Cl. Galeni Pergameni medici præstantissimi, de curatione per sanguinis missionem, libellus. .
Lyon: J. & Fr. Frellon, 1546.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Very Good. Item #003715
8vo (168 x 110 mm). , 131  pp. Title with woodcut printer's device, text in Latin with Greek vocabulary; first preliminary leaves with dedicatory epistle of Leonhart Fuchs to Ulrich of Württemberg; historiated woodcut initials, p. 85 with full-page woodcut illustration of blood vessels in the human body, blank leaf b2, final leaf with colophon on verso. Signatures: a8, b2, A-H8, I2. Late 18th century thin card boards, paper-covered flat spine, hand-lettered paper label (light soiling). Text with little even browning, occasional minor pale spotting. Blank leaf b2 recto with contemporary ink inscription. ----
FIRST EDITION by Leonhard Fuchs, and an exceptionally rare edition of Galen's work on bloodletting. Galen's understanding of anatomy and medicine was principally influenced by the then-current theory of humorism (also known as the four humors - black bile, yellow bile, blood, and phlegm), as advanced by ancient Greek physicians such as Hippocrates. His theories dominated and influenced Western medical science for more than 1,300 years. Galen believed each part of this tripartite soul controlled specific functions within the body and that the soul, as a whole, contributed to the health of the body, strengthening the "natural functioning capacity of the organ or organs in question". The "rational soul" (which controlled higher level cognitive functioning in an organism - for example, making choices or perceiving the world and sending those signals to the brain) was where "imagination, memory, recollection, knowledge, thought, consideration, voluntary motion and sensation" could be found. The "spirited soul" was responsible for "growing or being alive," and also contained our passions. Such passions were considered to be stronger than regular emotions, and thus more dangerous. The third part of the soul, or the "appetitive spirit," controlled the living forces in our body, most importantly blood. Galen's anatomical reports were based primarily on the dissection of monkeys, especially the Barbary macaque, and his findings remained unchallenged until the 1543 publication of Andreas Vesalius' De humani corporis fabrica. Galen's most significant contribution to medicine was perhaps his work on the circulatory system. He was the first to recognize distinct differences between venous (dark) and arterial (bright) blood. His anatomical experiments on animal specimens led to a more complete understanding of the circulatory, nervous, and respiratory system, though his work did contain some rather grave errors. Galen believed, for example, that the circulatory system was made up of two independent structures of distribution: venous blood was generated in the liver, and arterial blood in the heart. This and other theories related to the circulation of blood were later shown to be incorrect. References: Pettegree (FB) 71373; USTC 149548; not in Adams, NLM/Durling or Wellcome. - Visit our website to see more images!
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