An Interactive Annotated World Bibliography of Printed and Digital Works in the History of Medicine and the Life Sciences from Circa 2000 BCE to 2022 by Fielding H. Garrison (1870-1935), Leslie T. Morton (1907-2004), and Jeremy M. Norman (1945- ) Traditionally Known as “Garrison-Morton”

15961 entries, 13944 authors and 1935 subjects. Updated: April 29, 2024

Browse by Publication Year 1470–1479

45 entries
  • 13696

Rhetorica ad C. Herennium.

Venice: Nicolaus Jenson, 1470.

First description of the "method of loci," the memory technique as known as the "memory palace." Because of its wide use during the Middle Ages this text survives in hundreds of medieval manuscripts. Fourteen printed editions appeared in the 15th century.

ISTC No. ic00672000 . Digital facsimile from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek at this link.

Subjects: Memory, NEUROSCIENCE › Neuropsychology › Memory
  • 91

De proprietatibus rerum.

Cologne: Printer of the 'Flores Sancti Augustini' (Johann Schilling), for William Caxton, 1471.

A condensed encyclopedia of what was then understood by natural science. The work was probably written about the middle of the 13th century. It was one of the most widely read scientific works of the Middle Ages. Caxton is said to have learned to print from this book. ISTC No. ib00131000. Digital facsimile from Heinrich Heine Universität Dusseldorf at this link.

  • 1789

Antidotarium. Add: Quid pro quo; Synonyma.

Venice: Nicholas Jenson, 1471.

This work, which first circulated in manuscript in 1140, was the first formulary to be printed. It consists of 139 prescriptions and includes the original formula for the “anesthetic sponge” (spongia somnifera), the earliest sources of which are MSS of the 8th century. It also includes a table of weights and measures which formed the basis for the apothecaries system of weights and measures, i.e. the modern grain, scruple, dram, etc. The book must have been of great practical value, as it was one of the first medical works to be printed. ISTC No. in00160000. Digital facsimile from BnF Gallica at this link.

Subjects: ANESTHESIA, MEDIEVAL MEDICINE , MEDIEVAL MEDICINE › Italy, MEDIEVAL MEDICINE › Italy › Schola Medica Salernitana, PHARMACOLOGY › Pharmacopeias › Dispensatories or Formularies
  • 10960

Opera medicinalia. Ed: Peregrinus Cavalcobovis, with a preface by Nicolaus Gupalatinus. Consisting of: Canones universales. De simplicibus. Grabadin. Practica.

Venice: Clemens Patavinus, 1471.

This undated edition, which the ISTC im00508000 catalogues as "not before 18 May 1471", may be the earliest printed edition of the writings of the medieval Persian or Assyrian Nestorian Christian physician Yuhanna ibn Masawaih, whose name was also written Ibn Masawaih, Masawaiyh, and in Latin Mesue, Masuya, Mesue Major, Msuya, and Mesue the Elder. Another edition of Mesue's Opera medicinalia, for which there is a definite publication date, appeared in Padua on 9 June 1471 (ISTC no. im00509000). The two editions printed in 1471 were the first printed editions of any works by Mesue.

Subjects: Collected Works: Opera Omnia, MEDIEVAL MEDICINE › Medieval Persian Islamic Medicine, PHARMACOLOGY › PHARMACEUTICALS
  • 11287

Liber servitoris de praeparatione medicinarum simplicium. Translated by Abraham Tortuosiensis. Edited by Simon a Cordo.

Venice: Nicolaus Jenson, 1471.

Book 28 on drugs from the Al-Tasrif, a 30-volume Arabic encyclopaedia on medicine and surgery, written ca. 1000 CE by AbulcasisISTC No. ia00014000. Digital facsimile from the Württembergische Landesbibliothek Stuttgart at this link.

  • 11746

Ruralia commoda.

Augsburg: Johann Schüssler, 1471.

The most famous medieval agricultural treatise, and, apart from the Bartholomaeus Anglicus's De proprietatibus rerum, the earliest non-classical work to deal with agriculture and viticulture. The author, a successful Bolognese attorney, retired to his estate in 1299 where he wrote this agricultural handbook, finished in 1305. The survival of 91 medieval Latin codices of Ruralia commoda confirm its wide distribution in the period before print. Nine Latin editions and three editions in German appeared in print before 1500. ISTC No. ic00965000. Digital facsimile from Bayerische StaatsBibliothek at this link.

Subjects: Agriculture / Horticulture
  • 2192

Opera medica, sive Practica cum textu noni ad Almansorem.

Milan: Philippus de Lavagnia, 1472.

A commentary on Rhazes with notes and additions. For bibliographical and other details regarding this, the first large medical book to be printed, see the essay by Arnold C. Klebs in: Essays on the history of medicine presented to Karl Sudhoff on his seventieth birthday, 1923, London, 1924. ISTC No. if00119000.

Subjects: MEDIEVAL MEDICINE , MEDIEVAL MEDICINE › Italy, MEDIEVAL MEDICINE › Medieval Persian Islamic Medicine
  • 2070

Conciliator differentiarum philosophorum et medicorum. Add: De venenis.

Mantua: Johannes Vurster and Thomas Septemcastrensis, for Ludovicus Carmelita, 1472.

