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18 March 1998
ALPINUS, Prosper (1553-1617). De medicina Aegyptiorum. Venice: Francesco dei Franceschi, 1591.
4o (231 x 171 mm). Roman and italic types, woodcut initials, publisher's woodcut device on title, 5 text woodcuts, two of which full-page. (Title-page soiled, corners of some leaves dampstained, without last blank.) Modern calf, edges speckled blue (from earlier binding). Provenance: Hermann Koehler (library stamp), presumably the author of Handbuch der Materia medica, Gttingen 1876.
FIRST EDITION, title in first state (see Mortimer). An important work on the practice of medicine in Egypt. "One of the earliest European studies of non-Western medicine. Alpini's work dealt primarily with contemporary (i.e. Turkish) practices observed during a three-year sojourn in Egypt. These included moxibustion--the production of counter-irritation by placing burning or heated material on the skin--which Alpini introduced into European medicine ... Alpini also mentioned coffee for the first time in this work" (Norman). Cushing A146; Garrison-Morton 6468; Harvard/Mortimer Italian 16; Heirs of Hippocrates 240 (1646 edn.); NLM/Durling 178; Osler 1796; Waller 12509; Wellcome 232; Norman 39.
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