Artzneybuch (The Medicinal Book for all kinds of diseases of the whole body, internal and external, from head to toe….), 1546. Edited by Melchior Sachse and Introduced by Tarquinius Ocyorus (alias Schellenberg)

book 1



This book written in German with some segments in Latin. It contains 13 chapters, medical treaties written by different authors and dedicated to different aspects of health and diseases and their treatment. Originally published in 1530, it was a popular book and had seen at least 13 editions.

Chapter I is dedicated to Pestilence and the Plague. Chapter II. Deals with diseases of the breasts. Chapter III through VI is dedicated to Surgery (Wundartzt, arzet vür die wunden). The chapter uses a term for surgeons used during the Middle Ages, discontinued in the 19th Century). Chapter VII is dedicated to the diseases associated with stone formation. Chapter XII deals with childbirth and child rearing. The last chapter provides recipies for balsamic oils, treatment of sore throat, and the use of medicinal plants and homeopathy.

Of particular importance is Chapter IX entitled Artzney Buchlein (The Little Medicinal Book for All Kinds of Diseases and Infirmities of the Teeth, (“Atrzney Buchlein, der allerley franckheiten und gebrech en der Zene gesogen aus dem Galeno, Avicenna, Mesue, Cornelio Celso und ander mehr der Artzney Doctorn sehr nutzlich zu lessen”). It is the first section/booklet devoted entirely to dentistry. Written in German and also published separately, it has 13 sub sections dedicated to different aspects (after B. Weinberger, Early Dental Literature):

Section I: When and how many teeth grow in man
Section II. By what causes the teeth are ruined
Section III. How to assist children that their teeth may erupt easily
Section IV. Of toothache
Section V. Of hollow and decayed teeth
Section VI. Of teeth on edge
Section VII. Of yellow and black teeth
Section VIII. Of depressed (impacted) teeth
Section IX. Of loose teeth
Section X. Of worms in the mouth
Section XI. Ulceration, bad smells, and diseased gums
Section XII. How to extract bad teeth
Section XIII. How to retain good teeth

The chapter is a compilation of knowledge from the work of Cornelius Celsus (25 BC-50 AD), Claudius Galen (129-216 AD), Yuhanna ibn Masawaih known as Mesue the Elder (777-857), Avicenna (Ibn Sinna), (980-1037) and other luminaries of the ancient and medieval medicine.

Digital Versions

Nurnberg Edition

A 1549 Nurnberg edition of the same book is also available from this link

1549 Nurnberg Edition – Digital Copy >>>

Original Medieval Gothic

For those inclined to read the book in the original Medieval Gothic letters, here is a guide:

Medieval Gothic letters