"The most popular compendium of drugs in medieval Europe" by the esteemed Arabic physician Masawaih al-Mardini

Yuhanna (Yahya) Abu Zakariya ibn Masawaih (Mesue). Opera. De medicamentorum purgantium delectu, castigatione, & usu, libri duo [...].

Venice, Lucantonio Giunta, 1581.

Folio (230 x 338 mm). 2 parts in 1 volume. (8), 272 ff. (6), 277, (1 blank), (12) ff. With 39 woodcut illustrations in text. Near-contemporary full vellum on four raised bands with giltstamped red spine label.


Second illustrated edition, the first with the commentary of Costaeus, of the collected works of the Arabic physician Mesue the Younger (also known as Masawaih al-Mardini) in Latin, with commentaries by Mondino de Liuzzi, Christoph de Honestis, Jacobus Sylvius, Giovanni mardi and Johannes Costaeus.

The work includes the "Canones universalis", dealing with treatment regimens; the second part, "De simplicibus", about the properties of various pharmaceutical drugs; and the Grabadin, "the most popular compendium of drugs in medieval Europe, and [...] used everywhere in their preparation" (Garrison). "The esteem in which these works were held is shown by the fact that a Latin translation of both was one of the first medical works to be printed (Venice, 1471)" (ibid.).

Binding stained; rubbed and chipped at extremeties. Interior shows occasional brownstaining. Modern flyleaves browned and brittle. Provenance: bookplates of the American botanist Edward Sandford Burgess (1855-1928) and of the Horticultural Society of New York, identifiying this volume as part of the bequest of the American attorney and plant collector Kenneth Kent MacKenzie (1877-1934).


Durling 3131. Adams Y 10. BM-STC Italian 739. Edit 16, CNCE 27626.

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