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    Roger Bacon on the Cure of Old Age

    Roger Bacon and Duarte Madeira Arrais. The Cure of Old Age, And Preservation of Youth...Translated out of Latin; with Annotations, and an Account of his Life and Writings... Also A Physical Account Of The Tree of Life By Edw. Madeira Arrias. London: for Thomas Flesher and Edward Evets, 1683. First English Edition. Two parts in one volume. Octavo. A8,a8.b4,B-S8,T4 [T4,ads][40],156,[6],108, [8],[2 ads] pages. Retrospective polished calf by Museum Book Bindings of Dublin, cover with single gilt ruled border, raised bands flanked by gilt rules, red morocco label, turn-ins with blind stamped rule, marbled endpapers. Trivial marks to covers, rear hinge cracked, otherwise the binding without significant wear or soiling. Text block trimmed, first title page soiled, some toning. Otherwise in very good condition. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
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    Roger Bacon (1214?-1294), Franciscan philosopher, "Tradition has assigned to him the usual brilliant career of an eminent teacher in a mediæval university. He is said to have graduated with distinction as doctor, to have attracted students by his lecturing, and to have been known by the significant cognomen of 'doctor admirabilis' (Wood, as in Brewer, Preface, page lxxxvi)... he certainly gained high reputation, his withdrawal from the ordinary current of thought was so complete as to render him in no special sense a brilliant light in the scholastic firmament. His contempt for the kind of work by which honour was there gained is unmeasured, and for his own part, with such aid as was afforded by the increasing knowledge of the Arab writers, he devoted himself to acquiring a knowledge of languages, and to experimental researches, partly in alchemy, partly in optics... Not till the eighteenth century was it known, nor from the scanty references in the older authorities could it have been gathered, that Bacon was more than an ingenious alchemist, a skilled mechanician, and perhaps a dabbler in the black arts. In this light tradition viewed him, and it is his legendary history only that has established itself in English literature..." DNB

    This is the first English edition of De retardandis senectutis accidentibus et sensibus conservandis. It had appeared in Latin in London in 1590.

    Arrais (died 1652) physician to Juan IV, King of Portugal, and medical author. In this treatise "I compose a Discourse concerning the Qualities of that Wood or Tree of Life in the Earthly Paradise, which either prolonged Life to Eternity, or at least a very long Time..." It is more than a philosophical paper with numerous references to medical case histories, medicinal discoveries (including Opium) and with references to non-European medicinal practices (Brazil, East & West Indies, India, etc.) It seems to have been overlooked by many of our usually complete bibliographies (Alden, Sabin, Borba de Morales, Palau etc.)      

    Wing B 372. ESTC r30749. T.C. II,20. Ferguson, Glasgow, I,58. Krivatsy/NLM 566. Wellcome II,83. Gottlieb 34. Manchester 114. Osler 501. Duveen 38. Neu 179. Dawson 349.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    5th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 986

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