6 December 2004
BENIVIENI, Antonio (1443-1502). De abditis nonnullis ac mirandis morborum et sanationum causis. Edited by Girolamo Benivieni (ca 1453-1542) and Giovanni Rosati (fl. 1480-1507). Florence: Filippo Giunta, 1507.
8o (198 x 140 mm). 54 leaves. Roman type. Chapter initials supplied in red manuscript. (Fragment of final leaf only, inlaid into new sheet, not affecting text of colophon, some soiling and occasional pale spotting at sheet edges.) Modern limp vellum.
RARE FIRST EDITION of the first treatise on pathology based on post-mortem examinations. "Antonio Benivieni was a friend and colleague of several of his distinguished contemporaries, including Angelo Poliziano, Marsilio Ficino, Benedetto Varchi, and Lorenzo de'Medici; during his thirty years of medical practice he attended the most important families in Florence. However, his fame today rests on the posthumous De abditis, edited by his brother, the poet Girolamo Benivieni, and the physician Giovanni Rosati. The title of the book, which translates as 'on the several hidden and strange causes of disease and cure,' reflects the author's interest in ascertaining, via postmortem examination, the reasons for death in cases where diagnosis during life had been obscured... De abditis was derived from the large number of manuscript records that Benivieni left behind him at his death. The work was originally conceived as a treatise of 300 sections to be published in three series or centuriae; however, Benivieni compled only 160 sections, and of these the editors selected 111" (Grolier Medicine 12). Adams B-664; Garrison-Morton 2270; NLM/Durling 528; Norman 183; Waller 894.
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