De Medicina Aegyptiorum. Libri Quatuor and De Plantis Aegypti liber.ALPINI, Prospero
In Quibus Multa cum de vario mittendi sanguinis usu per venas, arterias, cucurbitulas, ac scarificationes nostris inusitatas, deq; inustionibus, & alijs chyrurgicis operationibus, tum de quamplurimis medicamentis apud Aegyptios frequentioribus, elucescunt.
Venetiis: Apud Franciscum de Franciscis Senensem. 1591.
First edition. 4to. ll. [xii], 150, 25 (index), [1. bl. torn]. Text in Latin. Roman and italic types, woodcut initials, publisher's woodcut device on title, seven woodcuts, two of which are full-page. Bound with: ALPINI, Prospero. De Plantis Aegypti liber. In quo no pauci, qui circa herbarum materiam irrepreserunt....atque obsoleta iacuerunt. Accessit etiam liber de Balsamo alias editus. 1592. Apud Franciscum de Franciscis Senensem. First edition. 4to. ll. [iv], 80, [8, index]. Fifty woodcut illustrations, thirty eight of which are full page. De Balsamo is the 1592 second edition (the first edition having been published in 1591) printed here with the De Plantis, with its own title page but continuous pagination. Bound in slightly later limp vellum. Note written in Latin by a previous owner on the front free endpaper. Some underlining in ink. Two blue circular stamps to the title page of De Medicina but almost rubbed out and illegible. Some pale damp staining. Overall this is a very good copy bringing together Prospero Alpini's three most important works. The celebrated woodcuts are in excellent condition.
Born near Vicenza, Prospero Alpini (1553-1616) studied medicine at the University of Padua. Between 1580 and 1583 he worked in Egypt as the doctor to the Venetian ambassador in Cairo. These three books are the result of his time in Africa. De Medicina Aegyptiorum is one of the first books devoted to non-Western medicine. It deals primarily with contemporary (i.e. Turkish) medical practices including moxibustion, the production of counter-irritation by placing burning or heated material on the skin which Alpinus introduced into European medicine.
De Plantis Aegypti is the first European book on the plants of Egypt. It is beautifully illustrated and describes for the first time the banana and the baobab, as well as the coffee plant. This book also shows Alpini to be a pioneer of the theory of plant sexuality which was later developed by Linnaeus. De balsamo, written in the form of dialogue, considers the history and medicinal uses of the balsam plant.