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    Sale 2013

    Important Scientific Books: The Richard Green Library

    17 June 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 179

    HIPPOCRATES (460-ca-370 B.C.). Octoginta volumina. The Hippocratic corpus translated from Greek into Latin by Marcus Fabius Calvus (ca 1440-1527). Rome: Franciscus Minutius Calvus, 1525.

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    HIPPOCRATES (460-ca-370 B.C.). Octoginta volumina. The Hippocratic corpus translated from Greek into Latin by Marcus Fabius Calvus (ca 1440-1527). Rome: Franciscus Minutius Calvus, 1525.

    2o (283 x 203mm). Roman, italic and gothic types. Table of contents in two columns, index in three columns, printed shoulder notes. Woodcut title-page border, large woodcut initials, initial spaces with printed guide letters. (Title trimmed at top, some light marginal staining, some minor worming mostly marginal, *4 supplied from another copy, lacking blank at end.) Modern vellum. Provenance: Crawford W. Adams (bookplate).

    FIRST EDITION. Only a few of the texts attributed to Hippocrates were known to the Latin Middle Ages. The project of preparing a complete Latin translation of the Hippocratic corpus was undertaken in the early sixteenth century by Marco Fabio Calvo of Ravenna. A friend of Raphael, Calvo had translated Vitruvius into Italian for the use of the artist, and also prepared the first archeological mapping of ancient Rome (Antiquae urbis Romae cum regionibus simulachrum, Rome 1527). In preparation for his work on Hippocrates, Calvo collated and wrote out his own manuscript of the Greek text, depending primarily on a fourteenth-century manuscript then in his own possession but also consulting a 12th-century codex that is one of the oldest and most important Hippocratic manuscripts. Calvo's Greek text was completed in Rome on 24 July 1512, and he finished the Latin translation on 14 August 1515. Both of his source manuscripts, as well as his own copies of the Greek text and Latin translation survive in the Vatican Library (N. Siraisi, in Rome Reborn, Washington 1993, pp.181-3).

    Calvo's Latin translation of Hippocrates was printed in Rome in 1525 by the bookseller and printer Francesco Calvo, who published official documents for the papacy and also works by authors connected with the curia. Calvo's Greek text was never published; instead, the Aldine Press printed the Hippocratic corpus in Greek in 1526, the year after the Latin version appeared. Adams H-567; Grolier Medicine 1A; Heirs of Hippocrates 10; NLM/Durling 2320; Norman 1076; Osler 149; PMM 55; Stillwell Science 406 and 657; Waller 4495; Wellcome 3177.


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