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    One of the First Books on Sports Medicine

    Hieronymus Mercurialis. De Arte Gymnastica. Amsterdam: Andrea Frisii, 1672.

    Square quarto. 387 pages, plus unpaginated index. Frontispiece. Many engraved plates, five folding.

    Full modern leather over boards. Gilt lettering and designs to the spine. Marbled endpapers and edges. Some dampstaining throughout. Overall, a very good, complete copy.

    "In the six books of De Arte Gymnastica, Mercuriale set out to sketch the history of gymnastica - to describe the settings and equipment used in antiquity for structured physical exercise, together with the varieties of exercise practiced by the ancients, and to consider the effect of such exercises on health" (Siraisi). De Arte Gymnastica has been called the first book on sports medicine.

    Siraisi, History, Medicine, and the Traditions of Renaissance Learning, 43.


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