How to stay safe during a pandemic

[Emrich, Franz?]. Wie man sich zu Zeiten der Pestilentz fürsehen und erhallten möeg.

(Vienna, Johann Singriener d. Ä.), 1540.

4to. (36) pp. Modern marbled boards.


Very rare treatise: a report from the dean and medical faculty to the magistrate of Vienna, stating that they had inspected the city's pharmacies by order of the government, since "astrology" had predicted a plague epidemic for this year. Their evaluation is followed by a discussion of the nature of the plague, its causes (including eclipses and comets), and methods to prevent and to cure the disease (cf. Denis).

Possible authors are Crato von Krafftheim (1519-85) and Franz Emrich (1496-1560). Crato had developed an "Electuarium salutis Cratonis" against the plague, a popular mixture of theriac, mithridate, terra sigillata, bolus armenus, bezoar, and other remedies. That the use of "Thyriackh" is discouraged (fol. E2v) reinforces the case for Emrich's authorship: after the university reforms of 1537 he was the standard bearer of the modern hippocratic-galenic school of medicine, which disapproved of the previously favoured Arabic authorities. Indeed, the chapter on food and drink begins with a praise of Galen. In 1554 he published, under his own name, a treatise on plague prevention entitled "Ratschlag zu Verhüetung pestilentzischer Ansuechung".

Some browning and fingerstaining; trimmed rather closely in some places.

VD 16, ZV 28156. BNHCat W 177. Denis, p. 398, no. 416. Lesky 710. Not in Durling, Adams, or BM-STC German.

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