Opera Omnia medica

SYDENHAM, Thomas (1624-1689)

Published by Typis Seminarii Apud Joannem Manfre, Padua, 1714
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Bibliographic Details


Title: Opera Omnia medica

Publisher: Typis Seminarii Apud Joannem Manfre, Padua

Publication Date: 1714

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very Good

Description:

8vo (165 x 110mm). [80], 775pp. Woodcut printerís device of phoenix rising from ashes on title. Woodcut chapter headpieces over dedication and index. Near contemporary vellum, ms.title to spine; (occasional dampstains, remnants of paper label to spine, portion missing on lower covers). Early Italian provenance, contemporary ownership inscription of "Alexandri Barteli" to half-title. Pictorial wood-engraved ex-libris by Leo Wyatt for Lord Norwich on front free endpaper. The "English Hippocrates" Thomas Sydenhamís influential works in medicine. Thomas Sydenhamís Opera Omnia was frequently reprinted both in the original Latin and latterly in English, French and German translations. In fact, this same year another Latin edition appeared in Lyon, printed at Annison and Posuel. Sydenham has been likened to the "English Hippocrates" and held the position of "master" for two or more generations after his death. His great vogue was not because he was encyclopedic in scope or philosophical in method, for there are many chapters in medicine that he omitted or did little more than sketch his general pathology in an occasional introduction or preface, but Sydenham was one of the first to give effect to Baconís idea that diseases might be viewed as natural and therefore described them in full detail. Sydenham was, of course, subject to theory, and in his descriptions he could carry bloodletting to such lengths that even a supporter for the method would ponder the accusation that he was a "bloodthirsty man." Sydenhamís writings practice the art of drawing a true and faithful picture, as in his famous description of gout, which he knew well from personal experience, and in his accounts of many other maladies, which prevailed at this time. Almost half the volume is dedicated to descriptions of epidemics he had himself observed. The remainder is divided between a few monographs upon particular diseases such as hysteria, gout, dropsy, smallpox, and a collection of practical memoranda or empirical formulae for the guidance of the medical practitioner. His descriptions have been praised for their accuracy and attention, and his judicious, natural hypotheses gave an exact history of all acute diseases. Dr. Samuel Johnson wrote in 1742, a Life of Sydenham, "He was benevolent, candid, and communicative, sincere and religious; qualities which it were happy if they could copy from him who emulates his knowledge and imitate his methods." Excellent survival in good form, this important medical opera was revered by many for at least two centuries following its initial publishing. Bookseller Inventory # D6237

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