Title: Del flato a Favore degl’ipocondriaci. Libri ...
Publisher: Antonio Andreoni, Verona
Publication Date: 1755
Book Condition: Very Good
Edition: First Edition.
4to (225 x 165mm). , 220 pages. Woodcut printer’s device of putti singing music to title, historiated woodcut chapter head and tail-pieces throughout. Original paper wrappers, ms. title to spine "ZEVIANI del FLATO" (front hinge split and front cover falling away, some minor soiling). Good copy of a rare work on hypochondria and its influence on the psyche in its original form. Neapolitan physician Zeviani actively pursued medicine and a publishing career in Verona. This pioneering monograph on hypochondria was the first of its kind published in his native city in 1755; the second edition appeared shortly after in 1761. Zeviani’s publications remain rare in major medical bibliographies. Zeviani’s first edition work on hypochondria which tied hysteria to gastro-intestinal problems, specifically flatulence with sadness, the first real study and proponent of this subject. Zeviani believed the hypochondriac, or hysteric, had certain gastro-intestinal disorders, specifically bloating, which could be tied to their mental health. The fashion for being moody, extremely sensitive, and somewhat ailing (as opposed to unfashionably healthy) swept north from Italy in the 1500s. In the height of the Renaissance, a melancholic plague found artistic outlet in poems and plays, as well as, formed a veritable character type common to society. As part of this worldly image, the hypochondriac fulfilled the role of creative madness whose deep and sometimes violent emotions were capable of spreading inspiration. To come to understand the intricacies of those who were popularly gloomy, Zeviani debates the link between a distending, gaseous body and a miserable spirit in this work. He was particularly interested in the bodily phenomenon of the burp, in which the abnormal presence of extra gas is released. Zeviani recommends reasons for certain foods in the diet to temper the "passions of the soul." He notes, "Garlic and onions are not recommended because they are inclined to putrefaction." His study describes quite simply the merits of a good diet, exercise, and some other unusual therapies, including blood-letting. A distinguished physician, Zeviani remains, on the Italian branch, a celebrated father of psychiatry. Bookseller Inventory # D11181
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