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    Cardano's Major Work on Medical Controversies

    Girolamo Cardano [Cardan] and Jacques Peletier. Contradicentium Medicorum libri duo: quorum primus centum & octo, alter verò totidem disputationes continet. Addita præterea eiusdem autoris de Sarza Parilia, de Cina radice, eiœsque usu, Consilium pro dolore vago, Disputationes etiam quædam aliæ non inutiles. Accesserunt præterea Iacobi Peltarij contradictiones ex Lacuna desumptæ, cum eiusdem Axiomatibus. Quorum omnium Indicem locupletissimum operi præfiximus... . Paris: Jacques Mace, 1564-1565. Three parts in one volume. Octavo. a8, e4, a-y8. z4; *4, A-2Q8, 2R4 [2R4 blank, present]; A4, B-D8. [12], 180; [4], 314, [2]; 40 leaves. Printer's device on two title pages, head- and tail-pieces, decorated initials. Contemporary calf with gilt supra-libros on covers (cartouche enclosing interlacing 'M' and 'W' with motto 'Tandem Quiesco'. Rebacked retaining most of original backstrip, boards crazed, vertical crack in spine with small piece of leather lacking, few small holes in spine and minor surface loss on boards from biopredation, all edges gilt; endpapers renewed; pages over-opened at O and R, lower marginal dampstains; ex-libris inscription on title page, ruled in red throughout, else in good condition. I.A. 132.096. Adams C656. Durling/NLM 837. Wellcome 1285. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
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    Girolamo Cardano [Cardan] and Jacques Peletier. Contradicentium Medicorum libri duo: quorum primus centum & octo, alter verò totidem disputationes continet. Addita præterea eiusdem autoris de Sarza Parilia, de Cina radice, eiœsque usu, Consilium pro dolore vago, Disputationes etiam quædam aliæ non inutiles. Accesserunt præterea Iacobi Peltarij contradictiones ex Lacuna desumptæ, cum eiusdem Axiomatibus. Quorum omnium Indicem locupletissimum operi præfiximus... . Paris: Jacques Mace, 1564-1565. 

    Three parts in one volume. Octavo. a8, e4, a-y8. z4; *4, A-2Q8, 2R4 [2R4 blank, present]; A4, B-D8. [12], 180; [4], 314, [2]; 40 leaves. Printer's device on two title pages, head- and tail-pieces, decorated initials. Contemporary calf with gilt supra-libros on covers (cartouche enclosing interlacing 'M' and 'W' with motto 'Tandem Quiesco'. Rebacked retaining most of original backstrip, boards crazed, vertical crack in spine with small piece of leather lacking, few small holes in spine and minor surface loss on boards from biopredation, all edges gilt; endpapers renewed; pages over-opened at O and R, lower marginal dampstains; ex-libris inscription on title page, ruled in red throughout, else in good condition.                                           

    "One project that he [Cardano] began in the Sacco years (1526-1533) or even earlier and that occupied him, on and off, for much of the rest of his life was the Contradicentium Medicorum libri, a collection of citations and arguments about issues on which standard medical authorities differed. The first octavo volume of Contradictiones appeared in print in 1545; a second edition, doubled in length, appeared in 1548. The dates of publication of the first two editions, both within five years of Cardano's receiving his chair at the University of Pavia, probably reflect his determination to publish a work appropriate to a professor of medical theory as soon as possible after his appointment. The dedication of the work to the Senate of Milan, which controlled professorial appointments to the University of Pavia, is further evidence that the timing of the publication was not coincidental. The Contradictiones is also one of very few medical works of any kind that he actually published during the 1540s and 1550s when, simultaneously, his medical career at Milan and Pavia was at its height and he was at his most productive in disciplines other than medicine. But Cardano continued to enlarge the collection long thereafter. By the end of his life it had grown almost as long as both his encyclopedic works combined. In the amount of effort the author devoted to it, this must be rated one of his major works. And although plenty of controversies are incorporated into his medical writings in other genres (most of them treatises on practice or Hippocratic commentaries), the Contradictiones is the only work in which he focused exclusively on the analysis of controversies in medicine. The Contradictiones is at once a key text for Cardano's ideas about medical knowledge and a prime example of the multiple and often confusing strands in his thought. Not all the ambiguities can be resolved; the project was not necessarily in every respect a coherent one. Yet the work casts much light on Cardano's agenda as a medical reader, teacher, and writer." -Nancy G. Siraisi, The Clock and the Mirror. Girolamo Cardano and Renaissance Medicine, Princeton, 1997, pp. 43-44).

    Jacques Peletier du Mans (1517 Le Mans - 1582 Paris) was a humanist, poet and mathematician of the French Renaissance....His last years were spent in travels (Savoy, Germany, Switzerland, maybe Italy, and various regions in France) and in publishing numerous works in Latin on algebra, geometry and mathematics, medicine (a refutation of Galen, a work on the Plague). In 1572 he was briefly director of the College of Aquitaine (Bordeaux), but, bored by the position, he resigned. During this period he was friends with Michel de Montaigne and Pierre de Brach. In 1579 he returned to Paris and was named director of the College of Le Mans.              

    I.A. 132.096. Adams C656. Durling/NLM 837. Wellcome 1285.



    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    8th-9th Wednesday-Thursday
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