium, see Mémoires de la société médicale d’émulation II , 1798, p. cxix), one at Orbec (Normandy, see Inventaire sommaire des Archives départementales antérieures à 1790 , 1900, p. 72).

USTC 6803316; Wellcome I, 4265; Goldsmith M955; Krivatsi 7822. Not in Garrison-Morton, Brunet, Graesse, Heirs of Hippocrates. Worldcat records only two copies in the US (National Library of Medicine, University of Wyoming).
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