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Heirs of Hippocrates

The Development of Medicine in a Catalogue of Historic Books

Complete Record - Heirs of Hippocrates No. 93

PIETRO D' ABANO (1250-1315?) Conciliator differentiarum philosophorum et medicorum. Gabriele di Pietro, for Thomas de Tarvisio 1476 [280] ll. (lacking first preliminary leaf). 39.3 cm.

Pietro d'Abano was one of the most illustrious and influential men of his time. A Paduan physician, he was consulted by such men as Pope Honorius IV and was in great demand for lectures, consultation, and teaching. Dante was among his pupils. A defender of Italian Averroism, Pietro disputed much of the church dogma and scholastic philosophy. For his heretical and outspoken views he ran afoul of the Inquisition and was condemned, but he died before he could be executed. The Conciliator is Pietro's greatest work and one which made a great impression on his age. In fact, its influence was such that its method of dialectics became the fashion for student dissertations and disputations at Padua through the seventeenth century. Pietro d'Abano presents the scattered medical knowledge, particularly from the Arabic and Grecian schools, in a series of questions with answers from both schools of thought, in true scholastic fashion, with the hope that the truth would emerge and the contradictions be resolved. Among important and novel views that Pietro expresses are that air has weight, that the heart is the source of veins and arteries, and that the brain is the source of nerves which convey sensation. This handsome copy is decorated with two fine gilt and colored initials and is rubricated throughout with initials in red and blue.

Cited references: Cushing, Incunabula 113 (1472 ed.); Goff P 432; Hain-Copinger 2; Klebs 773.2; Osler 7470 (1472 ed.); Waller 111; Wellcome 4940 (1483 ed.)

Gift of John Martin, M.D.

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