Magnus Hippocrates Cous Prosperi Martiani Medici Romani Notationibus Explicatus (1652)

Magnus Hippocrates Cous Prosperi Martiani Medici Romani Notationibus Explicatus (1652)

     

Magnus Hippocrates Cous Prosperi Martiani Medici Romani Notationibus Explicatus (1652)

   

     

Hippocrates de Cos, Prosperus, Martianus
Hippocrates 460 BC, Cos - 377 BC, Larissa

Hippocrates de Cos, Prosperus, Martianus

Magnus Hippocrates Cous Prosperi Martiani Medici Romani Notationibus Explicatus (1652). This book was purchased online from an antique bookstore in April 2021.

It is essential to understand that what we believe as the work of Hippocrates of Cos (~460 BC. Cos - Larissa, 377 BC) is, in fact, a collection of ancient Greek medical wisdom written by at least 19 different authors, none probably by Hippocrates himself, wisdom that was refined across several centuries (5th century BC through 1st century AD), influenced by physician’s experience from the School of Cos, Cnidus, and Alexandria. These works collectively are termed the Corpus Hippocraticus and include about 70 books. Almost none survived in its original form. Over the first millennium, they were translated into Arabic, Syriac, Aramaic, and Latin in the middle of the 16th century. The invention of the printing press in the middle of the 15th century facilitated republishing of works attributed to the classics of the antique world, including Hippocrates. The first Latin translation of his work appeared in 1525. Subsequent translations and editions of the Corpus Hippocraticus were improvements of previous versions. There are two editions worth mentioning, the one published in 1576 by James Hollerius Stempani (Jacque Houllier, ~1502 -1562), a French physician; the second was published in 1596. The current (first) edition was annotated and interpreted by an Italian physician Prospero Marziani (1567-1622).

Hippocrates proposed looking at a patient holistically and believing in one’s power of observation and one own critical evaluation of signs and symptoms via inspection, palpation, auscultation, and percussion. The holistic approach is remarkable, considering the lack of medical knowledge and reliance on superstition. Hippocrates believed in the balance of the four humors: blood, phlegm, yellow and black bile, and the interplay with the four elements: fire, water, earth, and air. 

The current volume was purchased in poor condition (top middle image) from a bookseller from Northern England. Dr. Andrew I Spielman restored it (top right image) and donated it along with 27 other rare books to the College in the summer of 2022.

Editorial notes by Andrew I Spielman.

Digital Version

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