D. Iasonis Pratensis Zyricei medici clarissimi de cerebri morbis: Hoc est, omnibus fermč . . .
by Pratensis, Jason ŕ
Basel: Henrichus Petrus, 1549. The First Book Devoted to Brain DisordersPratensis, Jason ŕ (1486-1558). D. Iasonis Pratensis Zyricei medici clarissimi de cerebri morbis: Hoc est, omnibus fermč (quoniam ŕ cerebro male affecto omnes ferč qui corpus humanum infestant, morbi oriuntur) curandis liber. . . . , 540,  pp. Basel: Henrichus Petrus . 8vo. 153 x 101 mm. Full blind-tooled morocco in antique style by the Aquarius BIndery. Binding a little tight, small oval library stamp effaced from title leaf, faint marginal dampstains on a few leaves, but very good. A few marginal notes in an early hand. The Haskell F. Norman copy, with his bookplate. First Edition. The first book devoted entirely to brain disorders. Pratensis (originally van de Velde) was the personal physician to Adolf van Bourgondie, margrave of Veere in the Netherlands; he was also the author of several books on topics such as sterility and childbirth. “In 1549, [Pratensis] published his last book, De cerebri morbis, ‘On the Diseases of the Brain,’ a volume of 540 pages divided into 33 chapters and covering every cerebral disorder and disease from headache to dimwittedness, from loss of memory, epilepsy, drunkenness, tremors, and convulsions to frenzy, lethargy, catalepsy, mania, melancholy and love . . . this book was probably the first full-length consideration of all the topics that would later fall within the domain of neurology, as well as much else besides” (Midefort, A History of Madness in Sixteenth-Century Germany, p. 152). Chapter 17 deals with mania, which Pratensis defined as a “mental corruption” caused by an excess of black bile; this condition could be brought about by a number of factors, including too much alcohol, religious fear, covetousness and Lutheranism(!). Pratensis recommended curing mania with diet, herbs, cooling baths, music, and well-regulated exercise and sleep; if these remedies failed, the more recalcitrant maniacs could be subdued with whips and chains. Adams P-2066. Garrison-Morton.com 4511.02. Norman 1740. (Inventory #: 43845)
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