Includes the first printed book on toxicology; one of the more elegantly printed of medical incunabula, printed in folio format. For an English translation, see Ann. med. Hist., 1924, 6, 26-53. ISTC No. ip00431000. Digital facsimile from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek at this link. In 1473 The same printer reprinted Petrus de Abano's De venenis in quarto format with Arnaldus de Villa Nova De arte cognoscendi venena, Velascus de Tarenta, De epidemia et peste, and Matthaeus Silvaticus, De lapide begaar ex pandectis. In that form Petrus de Abano's work, which has its own colophon, must must have been sold separately since about half of the surviving copies of the 1473 edition consist of De venenis alone. ISTC No. ia01065900. Digital facsimile of the 1473 edition from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek at this link.

  • 6315

De infantium aegritudinibus et remediis.

Padua: B. de Valdezoccho & Matinus de Septum Arboribus, 1472.

The first printed book dealing exclusively with pediatrics. This was also the first medical treatise, and probably also the first scientific treatise, to make its original appearance in printed form rather than having prior circulation in manuscript. It is also one of the two first books published in print by a living author, the other being Valturio's De re militari (1472). 

The book was based mainly on the writings of Avicenna and Rhazes. It appeared in facsimile in Sudhoff’s Erstlinge (see No. 6355), and there is a translation by H.F. Wright in J. F. Ruhräh’s Pediatrics of the past, 1925 (No.6354). ISTC no. ib00010000. Digital facsimile from the Bayerische StaatsBibliothek at this link.

Subjects: PEDIATRICS, Renaissance Medicine
  • 6787


Augsburg: Günther Zainer, 1472.

The principal work of Isidore of Seville, one of the greatest educationists of the Middle Ages. The Etymologiae, an encyclopedic work, presented the sum of contemporary knowledge on all branches of science. Book IV afforded a survey of the entire range of medicine. ISTC No. ii00181000. Digital facsimile from Deutsches Forschungsgemeinschaft at this link.

Subjects: Dictionaries, Biomedical › Lexicography, Biomedical, Encyclopedias, MEDIEVAL MEDICINE , MEDIEVAL MEDICINE › Spain
  • 9400

Aristotle's De anima with the commentary of Averroes.

Padua: Laurentius Canozius, de Lendenaria, for Johannes Philippus Aurelianus et Fratres, 1472.

"Each paragraph of the text of Aristotle is printed in a new and an old translation, and is followed by the commentary of Averroes on the latter (BMC)" (ISTC No. IDia00969000).

Because of the supreme position of Aristotle in the medieval scientific and philosophical curriculum certain Aristotelian texts were among the first scientific texts to be published in print.

  • 5114

Büchlein der Ordnung (Pest Regiment)

Ulm: Johann Zainer, 1473.

Steinhöwel was a Swabian author, humanist, and translator who was much inspired by the Italian Renaissance. His translations of medical treatises and fiction were an important contribution to early Renaissance Humanism in Germany. This was a famous book; six printed editions appeared in the 15th century. It is reproduced in facsimile in A. C. Klebs: Die ersten gedruckten Pestschriften, 1936. ISTC No. is00762800. Digital facsimile from the Bayerische StaatsBibliothek at this link.

Subjects: INFECTIOUS DISEASE › VECTOR-BORNE DISEASES › Flea-Borne Diseases, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › VECTOR-BORNE DISEASES › Flea-Borne Diseases › Plague (transmitted by fleas from rats to humans)
  • 6316

Regiment der jungen Kinder.

Augsburg: Günther Zainer, 1473.

This work has very little originality, being mainly derived from the Arabic physicians of 500 years before, but is noteworthy as being the first book on pediatrics printed in German. It includes what is probably the first reference in medical literature to microcephaly. It was reprinted several times before 1500. Facsimile in Sudhoff’s Erstlinge (see No. 6355). The edition of 1497 is the first printed work on pediatrics to contain an illustration. Facsimile reproduction with commentary, Zürich, J. Stocker, 1976. English translation in Ruhräh (No. 6354). ISTC No. im00527000. Digital facsimile from the Bayerische StaatsBibliothek at this link.

  • 6788

Synonyma medicinae, seu clavis sanationis.

Milan: Antonio Zarothus, 1473.

The first printed medical dictionary. It was originally published at Ferrara, 1471-2?, of which the only recorded copy is a fragment of 21 leaves in the Bodleian Library. ISTC No. is00526000. “The great work of Simon Januensis, physician, sub-deacon and capellanus to Pope Nicolas IV, called Clavis Sanationis by his friend the mathematician Campanus to whom he inscribed it, is better known as Synonyma Medicinae. In the preface he tells of thirty years of labour devoted to the work and of arduous travels in search of knowledge .. The authorities quoted show the working library of a physician at the beginning of the thirteenth century ... Most of the terms are briefly defined, and longer accounts with references to authors are given of the more important drugs, as of the poppy, taken chiefly from Dioscorides. Arabic and Greek names are about equally divided. No classification of drugs is attempted, but under such terms as “coloris” and “oleum” long lists are given. The ophthalmic definitions are excellent and taken, as a rule, from Demosthenes, whose works were then available” (Osler, quoted by Deborah Coltham, 02-2017). Digital facsimile of the 1473 edition from BnF Gallica at this link. Simon's lexicon is being edited and translated into English as a wiki project at Simon Online.

