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    Sale 2170

    Important Botanical Books

    24 June 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 6

    [AL-MAJUSI, Abdul-Hasan Ali Ibn Abbas (died 994]. HALY ABBAS. Liber totius medicine necessaria continens quem sapientissimus... Lyons: Jacobi Myt, 1523.

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    [AL-MAJUSI, Abdul-Hasan Ali Ibn Abbas (died 994]. HALY ABBAS. Liber totius medicine necessaria continens quem sapientissimus... Lyons: Jacobi Myt, 1523.

    4o (196 x 139 mm). Printed in red and black. Woodcut title-page and initials. (Minor worming affecting the text from A8 - x8, lacking the final blank, some browning.) Fine contemporary blind-stamped pigskin over partially beveled boards, each cover decorated with blind-stamped borders of male and female (some crowned) heads in medallion rolls and roses and stylized strawberry tools, brass catches and clasps, the spine in four compartments with five raised bands, the author's name written in manuscript in one and all decorated with stylized strawberry tools (lightly soiled and a bit rubbed). Provenance: Ursula Berklinger; gifted to her son-in-law Friedrich Binder of Schorndorf (Latin inscription on front pastedown dated "5 September 1609" recording gift and scholarly annotations to the first part); 19th-century inkstamp erased from title-page and illegible on n4.

    Second Latin edition of Kamil al-Sina-ah al-Tibbiyyah or al-Maliki, originally translated by Stephen of Antioch, with annotations by Michael de Capella, in 1127, and first published in Venice as Liber regalis... in 1492, edited by Antonius Vitalis Pyrranensis. Consisting of twenty treatises on the theory and practice of medicine (ten on each): "the author reffered to how he has studied and used indigenous medicinal plants, as well as animal and mineral products, as therapeutics..." (DSB). Al-Majusi gave an "interesting, surprisingly accurate, and almost modern description" (DSB) of pleurisy; defined theoretical medicine by recognizing the three areas: "knowledge of natural (instinctive matters)... knowledge of things not part of human (instinctive) nature... knowledge of things outside the realm of natural conditions of the human body" (DSB). He described the venous system; propagated health measures to preserve normal conditions of the body and mind such as diet, rest and work, bathing and physical exercise; he recognized the important connection between psychological and physical health; discussed meterology, hygiene, human behaviour, surgery, childbirth, poisons (their symptoms and antidotes), drug addiction and abuse; and upheld the principals of the Hippocratic oath. Adams 746; Browne, Arabian Medicine, 1921 pp. 53-57; DSB; NLM/Durling 168; Wellcome 3048.


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