POSTILS ON PLAGUE

Opera et trattato, che insegna molti dignissimi secreti contra la peste, con li quali subito si guarisce, et anchora la detta opera insegna a sapersi conservar e stare sano essendo la persona in terra di sospetto …  Di nuovo ristampato, et con ogni diligentia corretto. 

[Venice, 1556?] 

8vo, ff. 18; woodcut initials; old repairs to inner margins and to a few corners, some damp-staining to upper margins, part of lower margins nibbled, toned; in later stiff vellum; edges nibbled, some marks to covers; interleaved with blanks, with ink manuscript notes in Latin to c. 21 pages.

£2750

Approximately:
US $3503€3227

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Opera et trattato, che insegna molti dignissimi secreti contra la peste, con li quali subito si guarisce, et anchora la detta opera insegna a sapersi conservar e stare sano essendo la persona in terra di sospetto …  Di nuovo ristampato, et con ogni diligentia corretto. 

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Rare second revised edition (first 1527) of this work offering advice against the plague by the Augustinian friar Giovanni Battista, interleaved and annotated with unpublished Latin notes on the subject. 

The author, who was responsible for looking after the sick in Naples, here gives advice on cleanliness, diet, and exercise, together with recipes for a variety of perfumes, pills, powders, and poultices, making frequent reference to Avicenna along the way. 

This copy includes an accompanying Latin manuscript by an early reader, penned to the interleaved blanks, picking out points in the first part of the printed text.  This discusses the difficulty of curing the plague, the harmful effects of fear, contagion through human contact and between towns, pestilence in Constantinople and Venice, causes of plagues (including celestial ones), the use of baths and powders, and symptoms of the disease including pain and bubos.  The writer quotes from Virgil’s Georgics, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and Lucretius, and refers to Thucydides.  This text does not appear to have been published but was perhaps copied from another manuscript source given the absence of any corrections or alterations. 

EDIT16 21111 (whence the place and date of imprint).  No copies traced in the UK.  OCLC records one copy only in the US (Folger Shakespeare Library). 

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