Marburg; Marburg: Eucharius Gervicornus; Christian Egenolph, 1537; .
A very attractive sammelband, comprising two rare illustrated works of pre-Vesalian anatomy, in their original untouched vellum binding: the enlarged second edition of Dryander’s Anatomia capitis humani (1536), the first significant analysis of the anatomy of the head, united with his edition of the Anathomia of Mundinus, known as the “restorer of anatomy” for his innovative dissection practice. The illustrations are, with those of Berengario, the best that were published before Vesalius’ Fabrica in 1543 (Lind, p. 297). The 1536 work, a thin quarto of 14 leaves containing 11 woodcut illustrations of the anatomy of the head, is of extreme rarity (only two copies at American/British auctions since the 19th century; neither Cushing, Osler nor Waller owned a copy). It was probably published in a small edition because Dryander intended it to serve as the preliminary to a full-scale illustrated anatomy, but the project was abandoned after publishing the first part, the present Anatomiae (hence pars prior). This copy is remarkable for having the folding table, which is almost always lacking (it is apparently lacking from the Wellcome and Waller copies, for example). The second work is the finest illustrated edition of the first book devoted to anatomy (and the first to incorporate new knowledge gained since antiquity). His illustrations, based on actual dissection, whether his own or others currently in circulation, make “Dryander’s illustrated anatomical works ... an important milestone of anatomical illustration” (Persaud). It is particularly appropriate to find these two works bound together, because Dryander began his translation of Mundinus at the end of the Anatomiae, so the second work could be viewed as a continuation of the first. Like many humanist scholars of the period, Eichmann used a Hellenized version of his name, both Dryander and Eichmann translating as ‘oak-man’. His likeness, later engraved by Thomas de Bry, shows him holding a small oak leaf by way of identification. ABPC/RBH record only a handful of copies of each work in the last 30 years: I. Christie’s 2004 (lacking folding table) $9560; Christie’s 1998 (Norman copy, $31050); Christie’s 1988 ($11758); Sotheby’s 1982 (lacking table, $5390); Swann 1979 ($8800). II. Jeschke 2011 (€7440); Swann 2007 ($7800); Christie’s 2005 ($18000); Sotheby’s 1990 ($2250); Christie’s 1988 (£1600); Swann 1979 ($6800).
Provenance: Contemporary ownership inscription on title of first work (Joseph Longis); rear paste-down with the marking of Blondelet, and with his preferred custom morocco box by Duval. “Jean Blondelet was probably the greatest, but least known, French collector of rare medical and scientific books in the 20th century” (Jeremy Norman).
“Johannes Eichmann was born on June 27, 1500, in the small town of Wetter, north of Marburg in upper Hesse, Germany. The son of a wealthy burgher, he received his early education in a local school from the prominent theologian Johannes Poenilius. In 1518, he entered the University of Erfurt, where he received his degree under Dr. Matthew Moyer. Remaining at the university, he joined the College of St. Mary’s Chapel to study under the physician Euricius Cordus. Cordus, the father of the eminent botanist Valerius Cordus (1515-44), was responsible for the education of the medical students at the university. Since he knew Eichmann’s family in Wetter, he gave particular attention to Eichmann’s early studies. Under his tutelage, Eichmann received his Master of Arts degree; he enjoyed anatomy and mathematics, but did well enough in medicine to earn a reputation eclipsing his teacher.
“In 1524, Eichmann left the university: the pressures of the Reformation and the start of a plague forced him to flee to Bourges. According to Cordus, the university life had deteriorated: ‘Priests and monks are getting married all the time. Our university is in decay, the licentiousness of the students is almost as great as the licentiousness of the soldiers in their field camps.’ The plague followed him to Bourges, and sometime in 1527 or 1528, he moved to Paris to continue his medical studies.
“It was during this period that the Renaissance emphasis on medical humanism was fostered by European universities, including those at Bologna, Padua and Paris. Galen’s teachings, recently translated by physicians and botanists, … were endorsed by Eichmann’s teacher, Johannes Guenther (1505-74), who arrived at Paris at approximately the same time as Eichmann. Despite the stimulus of this classical scholarship, the educational milieu of medieval scholasticism still supported a dogmatic approach to learning and a blind devotion to Galenic tradition … The dissection of human corpses had been established as a formal part of the medical studies in Paris and by 1530 the University was crowded with anatomists. Although crude, the public dissections were held three or four times a year. Nonstop, for obvious reasons, the professor of medicine supervised the hurried labors of a barber or surgeon with an “ostensor” pointing out the relevant structures. These older, more formal, techniques were challenged by the physician-anatomists such as Jacopo Berengario da Carpi (ca. 1460-1530), who recommended “hands on” dissection by the professor with attention to personal observation of anatomical detail.
