Vesalius's teacher on blood vessels: heavily annotated by a 16th century medical student

Dubois (Sylvius), Jacques. In Hippocratis et Galeni physiologiae partem anatomicam isagoge [...].

Paris, Aegidius Gorbin, 1561.

8vo. 76 ff.

(Bound with) II: The same. Commentarius in Claudii Galeni de ossibus ad tyrones libellum [...]. Ibid., 1561. 37, (3) ff. Contemporary limp vellum (wanting ties).


Two medical textbooks by the Parisian anatomist Dubois, widely used by French medical students in the mid-16th century. The present volume is heavily annotated by a contemporary owner who signs his name as "Mirard" (?) on the first title-page. The annotations are particularly extensive in the sections on blood vessels, muscles, and nerves.

Dubois (1478-1555, Latinized as "Sylvius") was the first to describe venous valves, which he injected with coloured liquids (although their function was discovered only later by William Harvey), and is credited with first having given names to the various muscles, previously simply numbered. His blind reverence for the ancient physicians, especially Galen, involved him in a public controversy with his most famous student, Vesalius, who had dared to expose the errors of the Greeks. A former classicist, Dubois is also the author of the first French grammar to be published in France.

Some waterstaining near end, the final leaf showing severe paper flaws with some loss to the index. The first 50 ff. show noticeable worming to the gutter, stronger near the beginning, but mostly without loss to text. An additional handwritten ownership from Montpellier, another center of French medical learning (signed "G. B. Minet", dated 1709), at the bottom of the title page.

Durling 1259 & 1236. Wellcome I, 6183 & 6184. Adams S 2181 & S 2170. OCLC 14317273 & 1025189760. Cf. BM-STC French 141. Hirsch II, 220f.

Stock Code: BN#49051 Tags: ,