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Rare Commentary On Cesalpino's Cardiology

[Cesalpino] TAURELLO, Nicolaus. Alpes Caesae, Hoc est, Andreae Caesalpini Itali, Monstrosa & Superba Dogmata Scriptum acre, acutum & limatum, Philosophiae studiosis ad enodandas & enucleandis controversias & disputationes Physicas difficilimas admodum utile & necessarium. Frankfurt, Zacharias Palthenius, 1597.

Large 8vo. [11.5 x 18.25 c,], (4) ff., 39 (1), 1069 pp., without final blank. Bound in 18th-century calf, rubbed, spine in 6 compartments, 5 with intricately tooled princely crown, gilt morocco title label in 6th. Some punctures and tears to spine and covers. Owership inscription of Karl Friedrich Dingelstadt, dated 1740, Halberstadt on front end pastedown, along with some bibliographic remarks, most likely in his hand. Earlier ownership inscription of Matthias Tiling on title, as well as J. Vogt (?) 1732. A handful of marginal comments and some neat underlining; small paper flaws on pp. 135/6, 567/68 affecting a few words on each; some foxing and spotting on title and scattered leaves, with light browning and occasional waterstaining to others. Notwithstanding, a good copy in a handsome, if worn, 18th-century binding.


Rare first edition of this commentary on Cesalpino's Peripeteticarum Quaestionum (1571) by Nicolai Taurelius, Professor of Medicine and Philosophy in Altdorf, of interest for the contemporary reception of Cesalpino as well as the spread of his doctrines outside of Italy. The work takes the form of a classical commentary, with detailed textual discussion of each topic in Cesalpino?s text, and it accordingly contains a section on the heart (pp. 849-903). It is this section which concerns that part of Cesalpino's work for which he is definitely credited with coining the phrase "circulation of the blood", and is sometimes credited with anticipating Harvey. Although a natural outgrowth of the commentary tradition or the living practice of academic disputation, it is relatively unusual to see such a thorough treatment accorded a contemporary author (Cesalpino 1519-1603).

Taurellus (1547-1606) wrote widely on philosophy and medicine. He presided at a thesis credited to one Gregorius Sytschius on the heart in 1585. A shadowy figure, he was recently the subject of a Polish language monograph: Stefan Folaron, Listy Mikolaja Taurellusa 1547-1606 (1994).

NUC lists Boston Public, Columbia, NLM, and College of Physicians (Phila). OCLC adds Harvard Divinity School.

* Adams T-280; not in Durling; see U. Viviani, Vita ed opere di Andrea Cesalpini (Arezzzo 1923).

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