Subjects: Dictionaries, Biomedical › Lexicography, Biomedical, MEDIEVAL MEDICINE , MEDIEVAL MEDICINE › Italy
  • 43

Canon medicinae [Latin] (Lib I-V) (Tr: Gerardus Cremonensis) (5 vols.)

Milan: Philippus de Lavagnia, [for Johannes Antonius & Blasius de Terzago], 1473.

Avicenna is said to have written more than 100 books, most of which have perished. He wrote on the etiology of epilepsy and described diabetes, noticing the sweetish taste of the urine. His Canon is one of the most famous medical texts ever written; a complete exposition of Galenism. Neuburger says: “It stands for the epitome of all precedent development, the final codification of all Graeco-Arabic medicine”. It dominated the medical schools of Europe and Asia for five centuries. The above is a Latin translation by Gerard of Cremona.  ISTC no. ia01417500ISTC no.  ia01417700 describes another printing of the same translation issued in Strassburg by Adolf Rusch (the R printer), also in 1473. Digital facsimiles of all five volumes of that edition are available from the Bayerische StaatsBibliothek; volume 1 at this link.

Subjects: COUNTRIES, CONTINENTS AND REGIONS › Iran (Persia), MEDIEVAL MEDICINE , MEDIEVAL MEDICINE › Medieval Persian Islamic Medicine, Metabolism & Metabolic Disorders › Diabetes
  • 88

De rerum natura.

Brescia: Thomas Ferrandus, 1473.

The work is a reasoned system of philosophy written in verse. Book V attempts an explanation of the origin of the universe and life, and the gradual advance of man from the savage state. All these topics are treated from the viewpoint that the world is not itself divine nor directed by a divine agency. Definitive edition with translation, commentary, apparatus criticus and prolegomena by Cyril Bailey, 3 vols., London, Oxford University Press, 1947. ISTC No. il00332900.

Subjects: ANCIENT MEDICINE › Roman Empire
  • 12809

Liber Serapionis agregatus in medicinis simplicibus. Translatio Symois Januensis interprete Abraa iudeo tortuosiesi de arabico in latinu. Add: Galenus: De virtute centaureae.

Milan: Antonius Zarotus, 1473.
"Serapion the Younger ... is called "the Younger" to distinguish him from Serapion the Elder, aka Yahya ibn Sarafyun, an earlier medical writer with whom he was often confused. Serapion the Younger's Simple Medicaments was likely written in Arabic, but no Arabic copy survives, and there is no record of a knowledge of the book among medieval Arabic authors.[1] The book was translated to Latin in the late 13th century and was widely circulated in late medieval Latin medical circles.[2] Portions of the Latin text make a good match with portions of a surviving Arabic text Kitab al-adwiya al-mufrada attributed to Ibn Wafid (died 1074 or 1067).[3] The entire Latin text is very heavily reliant on medieval Arabic medicinal literature; and it is essentially just a compilation of such literature. It is exceedingly clear that the book was not originally written in a Latin language.[2]

"In the title Simple Medicaments, "simple" means non-compound: a practical medicine most often consisted of a mix of two or more "simples". The work was written for physicians and apothecaries. In the book's early part, Serapion the Younger classifies substances according to their medicinal properties, and discourses on their actions.[5] The remainder and largest part of the book is a compendium of information on individual medicaments quoted from DioscoridesGalen, and numerous named medieval Arabic writers on medicaments, with relatively brief supporting remarks by himself" (Wikipedia article on Serapion the Younger, accessed 5-2020).

ISTC No. is00467000. Digital facsimile from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek at this link.

Subjects: PHARMACOLOGY › PHARMACEUTICALS › Materia medica / Herbals / Herbal Medicines
  • 13028

De balneis. Add: Francesco da Siena: Dicta de balneo Petrioli. Bonaventura de Castello: Recepta aquae balnei de Porrecta.

Padua: Johannes de Reno, 1473.

First printed edition of da Foligno's treatise on bathing together with the first printing with a definite date of Castelli's work. ISTC No. ig00133000. Remarkably the ISTC cites two different separate undated printings of Bonaventura de Castello's work on the baths of Porretta both published about 1473. This dated edition also included a text by Francesco da Siena on the baths of Petrioli. These were among the earliest printings of texts concerning bathing, and very early printings on any medical subject. They probably served commercial purposes in advertising the baths as well as providing therapeutic advice.
Digital facsimile from Bayerische StaatsBibliothek at this link.

Subjects: THERAPEUTICS › Balneotherapy
  • 5113

De epidemia et peste.

Basel: Martin Flach, circa 1474.

One of the earliest works written on public health, and one of the earliest printed medical books. It was first printed in Arnaldus de Villanova’s De arte cognoscendi venena (Padua, 1473; Mantua, 1473). Above is the first separate edition. ISTC no. iv00002000. Digital facsimile from Harvard University Libraries at this link.

Subjects: INFECTIOUS DISEASE › VECTOR-BORNE DISEASES › Flea-Borne Diseases › Plague (transmitted by fleas from rats to humans), MEDIEVAL MEDICINE , MEDIEVAL MEDICINE › Portugal, PUBLIC HEALTH
  • 5552

La ciroxia vulgarmente fata.

Venice: Filippo di Pietro, 1474.

