Publisher Information: Strasbourg: Martinus Flach, 1513.
Mondino de’ Luzzi (1275?-1326). De omnibus humani corporis interioris menbris [sic] anathomia. 4to. pp. Woodcut of heart on leaf Fiiiiv; “Zodiac Man” woodcut on title and colophon leaf. Strasbourg: Flach, 1513 (colophon). 205 x 145 mm. 18th century red morocco gilt, spine repaired, some wear at spine and edges. Title-leaf repaired without loss of text, minor scattered foxing but very good. Copiously annotated in the margins of how many pages???? in a contemporary hand (notes slightly trimmed at margins). Modern bookplates.
Rare Early Illustrated Edition of Mondino’s classic anatomy textbook, apparently the only one to contain an image of the heart. This copy features extensive annotations, in what appears to be a 16th-century hand, commenting on Mondino’s text, particularly on the pages devoted to the abdominal organs and on the colophon’s “Zodiac Man” image. It is therefore a useful witness to how Mondino’s text was studied in the 16th century.
Mondino reintroduced human dissection—which had been neglected for the previous 1500 years—to the study of anatomy. His Anatomia, originally written in 1316 for the use of his students, first appeared in print in 1487; the work was the first to incorporate new anatomical knowledge gained since classical times. The Anathomia remained a standard textbook of anatomy for the next 200 years, unsurpassed until the work of Berengario da Carpi; indeed, Berengario da Carpi’s two great anatomical works, Commentaria cum amplissimis additionibus super anatomia Mundino (1521), and Isagogae breves (1522) are commentaries on Mondino’s work.
Mondino’s work was not intended to be a book of therapies or surgical procedures; rather, “it discoursed on how best to dissect a human body, demonstrated where all the organs lay, and indicated how they might interrelate in life. Like Galen and Celsus in antiquity, Mondino regarded a coherent understanding of the human body not simply as a curious piece of academic learning, but as the foundation of rational medical practice. His dissections were intended for human cadavers, rather than those of animals such as pigs and monkeys from which human parallels might be inferred . . . Mondino was the first, or at least the first major, public anatomist to teach directly from human cadavers, a procedure authorized by the Pope at the beginning of the fourteenth century” (Chapman, p. 142).
Mondino’s medieval text was unillustrated; some of the later printed editions were illustrated but not consistently. The heart woodcut added to this early 16th-century edition shows the ventriculus medius—a supposed “middle ventricle” within the heart’s septum—together with the orifices of the coronary vessels. Chapman, Physicians, Plagues and Progress, pp. 141-143. Choulant/Frank, pp. 88-96. Garrison-Morton.com 361 (1487 ed.).Book Id: 44527