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BONDT [BONTIUS], Jacob de (1592–1631)

De medicina Indorum Lib. IV.
1. Notæ in garçiam ab orta.
2. De diæta sanorum.
3. Meth. medendi Indica.
4. Observationes e cadaveribus.
Lugdunum Batav., Franciscum Hackium, 1642.

First edition of one of the first books on tropical medicine. The work is divided into four ‘books’ (chapters): the first is a critique of Garcia d’Orta’s Coloquios dos simples e drogas e cousas mediçinais da India (1563); the second on the maintenance of a healthy diet; the third on Dutch East Indian (Indonesian) methods of treatment; and the fourth containing post-mortem observations. The book includes the first modern descriptions of cholera, yaws, tropical dysentery and beri-beri, the last two of which Bondt himself contracted. Bondt’s work is also to be found in Alpini, De medicina Aegyptiorum (1645) and the ‘second’ enlarged edition’ of Piso’s Historia Naturalis Brasiliae with the new title: De Indiae utriusque re naturali et medica libri quatordecim (1658). Bondt, or Bontius, was probably the first to regard tropical medicine as an independent branch of medical science. He spent the last four years of his life in the Dutch East Indies, and his book incorporated the experience he gained there. Beri-beri, the deficiency disease endemic to Eastern and Southern Asia was mentioned in Chinesae literature before the Christian era, but the first modern description was given by Bondt, who saw cases of it in the East Indies.

Collation: Pp. (6) incl. engraved title, 7 - 212, (4). There is no letterpress title.

Binding: Contemporary vellum over wooden boards.

References: Garrison-Morton 2263, 3736; Krivatsy, NLM 1498; Wellcome, II, p. 201; Norman 261. Scott, Harold. A History of Tropical Medicine (1939), vol. II, pp. 1012–17. Waller 1297.

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