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A HUNDRED AND FOURETEENE EXPERIMENTS AND CURES OF THE FAMOUS PHYSITIAN PHILIPPUS AUREOLUS TEOPHRASTUS PARACELSUS. . . . WHEREUNTO IS ADDED CERTAINE EXCELLENT AND PROFITABLE WORKES BY B. G. A PORTU AQUITANO. ALSO CERTAINE SECRETS OF ISACKE HOLLANDUS CONCERNING THE VEGETALL AND ANIMALL WORKE. ALSO THE SPAGERICKE ANTIDOTARIE FOR GUNNE-SHOT OF IOSEPHUS QUIRSITANUS
Vallentine Sims, London 1596 - Only Obtainable Copy in 75 years of the Sole 16th Century Book by Paracelsus in English. 181 x 124 mm (7 1/8 x 4 7/8"). 8 p.l., 56, 59-82 pp. (Complete). Collected and translated by John Hester; preface by Bernard Georges Penot. Second Edition. Pleasing contemporary sheepskin, sympathetically rebacked in modern times, flat spine. Printer';s device and woodcut border on title page, woodcut initials and headpieces. Front pastedown with bookplate of Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica; verso of title and last leaf with Mercantile Library Philadelphia library stamp. Sudhoff 239; Durling 3517; Wellcome 4805; STC 19180. Extremities a bit rubbed, a couple of small abrasions on lower board, but the binding solid and not without appeal. Leaves a little browned, one leaf with paper imperfection affecting a handful of words, margins trimmed a bit close, with loss of a couple letters from shoulder notes in one gathering, additional trivial imperfections, otherwise an unusually well-preserved copy, the text clean and fresh, and with none of the often flagrant signs of use that afflict this kind of book. This is the rare second--and the first obtainable--edition of the only 16th century book by Paracelsus in English, and the only copy to appear in Anglo-American auction records since at least 1975 (Americana Exchange lists nothing else since the 1930s). The Swiss physician Paracelsus (1493-1541) was the most influential and controversial scientific figure of his time. He has been called the founder of modern pharmacology and psychiatry as well as the pioneer of modern chemists. He was also called "the medical Luther" because of his vain, intemperate, and truculent iconoclasm, something that made it difficult to find a community to accept him as a resident, let alone to find an audience for his brilliant and abstruse writings. DSB tells us that "Chief among Paracelsus' contributions to medical theory was his new concept of disease." Rather than relying on the classical paradigm of "humors" which got out of balance, Paracelsus emphasized "the external cause of a disease . . . a specific agent foreign to the body, which takes possession of one of its parts, imposing its own rules on form and function and thereby threatening life. This is the parasitic or ontological concept of disease--and essentially the modern one." The 114 "experiments" here are brief case histories describing illnesses the great physician has cured with one of his concoctions, some of these containing dangerous mercury, sulfuric acid, or antimony, others distilled from garden herbs like lemon balm and chamomile. The work is an abridged translation of "Centum Quindecim Curationes Experimentaque รจ Germanico Idiomate in Latinum Versa," and first appeared in an undated English edition around 1583. STC records just one copy of that edition (at the Bodleian); this is also the only one of that printing known to Sudhoff. Paracelsus' experiments are followed in our volume by a collection of iatrochemical preparations by Bernard Georges Penot (Latin name B. G. a Portu Aquitano, 1520-1617) and a fragment of the works of Johan Isaac Hollandus on minerals, this primarily dealing with the production of Quinta Essentia by means of distillation. The volume ends with a work on treating gunshot wounds by French physician Joseph Duchesne (Latin name Quercetanus or Quirisitanus, ca. 1544-1609). STC records the existence of another (impossibly rare) 16th century imprint in English (on the distillation of "oyles" and other medical topics) to which Paracelsus' name is attached, but that book is said not to have been authored by him. [Attributes: Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Phillip J. Pirages Rare Books (ABAA)]
Last Found On: 2013-12-03           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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