New York, East
24 April 2001
MELETIUS OF TIBERIOPOLIS. De natura structuraque hominis opus, Polemonis Atheniensis insignis philosophi naturae signorum interpretationis: Hippocratis de hominis structura. Edited by N. Petreius. Venice: Giovanni Griffio for Francisco Camocio, 1552.
4o (202 x 139 mm). Collation: *4 A-Z, AA4, a-d4. Woodcut device on title-page, 7- and 5-line white on black historiated initials. (Small hole in front free endpaper.) 18th-century vellum, red morocco lettering-piece, red sprinkled edges.
FIRST EDITION. Meletius, a monk at the monastery of the Holy Trinity in Tiberiopolis, was, by his own account, a doctor practicing cautery and blood-letting. His preface states that he has produced a concise, complete account of the nature of man, claiming no originality, but rather a new synthesis to cover all aspects of his subject. The work mainly consists of a pastiche of quotations and adaptations from earlier sources, both medical and patristic. His work, despite its lack of originality, raised him in the minds of many Byzantine thinkers into the same realm as Hippocrates and Galen. Adams M-1221; cf. Robert Renehan, "Meletius' Chapter on the Eyes: An Unidentified Source," in Dumbarton Oaks Papers, no. 38, 1984.
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