Publisher Information: Venice: Aldus, 1525.
The Aldine Galen
Galen (A.D. 129 / 130-199 / 200). Galeni librorum pars prima [secunda]. . . . Two volumes only (of five). 2 vols. in 1, folio. , 24, 180 [i.e., 181], 108; , 184, 106ff. Vol. I colophon leaf (p4) misbound after p1; Vol. I also lacking blank leaves F4 and & 6. Venice: in aedibus Aldi, et Andreae Asulani soceri, April 1525 (colophon). 317 x 227 mm. Full morocco, antique. First three leaves of Vol. I repaired, fore-edges of some leaves a little frayed, Marginal dampstaining affecting the first approximately 50 leaves and approximately the last 25 leaves, but a very good tall copy, otherwise quite clean, with a few early marginal annotations. Signature on title of the 19th-century scholar Joseph R. Gasquet, author of "The Radical Medicine of Galen in his Time", Brit. & Foreign Med.-Chir. Rev. 11 : 472-88).
Editio Princeps in Greek of the first two volumes (of five) of the magnificent Aldine Galen, which, by publishing in one place all the known Greek texts of Galen, marked a new era in both medical and philological scholarship. The collection's five folio volumes, the climax of nearly 100 years of active scholarship, represent the largest single body of text issued by the Aldine press, which had by then passed into the hands of Aldus Manutius's father-in-law Andreas Asulanus, Aldus having died in 1515 before he could fulfil his long-held desire to issue a new edition of Galen. Considering that Galen's works represent 25% of all surviving Greek literature, publishing this enormous work in one year would have been a major challenge for any printer or publisher. Asulanus, with the help of his sons Franciscus and Fredericus, continued Aldus's scholarly tradition, bringing out a number of Greek literary and historical editiones principes; "but whereas the family's not unlimited linguistic expertise might have sufficed to produce creditable editions of geographers and poets, it was clearly not up to the challenge the works of Galen presented. . . . To meet this challenge, the Pavian professor of medicine G. B. Opizzoni (ca. 1485-ca. 1532) was placed in charge of a large group of assistants recruited mainly from northern medical scholars then studying in Italy: John Clement (ca. 1495-1572), Edward Wotton (1492-1555), William Rose (ca. 1490-1525), and Thomas Lupset (1495-1530), all Brittani and followers of Thomas Linacre (ca. 1460-1524), and the Saxon Georg Agricola (1495-1555), of De re metallica fame.
" . . . The significance of the first printing of a classical author cannot be overestimated, especially a prolific one like Aristotle or Galen, whose works were not to be found in a single or even very few manuscripts, but had to be pieced together from as many manuscripts as the printer could lay his hands on. Not only did the texts of these authors go from being the private reserve of a few fortunate manuscript-owners and their friends to being available throughout the scholarly world-and that in a standard, corrected form-but their survival from the naufragium of the middle ages was once and for all assured" (Paul Potter, in Norman, 100 Books Famous in Medicine, no. 5).
The Aldine Greek Galen was quickly adopted as authoritative, and was relied on heavily by subsequent translators of Galen's works. One of the rarest of Aldine publications, only two or three complete sets of this work have been sold during the past 30 years. A complete set, if it could be found, would be worth in the range of $50,000 or more. We are offering the first two volumes of this work at an affordable price; these volumes contain 37 (nearly one-quarter) of the 160 Galenic texts identified in Durling's bibliography. Among these are the Anatomici libri novem, Galen's major anatomical work; De motu muscularum, containing the first description of artificially stimulated contraction of dissected muscle tissue; works on dissection of the nerves, veins and uterus; the embryological De foetum formatione; and ten works on pharmacology and drug therapy, comprising all of Vol. II. Renouard, p. 101. Adams G-32. Ahmanson-Murphy 202-203. Stillwell III-374.Book Id: 22177