MOOR, Bartholomé de.


MOOR, Bartholomé de. Cogitationum de instauratione medicinae.

Amsterdam, G. Borstius, 1695.


FIRST EDITION. 8vo. pp. [32], 440, [2] + 3 folding plates. Roman letter, some Italic and Greek. Engraved title with architectural and marine view, 3 engraved anatomical folding plates, decorated initials and ornaments. Light age yellowing, small expert repair to blank verso of one plate. A very good copy in contemporary Dutch vellum over boards, corners bumped, C19 armorial bookplate of Charles L.B. de Peren to front pastedown, ms 1791 acquisition note of Sárospatak Reformed College, Hungary, by the librarian Sam. Vaczi, the college’s C19 stamp to third leaf and last verso, C19 ms pencil notes (one in Hungarian) to eps and upper cover, occasional C18 ms notes.

First edition of this important work on pathology, with an interesting illustrated section on early parasitology. Bartholomé de Moor (1649-1724) was a physician in Gouda, and later professor at Groningen and Harderwijk. His most important work, ‘Cogitationum de instauratione medicinae’, is an extended examination of anatomy and pathology. Book I begins with an introduction to anatomy, especially blood circulation, written in lively Latin: e.g., the flowing of blood in the veins is compared to that of the river Thames in London, ‘so violent and thunderous when compressed by the docks, so quiet afterward’. Pl.1 portrays the dissection of a dog, used as an example instead of a human body, to illustrate the physiology of mammals. Pl.2 shows the dog’s dissected heart and two instruments – including a ‘cantharus’ used to prepare drinking chocolate – illustrating how pressure makes the blood flow within the heart. Book II focuses on general pathology, especially symptoms, also in relation to the ‘regimen sanitatis’, with a section on parasitology. Most interesting is the section on tapeworms lodged in a woman’s brain, which Moor remarkably witnessed here for the second time in his career, quoting also the observations of other colleagues, such as Nicholas Tulp. Pl.3 illustrates the worm’s body and head, which Moor examined using a microscope. He then proceeds to discuss other conditions caused by worms. In the same Book, he also discusses epilepsy, ‘autumnal fever’, and the use of opium to treat sundry types of conditions. Book III deals with treatments (‘methodus medendi’), and includes a very interesting historical excursus on apotropaic and magical remedies used in the past, e.g., amulets, rings, the ‘barbarum’ ABRACADABRA, various Homeric lines, and the beginning of St John’s Apocalypse. It also examines how lifestyle quirks such as laziness, rest, sadness and extended nighttime thinking can affect one’s health. A most remarkable medical work, with unusual illustrations.

Sárospatak was one of the earliest Reformed Colleges established in Hungary in the first half of the C16. In the course of its history, it hosted numerous excellent scholars, including Jan Comenius.

Krivatsy 8079; Wellcome IV, p.166. Not in USTC, Osler or Heirs of Hippocrates.
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