De Conservanda Bona Valetudine, Scholae Salernitanae, opusculum: Cum Arnoldi Novicomensis…

De Conservanda Bona Valetudine, Scholae Salernitanae, opusculum: Cum Arnoldi Novicomensis…


CURIO, Johannes (ed.); CRELLIUS Jacobus bound . De Conservanda Bona Valetudine, Scholae Salernitanae, opusculum: Cum Arnoldi Novicomensis…enarrationibus: accuratius jam & emendatius edita per Joannem Curionem, & Jacobum Crellium. Item, De Electione meliorum meliorum simplicium, ac specierum medicinaliu, rhythmi M. Othonis Cremonensis. De moderatione cibi & potus, item somni & vigiliarum, loci aliquot, ex Philippi Melanthonis De anima libro. Polybii De victus salubris ratione privatorum, tractatus [Joanne Guinterio Andernaco interprete]. Of maintaining the good health, Schola Salernitana, little work : When Arnold Novicomensis … enarratione: Curio, carefully now , and the more correct issued by the John , and James, the Crellium. Also, On the Election of the best to the best of the simple, and the species of medicinal , rhythms of M. Otho of Cremona . On the direction of the food & drink, sleep & watch item , a number of the place , from the book of the De anima of Philip Melanchthon . The private nature of a healthy diet of Polybius , Tractatus [Joanne Guinterio Andernaco interprete ]. Frankfurt: Chr.Egenolff, 1553. [8], 146, [6] leaves (last leaf blank). With woodcut printer’s device and numerous fine text woodcuts by H.S. Beham and Hans Schauffelein. 2 contemporary inscriptions on title-page with first line erased (resulting in a tiny hole not affecting the text), the second line being “Hanno veranus” (inscription on back paste-down partly erased but with date “1556” visible); the second inscription is difficult to make out but in the same ink but different hand. Contemporary blind stamped pigskin decorated with portrait and ornamental rolls with initials “M I G” and date “1556” on front cover.

1- Famous collection of dietetic advice and codes of conduct which, because of its popularity, was an important source of information on the food, wine, medicine, and hygiene of the period. The editor, Johann Curion (d. 1561), was born at Rheinberg in the Cologne Electorate. He studied medicine at Erfurt and went on to teach medicine there up to the year of his death. Curio, with the help of Jacob Crell, completely revised Arnaud de Villenueve’s textbook, The School of Salernes, Schauffelein, depiction people eating, drinking, bathing, botanical illustrations, wine making, meats and vegetables, medical illustrations of phlebotomy, complexions, fevers, dentistry, urine glasses, foods, ets. which were first included in the 1545 Frankfurt edition. In addition to the commentary by Curio there are additional texts on leading a healthy life by Otho Cremonensis; Melanchthon (on moderation in eating and drinking), Polybius, Johann Guenther and Hippocrates.

2-Second edition of this collection of gastronomic, medical and herbal texts edited by Johan Placotomus which first appeared in 1551 by the same printer: “Avec un important traite sur la Biere” (Oberle). The works are presented in both prose and neolatin poetry. The first work is Eobanus Hessus’ popular dietary didactic poem mentioned in the title which is greatly expanded with extensive commentary by Placotomus. This is followed by Georg Aemilius’ treatise (“De natura et viribus cerevisiarum” : pp. 71-109) which deals with beer and mead, its ingredients, methods of brewing, and the various types of beers and beers special to various regions and their cities: Prussia; Hamburg, Goslar, Lubeck, Brunschweig, Rostock; Thurigia, Freiburg, Worms, Wittenberg, etc. This is followed by a section on drunkenness and its cure, starting with an epigram by David Milesius Nissenus, followed by commentary by Placotomus; next is Baptista Fiera’s catalogue of herbs and foods presented in verse, identifying their medical and culinary uses. The final work deals with fruits and vegetables in verse by Walafried Strabo.

The work is illustrated with 23 fine woodcuts; the half page woodcuts are by Hans Schauffelein who may have done the smaller woodcuts as well. The fine illustrations depict subjects dining, drinking, planting fruit trees, drunkenness, various meats, fish cheese, onions, butter making, bread, fruits and vegetables, wine, beer, vinegar, etc.

Johann Placotomus (Brettschneider: 1514-1577), a German Physician and educator, had attended the University of Wittenberg where he made the acquaintance Melanchthon and Luther while attending lectures by Georg Rheticus and Erasmus Reinhold. He tood advanced degrees at the University of Leipzig where he took a doctorate in medicine in 1543. In the following year he became the first professor of medicine at the University of Konigsberg. He later moved to Gdansk as city physician and eventually ran the city pharmacy as well.

A very interesting volume containing the two most popular gastronomic, pharmaceutical and medical works intended for the general public. While the texts were often published elsewhere only the Frankfurt publisher, Egenolff, had access to these beautiful woodcut illustrations. The volume is bound in its fine original blindstamped pigskin binding.

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