Saliceto was Professor of Surgery at Bologna about 1268; his treatise on surgery, written about 1275, was the leading work on the subject in the 13th century. William broke with tradition by claiming that pus formation was bad for wounds and for the patient. His treatise on surgery promoted the use of a surgical knife over cauterizing

This Italian translation is the first medical book printed in Italian, and probably the first work on surgery ever printed; the original Latin text was printed two years after the Italian edition. Book IV contains the first known treatise on surgical anatomy. English translation by Leonard D. Rosenman as The Surgery of William of Saliceto (2002).  ISTC no. is00027000. Digital facsimile from Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana at this link.

Subjects: ANATOMY › Medieval Anatomy (6th to 15th Centuries), MEDIEVAL MEDICINE › Italy, SURGERY: General , SURGERY: General › Wound Healing
  • 5816

De oculis eorumque egritudinibus et curis.

Ferrara: Severinus Ferrariensis, 1474.

The earliest printed book on ophthalmology. Grassi was the most celebrated ophthalmic surgeon of the Middle Ages. English translation by Casey A. Wood, 1929. ISTC No. ig00352000.

  • 146

Historiae. Tr: Laurentius Valla. Ed: Benedictus Brognolus. Add: Benedictus Brognolus: Epistola ad Nicolaum Donatum.

Venice: Jacobus Rubeus, 1474.

Born in Asia Minor, Herodotus travelled through Greece, Asia Minor and North Africa. His Historiae includes careful observations on the nature and habits of various peoples, and he may be regarded as the founder of anthropology. There are numerous English translations. One of the most interesting, and certainly the most elegantly printed is The History of Herodotus of Halicarnassus. The translation of G. Rawlinson, revised & annotated by A. W. Lawrence. To which is added a life of Herodotus. London: The Nonesuch Press, 1935. The editor was the brother of the more famous T. E. Lawrence. Digital facsimile of the 1474 edition from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek at this link. ISTC No. ih00088000. Regarding the other early printed editions of Herodotus see the entry at at this link. Regarding the first printed edition of Herodotus in the original Greek see the entry at at this link. Regarding how Herodotus used writing and messages in his Historiae see the entry at at this link.

  • 7151

Liber pandectarum medicinae.

Naples: [Printer of Silvaticus], 1474.

An encyclopedia of medicines, mostly derived from plants, completed about the year 1317. The medicines are arranged in alphabetical order. Two printed editions were issued in 1474. The first, issued in Naples, appeared on April 1, 1474; ISTC No. is00510000. The second, edited by Matthaeus Moretus was issued in Modena or Bologna by Johannes Vurster in July 1474; ISTC No. is00511000. Digital facsimile of the Modena /Bologna edition from the Bayerische StaatsBibliothek at this link.

Subjects: MEDIEVAL MEDICINE › Italy, PHARMACOLOGY › PHARMACEUTICALS › Materia medica / Herbals / Herbal Medicines, PHARMACOLOGY › Pharmacopeias › Dispensatories or Formularies
  • 6789

Aggregator, sive de medicinis simplicibus.

Strassburg, Austria: Adolf Rusch, 1475.

First printed edition of an encyclopedic dictionary of medicine, containing a large number of medical recipes based upon Greek and Arabic sources. Dondi completed the work in 1355. Manuscripts of his text are preserved in the Vatican (Vat. lat. 2462, 14th century), the Collegio di Spagna, Bologna (MS 153, dated 1425) and the Bibliothèque nationale de France (Lat. 6973 and 6974). ISTC No. id00358000. Digital facsimile from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek at this link.

Subjects: Dictionaries, Biomedical › Lexicography, Biomedical, Encyclopedias, MEDIEVAL MEDICINE , MEDIEVAL MEDICINE › Italy
  • 276.1

Buch der Natur.

Augsburg: Johann Bämler, 1475.

The first printed book to contain illustrations of animals, and the first notable scientific book in German. It discusses animals, birds, fish, anatomy, physiology, plagues, the medicinal value of plants and stones, etc. ISTC no. ic00842000. Digital facsimile from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek at this link.

Subjects: BOTANY, MEDIEVAL MEDICINE , MEDIEVAL MEDICINE › Germany, Medieval Zoology, NATURAL HISTORY, ZOOLOGY, ZOOLOGY › Ichthyology, ZOOLOGY › Illustration, ZOOLOGY › Ornithology
  • 9146

De conservatione sanitatis. With additions by Johannes Philippus de Lignamine.

Rome: Johannes Philippus de Lignamine, 1475.

This medieval guide to health and hygiene is sometimes misattributed to Hugo Benzi. It was one of the earliest medical or health texts to appear in print, and is unusual in that the printer, who was not a physician, indicated that he contributed to the text. ISTC No. ib00313000. Digital facsimile from Bayerische StaatsBibliothek at this link.

  • 10733

De honesta voluptate et valetudine.

Venice: Laurentius de Aquila and Sibylinus Umber, 1475.

The first two editions of De honesta voluptate et valetudine, the first printed work on cookery, diet, and health, by Italian humanist and papal librarian Bartholomeo Platina (Sacchi) appeared at roughly the same time. One was issued in Venice by Laurentius de Aquila and Sibylinus Umber on June 13, 1475. (ISTC No.: ip00762000). Another edition, which is sometimes called the first, might be slightly earlier or later. Neither the place, nor the printer, nor the date of printing is identified on that edition, but the Incunabula Short Title Catalogue No.: ip00761000 assigns the work to Ultrich Han of Rome between the years 1475 and 1479. 

