De Medicina AegyptiorumALPINUS, Prosper
Venice: Francesco dei Franceschi. 1591.
First edition. 8vo in 4s (235 by 170mm) Roman and italic types, woodcut initials, publisher's woodcut device on title, 5 text woodcuts, two of which are full-page. Rebound in eighteenth century calf, rebacked. Five raised bands, with decorative blind stamping to the panels save for the second panel which contains a burgundy label with the title in gilt and gilt decoration. Marbled endpapers.
An important work on the practice of medicine in Egypt. Alpinus (1553-1617) was a Venetian physician who spent several years in Egypt. One of the earliest European studies of non-Western medicine. Alpinus's work dealt primarily with contemporary (i.e. Turkish) practices observed during a three-year sojourn in Egypt. These included moxibustion--the production of counter-irritation by placing burning or heated material on the skin--which Alpinus introduced into European medicine. Alpinus’s work also contains the first printed account in Europe of the coffee plant. A very good copy of this important book.
Inscription of J.R.A Bailey on front free endpaper. Bailey was the founder of Drum magazine in South Africa and a leading figure in the anti-apartheid movement.