The Works of Al-Qawabeli

Paulus Aegineta ("Al-Qawabeli"). Opera.

Lyon, Guillaume Rouillé, 1567.

8vo. (32), 923, (53) pp. With woodcut printer's device on title-page. Contemporary blindstamped vellum. All edges coloured.


Latin edition (translated by the humanist Johann Winter of Andernach) of the works of the Byzantine Greek physician Paul of Aegina, who lived in the seventh century, as reported by Abu'l-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi. His "Medical Compendium" in seven books remained a standard text throughout the Arabic world for more than eight centuries. It was the most complete encyclopedia of medical knowledge of its time, discussing 1) hygiene and dietetics; 2) fevers; 3) topical illnesses from head to toe; 4) skin diseases and ailments of the intestines; 5) toxicology; 6) surgery; 7) the composition of medicines. The sixth book on surgery in particular was referenced in Europe and the Arab world throughout the Middle Ages, and is of special interest for surgical history. Indeed, Paul's reputation was particularly great in the Islamic world: the Arabic translation of his works by Hunayn ibn Ishaq was widely received, and it is said that he was especially consulted by midwives, whence he received the name of "al-Qawabeli", or "the Accoucheur". "Paulus Aegineta was the most important physician of his day and a skilful surgeon. He gave original descriptions of lithotomy, trephining, tonsillectomy, paracentesis and amputation of the breast; the first clear description of the effects of lead poisoning also comes from him" (Garrison/M., p. 7).

Occasional slight brownstaining; insignificant worming to margins of first few pages. A good copy.


Adams P 487. Wellcome I, 4872. Durling 3563. Hoffmann III, 45. OCLC 14295002. Cf. Waller 7247. Not in BM-STC French.

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