Platina credited the origin of most of the recipes in this work to the professional chef Maestro Martino of Como.

  • 13544

Secreta mulierum et virorum (cum commento).

Cologne: Nicolaus Götz, circa 1475.

This work on the physiology and procreative "secrets" of women was attributed to Albertus Magnus, but is now thought to have been written by one of his disciples. It was one of the most widely printed medical works in the 15th century, of which 60 different, and sometimes augmented, printed editions are catalogued in the ISTC.
ISTC No. ia003010700

  • 39

Liber nonus ad Almansorem (cum expositione Silani de Negris).

Padua: B.V.C.P.F.F. (Bartholomaeus de Valdezoccho), 1476.

The Almansor, so named after the prince to whom it was addressed, was a popular textbook and one of the first general medical texts to be printed. Rhazes ranks with Hippocrates and Galen as one of the founders of clinical medicine. Six copies of this work are recorded by the ISTC: London: British Library (purchased by William Osler in 1915 and bequeathed by him); Munich: UB; Florence: Facoltà di Medicina, Padova: C; Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution, Dibner Library; St. Petersburg, Russia:. Aka.  ISTC No. ir00181500. When Osler purchased his copy it was thought to be the only copy surviving. For its full collation see the Bibliotheca Osleriana, No. 451.

Salani de Negris, whose commentary on Rhazes is included in this edition, and whose name is cited in this spelling by the ISTC, appeared to be virtually unknown except for this edition when I attempted to identify him further in July 2020.

Subjects: MEDIEVAL MEDICINE , MEDIEVAL MEDICINE › Medieval Persian Islamic Medicine, Persian (Iranian) Islamic Medicine
  • 4204

Summa conservationis et curationis. Chirurgia.

Piacenza: Johannes Petrus de Ferratis, 1476.

Contains (Cap. cxl) his classic account of renal edema: De duritie in renibus, an English translation of which is in Major, Classic descriptions of disease, 3rd ed., 1945, p. 527.  ISTC no. is00032000.

Subjects: Hygiene, MEDIEVAL MEDICINE , MEDIEVAL MEDICINE › Italy, NEPHROLOGY › Renal Disease, SURGERY: General
  • 52

Articella seu opus artis medicinae. Con: Johannitius: Isagoge ad tegni Galeni. Philaretus: De pulsibus; Theophilus Protospatharius: De urinis. Hippocrates: Aphorismi (comm: Galenus; tr: Constantinus Africanus); Prognostica (comm: Galenus); De regimine acutorum morborum (comm: Galenus; tr: Gerardus Cremonensis). Galenus: Liber Tegni, sive Ars medica (comm: Hali; tr: Gerardus Cremonensis).

Padua: Nicolaus Petri, 1476.

A collection of Greek, Roman and Byzantine texts on medicine, written in Latin, that was mainly used as medical school textbook or reference manual between the 13th and 16th centuries. The Articella grew around a synthetic exposition of classical Greek medicine written in Baghdad by the Nestorian Christian Hunayn bin Ishaq (Johannitius), who frequently translated from Greek to Syriac to Arabic. His synthesis was based on Galen's Ars medica (Techne iatrike; Questions on medicine for students) and thus became known in Europe as Isagoge Ioannitii ad tegni Galieni. The collection includes works of Hippocrates, Galen,Theophilus Protospatharius, Johannitius, and the Byzantine physician Philaretus. As a medical library in one convenient volume, which underwent six editions in the 15th century and many other editions in the first half of the 16th century, the work reflects changing attitudes to various ancient texts and translations through the evolution of its contents.  ISTC no. ia01142500. Digital facsimile from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek at this link.

Subjects: ANCIENT MEDICINE › Greece, ANCIENT MEDICINE › Roman Empire, BIBLIOGRAPHY › Manuscripts & Philology › Translations to and from Arabic, BYZANTINE MEDICINE, Education, Biomedical, & Biomedical Profession, MEDIEVAL MEDICINE
  • 274
  • 275
  • 462

De animalibus. Translated by Theodorus Gaza. Edited by Ludovicus Podocarthus.

Venice: Johannes de Colonia and Johannes Manthen, 1476.

Includes Aristotle's De historia animalium, De partibus animalium, and De generatione animalium. Aristotle was the first scientist to gather empirical evidence about the biological world through observation. By his careful observations and excellent accounts of the natural history of those living creatures which he was able to investigate in De historia animalium Aristotle may be considered the first scientific naturalist. English translation in his Works...edited by J. A. Smith and W. D. Ross, Oxford, 1910, vol. 4.

Aristotle's De partibus animalium is the first animal physiology. English translation in his Works edited by Smith and Ross, vol. 5. That edition excluded annotations by the translator,  William Ogle, that were published in the edition of London, 1882.

Aristotle's De generatione animalium is the first textbook on embryology. "The depth of Aristotle's insight into the generation of animals has not been surpassed" (Needham). English translation in his Works, edited Smith & Ross, vol. 5. Later translations are also available.

ISTC: ia00973000

Digital facsimile from Bayerische StaatsBibliothek at this link

  • 1791

De viribus herbarum carmen.

Naples: imp. per Arnoldum de Bruxella, 1477.

De viribus herbarum carmen has been attributed to Macer Floridus, a pseudonym of Odo of Meung, who lived in the Loire area of France towards the end of the eleventh century. Macer's unillustrated text described the medicinal properties of 77 herbs and was written in Latin hexameter, a poetic verse form that was most likely employed as a mnemonic device for physicians, apothecaries and others.