“Once the dissection was accomplished, the medical student had to return to non-illustrated texts for reference. For almost 200 years, Pietro d’Abano (1250-1316), Mondino de’ Luzzi (Mundinus, d. 1326), Alessandro Achillini (1463-1512), Nicolo Massa (1499-1569), and Gabriele Zerbi (1468-1505) wrote extensively on human anatomy, even correcting Galen on minor points, without the aid of diagrams. Although several graphic texts had been published, the drawings were crude and followed Galenic theory with scholastic diligence. In 1518, Phryesen published the Spiegel der Artzny, which contained the earliest serial figures of brain dissection without descriptions. In 1523, Berengario published his Isagogae breves depicting several cross-sections of the brain. Unfortunately, the detail of the plates was inadequate, and the plates were not explained in the text. As a result of these ambiguous scholastic traditions, Eichmann learned his anatomy at a particularly contentious time. The confrontation of dogmatic reliance on Galenic anatomy and inadequate pictorial definition with a new emphasis on detailed observation during dissection led to academic confusion and bitter debate.
“Eichmann left Paris in 1534 and obtained his degree in medicine at Mainz. The archbishop of Trier proclaimed him the royal doctor of Koblenz and Trier, and in 1535 he wrote his first non-medical text. Before Eichmann accepted the position at Trier, the chancellor of Prince Philip of Hessen asked him to accept the chairmanship of the department of medicine at the University of Marburg. Founded in 1527 by Philip, the Landgrave of Hesse, it was the first Protestant university; consequently, the position was important … Although Eichmann received the faculty endorsement, the position was given to Johannes Meckbach, a friend of Eichmann’s while he was at Erfurt. By June of 1535, however, the position was open again, and he was hired at a considerable salary of 95 florins a year. Eichmann held his first lecture in October of that year … Although the university promulgated educational guidelines, which Eichmann followed, he concentrated on Galen’s teachings, the Hippocratic aphorisms, and Avicenna’s Canon …
“Dryander spent the rest of his life at the University of Marburg. Although he performed only two more dissections, in 1539 and 1558, he was a popular teacher, and graduated at least seven physicians under his personal guidance by 1546.”
I. “Although planning for a more comprehensive book involving the entire human anatomy, Eichmann gave drawings on the head and neck to his engraver, Georg Thomas. Thomas, a student from the university who graduated in 1534, was a local artist, sculptor and engraver. He spent most of his career in Marburg painting for the university or local religious orders. It is apparent that Thomas was responsible for all the drawings, although the quality varied from plate to plate. The first edition entitled Anatomia capitis humani was published by Eucharius Cervicornus Agrippina at Marburg in September of 1536. The second text, published in June 1537, contains a longer introduction, additional detail in the illustrations, and figures representing the thorax, heart and inflated lungs … Eichmann included translations of Copho’s Anatomia Porci [first printed in Lyon in 1523] and Gabriele Zerbi’s De Generatione Embrionis. These sections comprise only 6 pages of the text and probably represented Eichmann’s initial effort to publish a comprehensive anatomic text.
