1615 · Basel
Wilhelm Fabry of Hilden (1560-1634), or Fabricius, was one of the foremost surgeons of his time. The extent to which he raised the standards of surgery and amputation was considerable, and in many ways advanced the practice of lithotomy, obstetrics and gynaecology, orthapaedics, opthamology, and neuro-surgery. He had considerable mechanical ingenuity and devised many surgical instruments and medical apparatus.
The "New Feldt Arztny Buch" was first published in Basel in 1613; our copy belongs to the 1615 second edition which was "Enlarged and Improved by the Author" according to the title title. Only a fraction of the work, which consists of more than 700 pages, has ever been translated into English. In 1633 a 40-page section was translated into Latin ("Cista Militaris") which appeared in Part V of the "Cheirurgia militaris." This tract was then translated into English as "Cista Militaris, or, A military chest, furnished either for sea, or land, with convenient medicines, and necesary instruments" (30 pp. London, 1674 = Wing F72). In 1687 the English "Cista Militaris" was issued as part of the "Thesaurus chirurgiae: the chirurgical and anatomical works of Paul Barbette" (Wing B701).
Cockle relates that "Whilst on a visit to the fortified town of Morsk in the Low Countries in 1612, Fabricius was shown by the Governor of the place, the 'Military Chest' of Maurice of Orange, consisting of Medicines, Instruments, Linen, Rollers, and other necessaries, which things, he says, were properly arranged in a room ready to be packed in the chests as required. Thus stored, these chests were carried with the army in the field for the purpose of providing for the immediate wants of the wounded, who, as soon as possible after an engagement, were carried to the nearest town, and there left under the care of Physicians and Surgeons appointed by the State." Fabricius' own field medicine chest was adapted in Janus Abraham a Gehema's 1689 medical manual for field officers.
Only a single copy of either the 1613 and 1615 editions can be found outside Continental Europe, namely at the National Library of Medicine (1615 edition). It would appear that there is no copy of this book in the United Kingdom or Canada. CENSUS: 1613: UB Erlangen-Nurnberg, Zentralbibliothek Zurich, UB Basel, UB Munich, UB Salzburg, SB Berlin, UB Freiburg. 1615: Erfurt UB, Herzog-August-Bibliothek, UB Erlangen-Nurnberg, UB Eichstatt-Ingolstadt, SB Berlin, Royal Library Copenhagen, NLM, National Library of Sweden, Univ. Lausanne Bibl. Psychiatrique, Bibl. Sante Medecine Paris, Academie Medecine Paris, BnF.LITERATURE: See especially Ellis Jones, "The Life and Works of Guilhelmus Fabricius Hildanus (1560-1634)" in: Med Hist. 1960 Apr; 4(2): 112-134 and 1960 Jul; 4(3): 196209. See also Jack Edward McCallum, "Military Medicine: From Ancient Times to the 21st Century" (p. 116). Cockle, Bibliography of English Military Books up to 1634, no. 863. Nicholas Senn, "Medieval Military Surgery" in: Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics, V:6 (Dec. 1907) pp. 620-621.REFERENCES: Garrison/Morton 2142. Krivatsy 3857. Waller 2903. Hirsch/Hub. II, 464. VD17 23:239593U (ridiculously cataloging the work as "New FeldtArtzn[e]yBuch" which effectively prohibits the title from ever being found). (Inventory #: 1718)