"The text titled De Viribus Herbarum (On properties of plants) has been traditionally attributed to Odo de Meung (Odo Magdunensis), who is believed to have lived during the first half of the 11th century and was from Meung on the Loire. Recent research has shown, however, that the De Viribus Herbarum was probably written in an earlier version, perhaps during the tenth century in Germany. The text was further expanded, including new data from the translation of Arabic texts into Latin in Salerno from the end of the 11th century onward. If this is the case, this text is good evidence of the continuity of scientific activity in the Middle Ages: its most ancient parts come from a period when there was a revival of interest in botany and a recovery of the classical tradition, while the most recent additions integrate the contribution of the Arabic world" (Hunt Botanical Library website, accessed 2009).

ISTC no. im00001000. Digital facsimile of the unillustrated first edition from the Bayerisches Staatsbibliothek at this link.

The first edition of this work illustrated with woodcuts appears to be a Geneva edition printed circa 1500: ISTC No.: im00005000.

Subjects: BOTANY, MEDIEVAL MEDICINE , MEDIEVAL MEDICINE › France, PHARMACOLOGY › PHARMACEUTICALS › Materia medica / Herbals / Herbal Medicines
  • 1794


Augsburg: Günther Zainer, circa 1477.

The first German pharmacopeia, and a very early work written and published in the vernacular. The book was an important German text of popular medicine in its day. Digital facsimile from the Bayerische StaatsBibliothek at this link.

See James Follan: Manuscripts of Ortolfs von Bayerlants ‚Arzneibuch‘: Their contents, exemplifying German mediaeval „Artesliteratur“. In: Fachliteratur des Mittelalters. Festschrift Gerhard Eis. Hrsg. von Gundolf Keil, Rainer Rudolf, Wolfram Schmitt und Hans J. Vermeer (Stuttgart, 1968) pp.  31–52. Also: James Follan (Ed.), Das Arzneibuch Ortolfs von Baierland. Nach der ältesten Handschrift (14. Jahrhundert) (Stadtarchiv Köln W 4° 24*) (= Veröffentlichungen der Internationalen Gesellschaft für Geschichte der Pharmazie e.V. Neue Folge, Bd. 23. Stuttgart: Wissenschaftliche Verlags-Gesellschaft, 1963. ISTC No. io0010900.


Subjects: MEDIEVAL MEDICINE , PHARMACOLOGY › PHARMACEUTICALS › Materia medica / Herbals / Herbal Medicines, PHARMACOLOGY › Pharmacopeias
  • 1959.3

Regimen sanitatis Salernitanum (With commentary by [Pseudo-Arnoldus de Villa Nova]). Add: Arnoldus de Villa Nova: Regimen sanitatis ad regem Aragonum.

Leuven (Louvain), Belgium: Johannes de Westfalia, circa 1477 – circa 1483.

Probably originating about 1160, the Regimen sanitatis from the medical school at Salerno (where medicine was first treated as a separate science) had greater popular influence than virtually any other medieval medical tract. This collection of very sensible dietary and hygienic precepts was first printed with the famed commentary on the Regimen by Arnald of Villanova. The citation (ISTC no. ir00061000) is one of six undated editions, of which four were issued by Johannes de Westfalia. All were probably printed around 1480-85; no order of priority can be definitely established. English translation by Thomas Paynel, [London, 1535]. See Nos. 49-51. Digital facsimile of the edition printed between 1477 and 1483 from the Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Düsseldorf at this link.

  • 10725

Liber phsionomiae [and other works].

Venice: Jacobus de Fiviz(z)ano, 1477.

"Composed between 1209 and 1226, the first of the two primary texts discusses human generation — anatomy, physiology, astrology, sexual behavior, conception and the health of the fetus. The second part, the Physiognomy proper, goes head to toe, to determine a person’s character, vices and virtues by interpreting body parts. It draws on Aristotle and Rhazes and was translated into Spanish, Italian, French, German and Polish. The short tracts are on urology, dreams and the differences between genera and species of animals. This last flows from Michael’s translations of Averroës’ De animalibus, of parallel writings by Aristotle and of the Abbreviatio de animalibus of ibn Sina. This collection of texts influenced, i.a., Thos. Hill’s Contemplation of Mankinde (1571, etc.) and Aristotle’s Masterpiece" (McKittrick Rare Books, Medicine 1477-1755).

ISTC No. im00551000. Digital facsimile from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek at this link.

Subjects: ALTERNATIVE, Complimentary & Pseudomedicine › Physiognomy, ANATOMY › Medieval Anatomy (6th to 15th Centuries), EMBRYOLOGY, MEDIEVAL MEDICINE , PHYSIOLOGY, SEXUALITY / Sexology, UROLOGY
  • 361


Pavia: Antonius de Carcano, 1478.

First dated printed edition of the first medieval book devoted solely to anatomy, written by Mondino for his students in 1316. An earlier, but undated edition, of which only 3 copies are recorded, appeared in Padua about 1475 (ISTC no. im00871200). Mondino re-introduced human dissection, which had been neglected for 1500 years before him. He was the most noted dissector of his period, and he set forth the medieval anatomical vocabulary, deriving it mainly from Arabic. Singer, in his translation of the work,The Fasciculo di medicina, Venice 1493; with an introduction etc. by Charles Singer, . . . [including a] translation of the "Anathomia" of Mondino da Luzzi (1925), added an ample glossary of terms of Arabic origin. Facsimile reproduction in E. Wickersheimer’s Anatomies de Mondino dei Luzzi et de Guido de Vigevano, Paris, 1926. ISTC no. im00871500. Digital facsimile from Universität Tübingen at this link.

