PANZANI, Ascanio

VERY RARE MEDICINE

PANZANI, Ascanio De indicationibus pro quantitate sanguinis mittendi decernenda.

Lucca, ad Peregrinum Bidellium, 1642

£2,250.00

FIRST AND ONLY EDITION. 4to. pp. 40. Roman letter, some Italic. Woodcut printer’s device to t-p, decorated initials. Very light age browning, occasional marginal spot, two tiny worm holes (marginal or interlinear) to last gathering. A good copy in C18 paper boards, faded C18 ms. ‘Med. Doct. Domenico P(?)’ to upper cover, contemporary editorial notes and corrections to text.

The first and only edition of this very rare medical work on bleeding—only two copies recorded. Ascanio Panzani (fl. C17) from Montecarlo was lecturer at Pisa, where he earned his doctorate in 1613, and a member of the famous Accademia del Cimento (Nistri-Lischi, 498; ‘Atti’, 162). This appears to be his only published work. Curiously he decided to print ‘De indicationibus’ in Lucca rather than Pisa, where a press had been re-established in 1609 and the university market thrived on the printing of pamphlets like the present, often the result of doctoral law or medicine dissertations. Panzani participated in the renewed debates on therapeutic bleeding, subsequent to Harvey’s discoveries on circulation, published in 1616. On the one hand, ‘chemical theories had introduced new therapeutic theories, one of which led to the harsh condemnation of bloodletting […] which did not lead to the expulsion of bad humours’. On the other hand, several practitioners, like Panzani, ‘considering theories on hydraulic imbalance, blamed inflammation on the lingering of blood in small vessels, a condition which bleeding could ease’ (de Renzi, 385-6). Written as an apology for his own medical practice, with numerous mentions of Galen and Avicenna, Panzani’s work discusses the incision of veins, the nature of ‘vitia’ of the blood, the kinds of illnesses which can be treated with or eased by bloodletting (as a primary or secondary treatment) when the body is ‘plethoric’ (with an excess of humours), the amount of blood that should be drawn (the reason why Panzani was criticised) and how this should be decided. The two ms. corrections in this copy are in the same hand as those in the Nat. Library of Florence copy; they were probably made at the press. Very rare.

Only two copies recorded, both in Italy. Haller, Bib. Med. Practicae, p.685. Not in Wellcome or Durling. Nistri-Lischi, Livorno e Pisa (1980); Atti e Memorie inedite dell’Accademia del Cimento (1780); S. de Renzi, Storia della medicina in Italia (1846).
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