BAILLOU, Guillaume de (1538-1616). Opuscula medica, de arthridite, de calculo et de urinarum hypostasi... Item libellus... de rheumatismo & pleuritide dorsali. Edited by Jacques Thvart. Paris: Jacques Quesnel, 1643 (Part 4: 1642).
4o (222 x 161 mm). 4 parts in one, continously paginated, part 4 (Liber de rheumatismo) with separate title-page, printed shoulder notes, woodcut head- and tail-piece ornaments, woodcut initials. (Title browned, scattered foxing, some minor staining to upper margins.) Contemporary speckled sheep panelled in gilt, red morocco lettering-piece (large scrape to lower cover, joints and extremities rubbed.) Provenance: Effaced inscription on title; Chevalier Sanlaville, seigneur de Belletou-Bugey[?] (coat-of-arms in 19th-century? pen-and ink and wash on front pastedown).
FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST BOOK ON RHEUMATISM. Baillou, court physician under Henri IV and dean of the Facult de Mdecine, was known as "the most erudite and well-read doctor of his time... Baillou fought against the tradition of Arab medicine and revived the Hippocratic tradition of clinical observation, human understanding, and macrocosmic concepts of illness and their treatment" (DSB). He was the first to correctly describe several disesases, including diphtheria and measles. Most of Baillou's writings were published posthumously. Part IV of the present work, the Liber de rheumatismo, is the first book devoted to rheumatism, a term that Baillou borrowed from the Greek and used in its modern sense of acute polyarthritis, unconnected to gout. "Baillou attributed to rheumatism all pain in the external habitus corporis, that is, all areas situated between the skin and the internal parts of the body... To this infinitely variable disease Baillou related all pains of the external body, from scurvy, smallpox, and lead poisoning to those thought to be caused by wind, worms, and other obscure agents" (DSB). Garrison-Morton 4485; NLM/Krivatsy 589; Wellcome II, p. 87; Norman 110.