SAD FLATULENT HYPOCHONDRIACS

Del flato a favore degl’ipocondriaci. 

Verona, Antonio Andreoni, 1755. 

4to, pp. [viii], 220; large woodcut vignette to title, woodcut headpiece, large woodcut initials; inconsequential marginal paper flaw to B4, the odd spot, but a very good copy; uncut in contemporary carta rustica, spine lettered in ink; binding slightly soiled with a few small chips to spine; contemporary ownership inscription to title ‘Libro di me Antonio de Steffanis’.

£650

Approximately:
US $844€772

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Del flato a favore degl’ipocondriaci. 

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Rare first edition of the first medical treatise on tympanites, a distention of the abdomen caused by the accumulation of gas in the gastro-intestinal tract, linking it with hypochondria and melancholy. 

In his groundbreaking study, Zeviani (1725–1808) examines the phenomena of flatulence, burping, and bloating, and the effects that these might have on the mental health of hypochondriac and hysteric individuals, finding a strict correlation between meteorism and melancholy.  Zeviani suggests various remedies, depending on the case, ranging from surgery to bloodletting, drugs, physical exercise, and a correct diet. 

Giovanni Verardo Zeviani was one of the first physicians in Italy to study infant mortality and is today considered one of the fathers of Italian psychiatry. 

Library Hub finds no copies of the first edition in UK.  The work enjoyed a substantial and lasting success, being reprinted many times in the following years and translated into German in 1794. 

Bethesda, 499; Bibliotheca Scatologica 34; Blake, p. 499; De Renzi, V, 758; Laehr, II, p. 485; Laehr, Die Literatur der Psychiatrie, Neurologie und Psychologie im XVIII Jahrhundert, p.65; Frederic Dubois (trans. Andrea Bianchi), ‘Bibliografia intorno l’ipocondria e l’isterismo’ in Storia filosofica sulla ipocondria e sull’isterismo, p. xliii. 

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