Subjects: ANATOMY › Medieval Anatomy (6th to 15th Centuries), MEDIEVAL MEDICINE , MEDIEVAL MEDICINE › Italy
  • 20
  • 3666.81
  • 5548.1
  • 5733.5
  • 6375

De medicina. Ed: Bartholomaeus Fontius.

Florence: Nicolaus Laurentii, Alamanus, 1478.

De Medicina is the oldest Western medical document after the Hippocratic writings. Written about 30 CE, it remains the greatest medical treatise from ancient Rome, and the first Western history of medicine. Celsus’s superb literary style won him the title of Cicero medicorum. De medicina deals with diseases treated by diet and regimen and with those amenable to drugs and surgery. The surgical chapters contain the first accounts of the use of ligature, excellent descriptions of lateral lithotomy and herniotomy, and the earliest discussion of the surgical remedies for mutilations -- what we now call plastic surgery, including plastic operations for restoration of the nose, lips, eyelids, ears, etc. Celsus also included numerous important contributions to dentistry, including some of the earliest Western accounts of the treatment of toothache, oral surgery, tooth extraction, and fractures of the jaw.

The text of De Medicina seems to have been neglected at some point during the Middle Ages, and when it was no longer copied, it was eventually lost. A copy was discovered in Milan in 1443. ISTC no. ic00364000. Digital facsimile from the Bayerische StaatsBibliothek at this link.



Subjects: ANCIENT MEDICINE › Roman Empire, DENTISTRY, History of Medicine: General Works, NUTRITION / DIET, PLASTIC & RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY, SURGERY: General , SURGERY: General › Hernia, UROLOGY › Urinary Calculi
  • 3666.83
  • 5556

Chirurgia [French]. Translated by Nicolaus Panis.

Lyon: [Nicolaus Philippi and Marcus Reinhart], for Barthélemy Buyer, 1478.

Guy de Chauliac studied medicine and surgery in Montpellier and Paris, and served as the personal physician to Popes Clement VI, Innocent VI and Urban V. His Chirurgia magna, written in the early 1360s, remained a standard surgical text up to the time of Ambroise Paré. The work was a compilation of the best medical ideas of the time, containing very little original material and drawing heavily upon the classical Greek and Arabic medical writings; however, Guy often used his own experience as a basis for criticism of those canonical texts.

The book’s seven chapters cover a broad range of subjects, from cancers to wounds to dentistry. Of particular interest is Guy’s insistence that surgeons study anatomy (“the surgeon who is ignorant of anatomy carves the human body as a blind man carves wood”), and his description, in his chapter on abscesses and tumors, of the Avignon plagues of 1348 and 1360, which he blamed upon the Jews and an evil conjunction of the planets. The book’s preface (“Capitulum singulare”) is an essay on the general facts that Guy thought all surgeons should know, including the liberal arts, diet, surgical instruments and operating methods; it also contains a brief history of medicine in the form of notes on earlier physicians and surgeons

Guy distinguished the various kinds of hernia from varicocele, hydrocele, and sarcocele, and described an operation for the radical cure of hernia. His book includes Guy’s views on fractures, and gives an excellent summary of the dentistry of that period. Guy discussed the anatomy of the teeth and their eruption. He also listed the maladies to which the teeth are subject, and their cures, including hygienic rules which for the most part remain true today. He described the double-lever pelican and its method of use. He also recorded how surgeons were using botanic medicines to prevent their patients from feeling pain during operations.

The first edition of 1478 was the first important medical book printed in French. ISTC no. ig00560700.  This edition is extremely rare; the ISTC cites only two copies, both in Paris: Paris BnF; Moulins BM (imperfect, fragment).

Subjects: ANESTHESIA, DENTISTRY › Dental Anatomy & Physiology, DENTISTRY › Dental Instruments & Apparatus, DENTISTRY › Dental Pathology, INSTRUMENTS & TECHNOLOGIES › Dental Instruments, MEDIEVAL MEDICINE , MEDIEVAL MEDICINE › France, SURGERY: General , SURGERY: General › Hernia
  • 5115

Tractatus de pestilentia.

Augsburg: Johann Keller, 14781482.

The most widely disseminated of all plague tracts from the time of the Black Death, of which 33 printed editions appeared in the 15th century. A French rhymed version appeared in 1476, but this version is very different from the prose, and from the pre-printing manuscripts that are known. The plague tracts from the Black Death represent the first productions of a large-scale public health effort in Europe. ISTC No. ij00015000. Digital facsimile from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek at this link.

Subjects: INFECTIOUS DISEASE › VECTOR-BORNE DISEASES › Flea-Borne Diseases › Plague (transmitted by fleas from rats to humans), MEDIEVAL MEDICINE , MEDIEVAL MEDICINE › France, PUBLIC HEALTH
  • 1959.2

Von Bewahrung und Bereitung der Weine.

Esslingen: Konrad Fyner, 1478.

