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FABRIZIO, Girolamo (1533–1619) [FABRICIUS ab Aquapendente, Hieronymus]

Hieronymi Fabricii ... Opera chirurgica in pentateuchum, et operationes chirurgicas distincta. Editio quinta et vigesima.
Patavii, typis Matthaei de Cadorinis, 1666.

Fifth edition of Fabricius' surgical works dealing with tumours, wounds, fistulas, sprains, and fractures, and the treatment of such injuries. The second part deals with surgical instruments and their use. Some of them are of Fabricius' own construction. The eight engraved copper-plates give an interesting picture of the surgical equipment of the 16th century. Of particular interest are the two plates illustrating an orthopedic device, in the shape of a man, the so called cuirass, designed to combine in one apparatus the principles for all existing devices for the correction of orthopedic injuries and deformities. Two such armors are reproduced in Rutkow, pp 200-201. Girolamo Fabrici, or Fabricius ab Aquapendente as he generally is called, was professor at the famous University of Padua for almost 50 years. He was also one of the most outstanding Italian surgeons of the Renaissance. Fabricius built the anatomical theatre in Padua and he was Harvey’s teacher. His collected surgical works, Pentateuchum chirurgicum, was edited by one of his foreign pupils, Johann Hartmann Beyer, and printed in Frankfurt am Main in 1592, apparently without Fabricius’ consent. It was re-issued in 1617, with a second part added, as Opera chirurgica and went through many editions in many languages. This is an almost modern surgery based solidly upon clinical observations, the mysticism and magic of the ancients and medieval writers being ruthlessly discarded.

Collation: Pp (8), 364, 31 index, (1) blank. Title printed in red and black with printer’s woodcut device. Woodcut initals, head-pieces and vignettes. With 9 engraved plates marked A1, A2-H. Some plates cropped at foot touching the signature of Gio.Georgii fecit.

Binding: Contemporary laced-case vellum binding. Handwritten spine title. Replaced endpapers with the original leaf with handwritten biographical notes on Fabricius pasted inside front cover.

Provenance: Gift from David v. Schulzenheim to Anat. Bibl. 1814 (inscrip. on half-title).

References: Krivatsy NLM 3810. Waller 2890 (Padua 1647).

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