Erster [-dritter] Theil der grossen Wundartzney desz weitberühmten, bewerten, unnd erfahrnen ... Erster [-dritter] Theil der grossen Wundartzney desz weitberühmten, bewerten, unnd erfahrnen ...

Erster [-dritter] Theil der grossen Wundartzney desz weitberühmten, bewerten, unnd erfahrnen Theophrasti Paracelsi von Hohenheim, der Leib und Wundartzney Doctoris, von allen Wunden, Stich, Schüss, Brendt, Thierbissz, Beinbrüch, Was nemlich die gantze Heilung, Zufell und Gebresten, gegenwärtig und zukünfftig, in sich begreifft, Auss rechtem grundt und erfahrnuss treüwlich an Tag geben, und auss seinem selbst geschriebnen Exemplar wieder auffs neuw in Truck verfertigt.

PARACELSUS, Theophrastus Philippus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim

Published by [colophon:] Frankfurt, Georg Rabe and heirs of Weygand Han [1562-1563], 1562
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From WP Watson Antiquarian Books (London, United Kingdom)

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Three parts in one vol., 4to (182 x 144 mm), ff [12] 115[ 1]; [12, including final blank] 129 [1]; [74, including terminal blank], title to each part printed in red and black and with a fine woodcut illustration, and two large woodcut illustrations in the first part; small wormhole in blank margins of a few gatherings in third part, a very clean, attractive copy in contemporary German vellum with yapp edges on upper and lower edges as well as fore-edges, ruled in blind, yellow-green silk ties. First edition of Paracelsus’ Great surgery to contain these fine title woodcuts, and the woodcut of surgical instruments. This is one of three issues; the issue points only concern the third volume (see below). The Wundartzney is Paracelsus’ most important medical work, and one which had immense influence on the practice of medicine. Paracelsus was perhaps the first to apply chemistry to practical medicine. ‘Paracelsus taught that medicine could not advance solely by clinging to established ideas but that there must also be “experimentation controlled by authoritative literature”. ‘His first book on surgical techniques dealt with the complete treatment of wounds caused by piercing, shooting, burning, animal bites, bone fracture, and other injuries. Advocating sound surgical techniques, he also recognized the natural power of the body to heal’ (Le Fanu, Notable medical books p 25). ‘Among Paracelsus’ practical achievements was his management of wounds and chronic ulcers. These conditions were overtreated at the time, and Paracelsus’ success lay in his conservative, non-interventionist approach, which was based upon his belief in natural healing power and mumia, an active principle in tissues’ (DSB). The text was first published in 1536 at Ulm by Hans Varnier in an unauthorized version, which was strongly condemned by Paracelsus in the preface to his own ‘first’ of the same year. The Great surgery provides comprehensive instructions in all areas of surgery and wound management. The first chapter of the first part is a typically radical address to all physicians, surgeons, and barbers, defying quackery and instructing the reader to treat and heal according to the nature of the specific disease or ailment. The treatments include those of wounds caused by arrows, bullets, burns (including gunpowder burns, as well as ‘alchemistical accidents’), animal bites (with sub-chapters on poisoned bites), cuts, fractures, cancerous growths, fistulae, and syphilis. Interspersed are chapters on the importance of hygiene in wound management, astral influences on treatment, and numerous instructions for the preparation of remedies. Several chapters give an insight into Paracelsus’ mystical and gnostic views. According to Sudhoff the woodcut of the Weltbild (here on leaf 64 of part I) is an exact copy of the one contained in the Augsburg printing of 1537. The three title woodcuts depict an apothecary shop on the first title, a surgery room and wound management on the second, and a sick room with a patient in bed and a doctor checking astrological positions. The woodcut following the index to the first part depicts several surgical instruments. This Frankfurt edition has undergone minor textual changes. Whether the printers Han and Rabe or a follower of Paracelsus are responsible for these is not clear. Rabe and Han, and heirs, published three issues closely together. The first two volumes are identical in all three variants, which only concern the third volume. This volume is dated 1562 in the colophon of one issue, 1563 in another issue, and undated in ours. In our copy the first two gatherings are identical to those in Sudhoff 51, while the remaining gatherings are from Sudhoff 29 (1553), apart from the final gathering T2 with the colophon. No priority has been established. Sudhoff 49, 50 and 52; see also 502; cf Durling 3457 and Wellcome 4744; not in Adams, Bird, Parkinson and Lumb, nor Waller. Bookseller Inventory # 3847

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Erster [-dritter] Theil der grossen ...

Publisher: [colophon:] Frankfurt, Georg Rabe and heirs of Weygand Han [1562-1563]

Publication Date: 1562

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

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