14 surgical instruments illustrated

Al-Razi, Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya (Rhazes) / Arcolano, Giovanni (ed.). Commentaria in nonum librum Rasis ad regem Almansore[m] [...]. Accedit opusculum De fluxibus alui suo loco restitutus [...].

Venice, heirs of Lucantonio Giunta, 1542.

Folio. (12), 509, (3) pp. With woodcut printer's device on title-page, different device on final leaf, and woodcut illustrations of various surgical tools at the end of the preliminaries. Contemporary limp vellum with ms. title to spine.

 12,500.00

Rare edition of this commentary on the ninth book of the treatise dedicated by ar-Razi (also known as Rhazes; 850-923 or 932) to Almansor, the Prince of Chorosan (with the text). "The manual, known as 'Nonus Almansoris', was popular among mediaeval physicians" (cf. GAL S I, p. 419). The work discusses special pathology but excluding pyrology and was one of the most popular textbooks at medical schools and faculties well into the Middle Ages (cf. Hirsch/H. I, 171). Rhazes is considered the greatest mediaeval physician next to Avicenna; he also conducted alchemical experiments. According to his biographer al-Gildaki, he was blinded for refusing to share his secrets of chemistry.

A woodcut on the final page of the preliminaries depicts 14 different surgical instruments, including a tongue depressor, a forceps, and various instruments for cauterization. Occasional slight brownstaining, but a good copy from the library of the Sicilian physician Blasio Cucuzza, with his ownership on the final page (calling him the "most learned of all Sicilian physicians in Modica, Ragusa and Syracuse") and additional note dated 10 May 1622.

Edit 16, CNCE 2340. Wellcome I, 383. Durling 250. M. H. Fikri, Treasures from The Arab Scientific Legacy in Europe (Qatar 2009) no. 46, with double-page spread illustration on p. 82f.