Opuscula anatomica.

Venice: Vincentius Luchinus excudebat, 1564.

First edition, very rare, of one of the most important of all anatomical books. It includes the first specific treatise on the kidney, the first account of the Eustachian tube in the ear, the first description of the thoracic duct, and the Eustachian valve, as well as the first systematic study of teeth. The fine etchings illustrating the edition “were the first eight in an intended series of forty-seven anatomical plates engraved by Giulio de’ Musi after drawings by Eustachi and his relative, Pier Matteo Pini, an artist. These were prepared in 1552 to illustrate a projected book entitled De dissensionibus ac controversiis anatomicis, the text of which was lost after Eustachi’s death. Had the full series of plates been published at the time of their completion, Eustachi would have ranked with Vesalius as a founder of modern anatomy” (Norman).

❧Grolier One Hundred Books Famous in Medicine 21; Heirs of Hippocrates 322; Norman 739. Garrison-Morton 801.

“In 1562 and 1563 Eustachi wrote a series of anatomical treatises on the kidneys (“De renum structura”), the organ of hearing (“De auditus organis”), the venous system (“De vena quae azygos graecis dicitur”) and the teeth (“De dentibus”), which he issued together under the title Opuscula anatomica. The treatise on the kidney, the first work devoted specifically to the organ, showed a detailed knowledge of the kidney surpassing any earlier work; it contained the first account of the adrenal (suprarenal) gland and a correct determination of the relative levels of the kidneys. The treatise on the ear provided the first post-classical account of the Eustachian tube, while the work on the azygos vein contained the first description of the thoracic duct and of the valvula venae in the right ventricle of the heart, the so-called “Eustachian valve.” In his treatise on dentistry Eustachi was the first to study the teeth in any great detail: basing his work on the dissection of fetuses and stillborn infants, he gave an important description of the first and second dentitions, described the hard outer tissue and soft inner structure of the teeth, and attempted an explanation of the problem (not yet completely solved) of the sensitivity of the tooth’s hard structure. This last work was also issued separately: it bears its own title-leaf dated 1563” (Norman).

The long search for the missing plates culminated in their discovery in the hands of a descendant of Pier Matteo Pini and their publication as Tabulae anatomicae (Rome, 1714) by Giovanni Maria Lancisi, the physician of Pope Clement XI and a successor to Eustachio in the chair of anatomy at the Sapienza. “The plates are strikingly modern, produced without the conventional sixteenth-century decorative accompaniments and framed on three sides by numbered rules providing coordinates by which any part of the image could be located… The images are generic figures, composites of many anatomical observations, and are mathematically as well as representationally exact” (ibid.).

Relatively little is known about the life of Bartolomeo Eustachi. He was born in San Severino, most probably in the district of Ancona, although some authors maintain that it may have been San Severino in Calabria. His year of birth has been given as 1500, 1510, 1513 (most probable), 1520, and even 1524. Bartolomeo was the son of Mariano Eustachi, a celebrated physician said to be of noble family, and Francesca (Benvenuti) Eustachi. Mariano insisted upon a well-rounded humanistic education, in the course of which Eustachi acquired such an excellent knowledge of Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic that he was able to edit an edition of the Hippocratic glossary of Erotian (1566) and is said to have made his own translations of Avicenna from the Arabic. He appears to have studied medicine at the Archiginnsio della Sapenza in Rome, but it is not known precisely when. He began to practice medicine about 1540. Eustachi’s talents were soon noticed by the duke of Urbino, who requested Eustachi as his personal physician. In 1547, Eustachi accepted the invitation to serve as physician to the duke’s brother, Cardinal Giulio della Rovere, whom Eustachi followed to Rome in 1549. There he became protomedico and was invited to join the medical faculty of the Collegia della Sapienza as the equivalent of professor of anatomy. This academic position granted him permission to obtain cadavers for dissection from the hospitals of Santo Spirito and Consolazione. With advancing years Eustachi was so severely afflicted by gout that he was compelled to resign his post at the Sapienza. He continued, however, to serve Cardinal della Rovere, and it was in response to the cardinal’s summons to Fossombrone in 1574 that he set forth, only to die on the way.

Adams E-1103; Choulant-Frank pp. 200-01; Garrison-Morton 801, 1093, 1139, 1228, 1538, and 3668; Grolier Medicine 21; Heirs of Hippocrates 322; NLM/Durling 1408; Norman 739; Wellcome 2091.

4to (198 x 140 mm), fine Italian 17th century half calf, 326 leaves, pp. [12], [40], 1 [1] 2-4 [1] 5-8 [1] 9-12 [1] 13-15 [1] 16-17 [1] 18 [1] 19 [1] 20-323 [1], [8] 1-95 [1] [164]. 8 engravings, printed on rector or verso of letterpress pages 1, 4, 9, 12, 15, 18, 19, 20, but not included inthe pagination. Ex-libris inscription to fly leaf: Ranutii Aloisi Scarpacci. A very fine and clean copy with no repairs.

Item #3555

Price: $50,000.00

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