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VESLING, Johann (1598-1649) & BLAES, Gerard [BLASIUS (ca. 1626–1692)]

Syntagma anatomicum, commentario atque Appendice ex. Veterum, Recentiorum, Propriisque, Observationibus, Illustratum & auctum a Gerardo Leon. Blasio. Editio Secunda.
Amstelodami, Joannem Janssonium à Waesberge & Elizeum Weyerstraet, 1666.

Vesling´s very popular Syntagma anatomicum was for more than fifty years the anatomical textbook generally used in the universities all over Europe. The first edition in octavo, which appeared in Padua in 1641, has no illustrations, but the enlarged edition in quarto of 1647 is illustrated with twenty-four copper-plates. These original engravings, made under Vesling´s own supervision and representing the organs in the human body, are often more correct than those of his predecessors. The work went through many editions and was translated into several languages. The Syntagma was later edited by Gerard Blaes or Blasius (1625 - 1692), professor of medicine at Amsterdam, enlarged with his extensive commentaries and with the addition of an Appendix. It contained the latest discoveries in anatomy since the death of Vesling, i.e. Aselli´s discovery of the lacteal vessels, Pecquet´s discovery of the thoracic duct in dogs, Bartholin´s and Rudbeck´s discovery of the intestinal lymphatics, including two full-page engravings by Rudbeck, and Nathaniel Highmore´s description of the seminal ducts, as well as other discoveries by Malpighi, Ruysch, Willis, Steno, De Graaf and others. The Appendix has twenty-eight fine anatomical full-page engravings, mostly taken from the original works referred to. Vesling was very interested in botany and lived in Egypt several years before becoming professor of anatomy and surgery at Padua in 1633. He also became director of the botanical garden there, which was restored under his supervision.

Collation: Pp. (24), 307, (1); Appendix: pp. (309) - 558, (16). Additional engraved title-leaf, 52 full-page engravings or plates in the text. One leaf, Z4 (pp. 183-84), torn in lower right corner with loss of some text. Title with Janssonius’ device (also used by him in Stockholm, cf. Klemming & Nordin, p 167).

Binding: Contemporary vellum with hand written title on spine.

Provenance: "Petrus Tillæus Upsaliæ 1765 in martio". Peter Tillaeus (1747–1827) was a pupil of Linneaus and was respondent for two of Linnaeus’ dissertations, one of them on Tea. He served for a long period as provincial physician for Hälsingland and lived in Söderhamn. Several books from his library were donated to the Swedish Society of Medicine.

References: Heirs of Hippocrates, 476 (1st ed.); Choulant/Frank, p. 243; DSB XIV, pp. 12-13; Hagelin, Rare and Important Medical Books in the Library of the Swedish Society of Medicine, pp. 72-3; See also many entries in Adelman, Marcello Malpighi and the Evolution of Embryology I-V; Roberts & Tomlinson, pp 238-9. SLS 500. Waller 9931-33 (earlier editions).

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