Medical. 1554 Methodus Sex Librorum Galeni... Galen, edited by Jacobus Sylvius


1554 Valgrisi edition of Jacques Dubois' commentary on four treatises by Galen: De Morbis Differentiis, De Causis Morborum, De Symptomatum Differentiis, and De Symptomatum Causis (here broken into three books). The books are broke into tables, that have the symptoms to the left, with a process flow across the page, leading to a discussion of treatment options.

Following the six tables of Galen, there are three similar tables regarding the Salubribus, Insalubribus, and Neutris medical signs.

A reference work, meant to be used in the diagnosing and treating of illness for those studying to be physicians. The title best describes the work, roughly translated as, "Galen's method, in six books, on the differences and causes of diseases and symptoms. With six tables, their order a little more fluent, so that the obscure brevity does not confuse and mislead the reader. All medical signs, that is healthy, unhealthy, and neutral; a work absolutely necessary for the future physician. By James Sylvius, the physician."

This copy has a few stained thumb marks and a stain at the bottom corner; I can't help but wonder if any of the stains are blood.

About the Author -

Jacques Dubois (Sylvius) was born in 1478, and became a French physician and anatomist. He was fiercely loyal to the teachings of Galen; as such, he fought against the developments of Vesalius because they did not agree completely with Galen. Du Bois taught medicine, and is attributed to having over 400 students; his first engagement was at the College de Treguier, and then he moved to the Royal College in 1553.

His funeral was marked with a scandal, as the following epitaph was found on his grave: "Here lies Sylvius who, during his lifetime, never gave anything for nothing. Dead, he is still sorry that we can read this line for free."

About the Printer -

Valgrisi was an important Venetian printer, with over 200 works attributed to him. An act-of-sale details that Valgrisi acquired a bookshop at the sign of The Head of Erasmus in 1532. In 1570 the Roman inquisition fined him 50 ducats (about 6 oz of gold) for selling prohibited books, including his imitation of Holbein's Dance of Death.

Bibliographic Details -

Universal Short Title Catalogue number 827809.

Censimento Nazionale delle edizioni Italiane del XVI secolo - 17800

Physical Attributes -

Measures approx. 22 x 16.5 x 1.5 cm, 4to. Red cloth case binding. Author and year in gilt on spine. Printer's mark on title page and at last printed leaf. Several inhabited initials.

Pages - [8], 130, [2].

Collation - a-h8, i6

Condition -

See pictures. Old cloth case binding with some darkening from thumbing; spine sunned. A ticket has been removed from the front pastedown. Graphite note on flyleaf, "2 copies in (?)". Title page mounted. Stain from bottom corner first 1/3rd of book, only touches printing first several leaves. Some initials written at bottom of title page. Some toning, occasional foxing, occasional thumb, page-edge chip, dog-eared page, etc. throughout. Last gathering repaired/mounted at gutter. Page 5 with a marginal annotation, in an old hand. Last leaf with some chipping around the edges (printer's mark).

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