‘Breve compendio anatomico’.

[Italy, c. 1720.]

Manuscript on paper, in Italian, 8vo (200 x 135 mm), ff. [5, including index], 73; neatly written in dark brown ink in a single hand, pen flourishes to title and colophon, 25 lines per page; very well preserved in contemporary limp vellum, title inked to head of spine, later paper label with shelf mark at foot of spine.


US $2160€2015

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A handsome set of apparently unpublished notes on orthopaedics by an anonymous medical student, compiled in Italy in the early eighteenth century, covering bones, cartilage, ligaments and muscles. The manuscript opens with a detailed analysis of the human skeleton, its bones and articulation, from head to toe, including the spine, clavicle, sternum, ribs, scapulae, hip bone, and hyoid bone, before discussing cartilage (ears, nose, spine &c.) and ligaments (e.g. shoulders and elbows, legs, fingers and toes). The section on muscles covers, inter alia, the eyelids, nose, ears, lips, jaw, tongue, head and neck, and back. Other areas covered by the author include the peritoneum, ventricles, intestines, vena cava, heart, larynx, pericranium, pia, brain, and nerves.

In addition to citing Aristotle, Avicenna, Galen and Hippocrates, the author refers to the sixteenth-century Italian anatomists Niccolo Massa and Realdo Colombo, and to the French physician André du Laurens (1558–1609), who served as personal physician to Marie de’ Medici and then to her husband Henry IV of France.

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