Verona: [Stefano dei Nicolini da Sabbio], 1530.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Very Good. Item #002657
August 1530. 8vo (204 x 148 mm). Collation: a-e8 (-e8). 39 leaves (of 40, lacking the final of four blanks only), unfoliated. Italic type, initial spaces with guide letters. Later stiff vellum, spine with 3 raised bands. Some pages with faint marginal staining, a few spots in places. Provenance: Giancarlo Beltrame Library; faint remnants of a stamp remover from title, removed inscription on e7. A fine, crisp copy. An Italian export license is provided with this copy. ----
Norman 826; Heirs of Hippocrates 98; Lilly Library, Notable Medical Books, 23; NLM/Durling 1641; Osler 4817; Waller 3173; Wellcome I, 2391; Adams F826; BM/STC Italian p. 275; Garrison-M. 2364; Baumgartner & Fulton 1. - RARE FIRST EDITION (especially rare in original binding), lacking only the final blank (of four) at the end. Fracastoro dedicated this mock-heroic poem to his patron, Cardinal Pietro Bembo, by whom it was esteemed and praised (although he insisted that some passages be eliminated). "The poem, drafted in Latin hexameter (about 1,300 verses) of exquisite beauty, occupies a prominent place in the literature of the times and represents a magnificent paradigm of formal sixteenth-century virtuosity in refined Latin of a didactic quality reminiscent of Vergil's Georgics" (DSB).
The work brought Fracastoro much fame, and established the universal name of the sickness, which derives from the hero of the treatise, the unfortunate shepherd Sifilo. "Fracastoro, through the course of the poem, speculates on the origin of the disease, treats of its causes and manifestations, and suggests remedies, especially mercury. There are several references to America, mentioning the curative powers of guaiacum wood and the theory of the American origin of syphilis, which Fracastoro rejects" (Heirs of Hippocrates).
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