Tardarum passionum libri V.
The High Point of Graeco-Roman Medical Achievement
Caelius Aurelianus (fl. 5th cent. A.D.). Caelii Aureliani Siccensis tardarum passionum libri V. D. Oribasii Sardi Iuliani Caesaris archiatri Euporiston . . . Medicinae compen: . . . Curationum . . . Trochiscoru[m] confect:. . . . Folio. , 345 (i.e., 245) pp. Basel: Henricus Petrus, August 1529. 310 x 200 mm. Old (16th cent.?) vellum-covered boards, a little worn and stained, rebacked in 16th-century style. Gutter & lower margins of title-leaf skilfully repaired, occasional browning & foxing, 1 or 2 small tears skilfully mended. Old marginal notes in ink on several leaves, mostly in the beginning. Very good copy.
Editio Princeps. Garrison-Morton 1959.1, 4808.1, and 4915.1.
"From a clinical point of view, the two works of Caelius Aurelianus, based on Greek originals by Soranus of Ephesus now lost, represent the high-point of Graeco-Roman medical achievement [emphasis ours]." The Greek physician Soranus of Ephesus, one of the most important medical practitioners in the Roman Empire of the second century A.D., was a member of the methodist school of medicine, which rejected the theory of humors in favor of one based on atomism; it was this school that first developed the useful distinction between chronic and acute diseases, which Soranus detailed in his Peri oxeon kai chronion pathon. This work is now lost, so that Caelius's Latin rendition represents the only extant version of this important treatise.
The present work, containing only the books on chronic disease, marks the first appearance in print of any part of Caelius's Latin version of Soranus (a partial edition of the books on acute disease, edited by Johann Guinter von Andernach, was published in Paris by Simon de Colines in 1533; and the first complete edition of the books on chronic and acute disease was published in Lyons in 1566). Tardarum passionum contains one of the best early descriptions of epilepsy (G-M 4808.1), including its convulsive and comatose forms; see Temkin, The Falling Sickness (2nd ed. 1971), which cites Caelius's work more than thirty times in its discussion of epilepsy in antiquity. Also included is Caelius's discussion of insanity, which represents the most sensible and humane treatment of this disorder among the ancient medical writers; see G-M 4915.1. Published with Caelius's text are some excerpts form the writings of the Greek physician Oribasius (fl. 4th cent. A.D.), best known for his medical compendium Iatrikai synagogai (Collectiones medicae). D.S.B. Garrison, History of Neurology, p. 22. Norman 386. Stillwell 528.
Book Id: 29265