Editio princeps of "Tacuini Sanitatis"

[Ibn Butlan]. [Taqwim al Sihha - latine]. Tacuini sanitatis Elluchasem Elimithar medici de Baldath, de sex rebus non naturalibus, earum naturis, operationibus, & rectificationibus, publico omnium usui, conservandae sanitatis, recens exarati. Albengnefit de virtutibus medicinarum, & ciborum [...]. Iac. Alkindus de rerum gradibus.

Strasbourg, Johann Schott, 1531.

Folio (192 x 282 mm). 163, (7) pp. Title-page printed in red and black, tables printed in red. Illustrated with 40 woodcuts by Hans Weiditz at the foot of 40 pages (rectos of D2-K5). Contemporary vellum boards.

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Editio princeps of this rare treatise on health, with delightful woodcuts by Hans Weiditz.

Ibn Butlan's guide to good health, known as "Taqwim as-Sihha" in Arabic, had been circulating in manuscript copies during the 14th and 15th centuries under the Latin title "Tacuini sanitatis" or "Tables of Health". This is the first printed edition. It lays out six elements necessary for good health and avoiding stress: food and drink, air and climate, activity and rest, sleep and wakefulness, the secretion and excretion of humours, and states of mind, i.e. the emotions.

Mukhtar ibn al-Hasan, known as Ibn Butlan, a Nestorian physician in Baghdad in the 11th century, attempted to summarize medical knowledge in the form of synoptic tables. The effect and influence of many remedies, various waters, food, animals, the seasons, etc. are evaluated to bring about a harmony of health in man. The altogether 280 charming woodcut illustrations by Hans Weiditz at the foot of pages illustrate plants, animals, fruits, humours, diseases and cookery.

The other two works in this edition, which both deal with similar subjects, are by the 9th century Arabic philosopher al-Kindi and the 11th century Spanish physician Albengnefit.

Provenance

Library stamp on verso of title-page "Ex Bibliotheca Universitatis Heidelbergensis". Front pastedown has the book label of Estelle Doheny (this copy commanded $21,150 at the Doheny sale in 2001).

Condition

Binding somewhat soiled and marked and a little warped. Internally very good, lightly browned and with some underlining and 17th-century marginal annotations and manicules.

References

VD 16, M 6777 (A 12, A 64). BM-STV German 635. Adams M 1894. Durling 2520. Vicaire 323.