The first printed book on wine, its production and preservation, translated from the Latin by Wilhelm von Hirnkofen. It discusses the value of wine in diet and as a medication. Wine has been called the oldest documented human-made medicine. Egyptian papyri and Sumerian tablets dating back to 2200 BCE detail the medicinal role of wine. Wine was used variously as a safe alternative to drinking water, as an antiseptic for treating wounds, as a digestive aid, and as a cure for a wide range of ailments including  lethargy, diarrhea and pain from child birth. 

In 1943 medical historian Henry Sigerist issued a facsimile of the first edition, with an English translation and introduction, entitled The Earliest Printed Book on Wine. ISTC no. ia01080000. Digital facsimile of the first printed edition from the Bayerische StaatsBibliothek, München at this link



  • 276

De animalibus. Edited by Fernandus Cordubensis (Fernando de Córdoba).

Rome: Simon Nicolai Chardella, de Lucca, 1478.

Albertus was a Dominican monk and the most eminent naturalist of the 13th century; his work on animals contained a good deal of personal observation. He was the first to comment on virtually all of the writings of Aristotle, thus making them accessible to wider academic debate. The study of Aristotle also brought him to study and comment on the teachings of Muslim academics, notably Avicenna and Averroes. It has been said that most modern knowledge of Aristotle was preserved and presented by Albertus. The influence of his writings, many of which were theological, is attested by the fact that there were 300 printed editions of different works by him published in the 15th century. The edition of 1478 is the earliest cited by the ISTC (No. ia00223000). 

Subjects: Medieval Zoology, NATURAL HISTORY, ZOOLOGY
  • 6934

De materia medica. Ed: Petrus de Abano. Comm: Petrus de Abano.

Colle di Val d'Elsa, Italy: Johannes de Medemblick, 1478.

The first printed edition of Dioscorides, translator unidentified. A Greek physician from Anazarbus in Cilicia (now Turkey), Dioscorides traveled to the Greek mainland, to Crete, Egypt and Petra. He is believed to have served in the army of the emperor Nero, and may have practiced in Rome in the first century CE. His work, which was of great practical medicinal value, remained in circulation throughout the Middle Ages, in Latin, Greek, and Arabic versions, and was often supplemented with commentary and additions from Arabic and Indian sources. The text which Medemblick published in print was a medieval Latin translation, reworked into alphabetical order, with commentary by the thirteenth century professor of medicine at Padua, Pietro d' Abano. ISTC No. id00261000. Digital facsimile from the Bayerisches Staatsbibliothek at this link.

Subjects: ANCIENT MEDICINE › Roman Empire, BOTANY, PHARMACOLOGY › PHARMACEUTICALS › Materia medica / Herbals / Herbal Medicines
  • 7086

Halieutica, sive de piscatu. [Translated by Lorenzo Lippi, with recipes for cooking added by Lippi.]

Colle di Val d'Elsa, Italy: Bonus Gallus, 1478.

The didactic poem on fish and fishing by Oppian of Anazarbus, a 2nd-century Greco-Roman poet, survived the Middle Ages essentially in its entirety, consisting of 3500 lines in Greek. The poem was dedicated to the emperors Marcus Aurelius and Commodus, allowing it be dated within their rules. Oppianus is considered relatively accurate from the scientific standpoint in his descriptions of fish; he made the effort to refute common errors. First English translation by Diaper and Jones as Oppian's Halieuticks of the nature of fishes and fishing of the ancients In V books. Translated from the Greek with an account of Oppian's life and writings and a catalogue of his fishes (Oxford, 1722). ISTC No. io00065000. Digital facsimile of the 1478 edition from the Bayerische StaatsBibliothek at this link. Digital facsimile of the 1722 English translation from the Internet Archive at this link.

Subjects: LITERATURE / Philosophy & Medicine & Biology, NATURAL HISTORY, NATURAL HISTORY › Late Antiquity, NUTRITION / DIET, ZOOLOGY › Ichthyology, Zoology, Natural History, Ancient Greek / Roman / Egyptian
  • 17

Opera. In four parts dated: I) 15 Sept. 1479; II) 13 Oct. 1479; III) 21 Oct. 1479; IV) 8 Nov. 1479. Contents: [I] Praedicamenta, De interpretatione, Analytica priora (Tr: Boethius). Add: Porphyrius: Isagoge in Aristotelis Praedicamenta (Tr: Boethius). Gilbertus Porretanus: Liber sex principiorum. Boethius: Divisiones. [II] Analytica posteriora (Tr: Jacobus Veneticus). [III] Sophistici elenchi, Topica (Tr: Boethius). [IV] Physica (Tr: Guilelmus de Moerbeka).

Augsburg: Ambrosius Keller, 1479.

Aristotle, at one time tutor to Alexander the Great, was, among other things, the first observational biologist, and the founder of comparative anatomy. His views had a profound influence in determining the direction of biological thought, as well as scientific thought in general. The Augsburg 1479 edition is the first of ten printed editions of Aristotle's works in Latin issued in the 15th century, and like all of them, it represents selections rather than his complete works. The 1479 edition is ISTC No. ia00960000. Digital facsimile from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek at this link

Subjects: BIOLOGY, BIOLOGY › Marine Biology, COMPARATIVE ANATOMY, Collected Works: Opera Omnia, PSYCHOLOGY, ZOOLOGY, Zoology, Natural History, Ancient Greek / Roman / Egyptian