Posts tagged "history of medicine"

Abracadabra!

Quintus Serenus (fl. 2nd c. AD). Liber medicinalis. Southeast Germany (Bavaria) or Austria; ca. 1500. Mich. Ms. 291.

The Liber medicinalis (Book of Medicine) is a medical treatise of around 1,200 dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to the second-century Roman author, Quintus Serenus Sammonicus (d. beginning of 3rd c. AD). It contains sixty-four therapeutic recipes, divided into two sections: recipes for illnesses affecting individual organs listed from head to toe, and recipes for general ailments like injuries, fevers, fractures and dislocations, insomnia, toothache, and poisoning.

The Secret of Secrets and the History of Medicine

Pseudo-Aristotle. Secretum secretorum. Tr. Philip of Tripoli (fl. 2nd half of 13th c.) Italy, 14th c. Manuscript codex on vellum, 190 x 131mm.Latin. Mich. Ms. 202

Our featured book today is a fourteenth-century Latin manuscript of a medieval bestseller: the Secret of Secrets (Secretum secretorum). Wrongly attributed to Aristotle, and originally composed in Arabic in the eighth century, the content of this work has been gradually shaped, and changed, by scribes and translators throughout the centuries. From being conceived as a manual about kingship, it eventually became one of the most popular medical treatises in the Middle Ages.

It's All about Blood!

Title-page of Discorsi di Pietro Paolo Magni piacentino sopra il mondo di sanguinare, attaccar le sanguisugue, & le ventose far le fregagione & vessicatorij a corpi humani (Roma: Bartolomeo Bonfadino, 1586)

Our featured book is a copy of the second edition of the famous sixteenth-century blood-letting treatise for barber-surgeons, Discourses of Pietro Paolo Magni of Piacenza on how to bleed, attach leeches and cups, perform massages and blistering to the human body (Discorsi di Pietro Paolo Magni piacentino sopra il mondo di sanguinare, attaccar le sanguisugue, & le ventose far le fregagione & vessicatorij a corpi humani). It was published in Rome in 1586.