“The dedicatory material profiled Eichmann as a physician devoted to anatomy as a practical science. He praised his two previous successors and thanked Prince Philip for “having been inflamed with an unbelievable love for his Academy of Marburg”. As a prelude to a later work, Eichmann (now using the Latinized and more eloquent name of Dryander) wrote that he had drawn sketches of his dissections for the benefit of the medical students. The text included a letter to the Prince’s Chancellor, John Hecuse, dedicating the work to him. Following the dedication, a poem by Reinhardt Hadamarius compared the head to a sphere similar to the “ball of the heavens … just as heaven contains the foundation of all knowledge, the head (sphere) is the dwelling for human knowledge. Dryander complimented the works of Hippocrates, Galen, Avicenna and Cornarius, but “as far as I am concerned, everyone may teach and learn in his own way.” A student of medicine, however, had to employ a “most exact regard for anatomy”, for the “whole business of medicine seems to rest on anatomy as a base” …
“The first four illustrations are depicted with the layers of the skin and dura. In the first diagram, a cord was placed around the shaved scalp marking the limits of the skin incision and the scalp dissection. Dryander wrote that the circular saw should cut the skull at the level of the cord. The instruments at the bottom of the diagram were variously labeled “razors, circular saws, pincers, forceps, and stylets. In this illustration, he included Celsus’ description of the head and Avicenna’s description of the layers of the scalp. The second diagram outlined the thicker skin “from which the brain comes forth”, and the pericranium, which was attached to the dura mater through the skull and responsible for the sensations of the head. The “seams” (sutures) of the head are described … The third illustration outlined the surface of the brain after removal of the skull with the circular saw. The dura mater and the left, right and middle pathways of the brain are shown. Dryander wrote that the substance of the brain was larger in humans than in any other animal of similar structure, which explained the warmer heart, which had to cool the brain. The last illustration described the dura mater and pia mater with the left, right and dividing line of the brain. He wrote that the brain was divided into forward and rear sections; the forward was divided into left and right halves by the dura …
“The fifth illustration was curious. Dryander, using a razor, cut through the left side of the brain to the ventricles. The stripped dura mater, and the intact pia mater, were illustrated, while on the right half, the substance of the brain appeared like “small clouds.” The remaining section was porrly described … Here were multiple cavities filled with air which contributed to the sense of smell … The sixth illustration outlined the lateral ventricles, curved in the manner of a “newborn moon” about three fingers deep to the surface. Dryander stated that on both sides around the base of the ventricles, there was a skin-like reddish substance called “the worm” which was composed of arteries and veins and was responsible for opening and closing the ventricles. Below these “worms” there was a certain part of the brain which resembled buttocks and terminated in the ventricle … Then he described a meeting of the two forward areas of the brain in the third ventricle. Breath, processed in the forward ventricle, was transferred to the third ventricle to produce memory. The forward section of the brain was devoted to thinking, the middle to reasoning, and the posterior section to memory.
“The seventh illustration outlined the tentorium, which had been stripped off … The torculae was described as the “wine press of Avicenna.” Around the letter D he described “breast-shaped pieces of flesh” (olfactory bulbs?) which may be associated with smell. Cranial nerves numbered I and II are called optic, while III, IV and V were associated with the senses, although not specifically described … The optic nerves around the section labeled D came from the forward ventricles, joined together (optic chiasm), and were pulled apart to enter the eyes. Consequently, when one eye was closed, the entire “spirit” was carried over to the other. The ninth illustration depicted the neck dissection, and the tenth, eleventh and twelfth diagrams illustrated the base of the skull, jaw and full head from the front and back …
“The final illustration was the most interesting. The figure, without legend, was placed in the dedication but explained in the final section. It is a full face to the left with the impressive title “The total representation of all parts of the human head with their explanation.” Turner was the first to note that this figure was a copy of Hundt’s earlier work … The anterior ventricles represented the sensus communis, the middle ventricle that of cogitative, and the posterior ventricle memorativa. The cranial sutures overlapped the three ventricles and the scalp, pericranium, dura mater and pia mater were stripped along the side. The “rete mirabile” was described for the first time in the text. Vision, hearing, and smell were shown with indicator lines drawn from these sense organs to the appropriate ventricle by means of “nerves and muscles”. Dryander’s final figure represented an attempt to reconcile hundreds of years of medieval physiology with his own anatomic observation.
“Following the sections of Copho’s Anatomia Porci and Zerbi’s De Generatione, Dryander began his commentary on anatomy according to Mundinus. Four more plates described the thorax, inflated lungs, heart and pericardium, and thoracic cage. A poem by Hadamarius and an insert completed the text” (Hanigan et al).
II. The first edition of Mondino’s anatomy was published at Padua ca. 1475 (only three copies known) and most later editions are not illustrated, or only illustrated very sparsely. “The first outstanding anatomist worthy of the name ... the Anathomia of Mondino was the most used anatomical text up to the end of the sixteenth century, probably because it contained the most important technical indications in brief and concise form” (Castiglioni, A History of Medicine, pp. 341-3). “Mondino’s chief work is his compendium of anatomy, Anatomia Mundi, completed in 1316, which made him, in Castiglione’s words, ‘the first outstanding anatomist worthy of the name.’ Mondino’s book dominated anatomy for over two hundred years. The major reason for Mondino’s great popularity was the simplicity, conciseness, and systematic arrangement of his book, which is divided into six parts: (1) an introduction to the whole body and a discussion of authorities; (2) the natural members including the liver, spleen, and other organs in the abdominal cavity; (3) the generative members; (4) the spiritual members, the heart, lungs, trachea, esophagus, and other organs of the thoracic cavity up to the mouth; (5) the animal members of the skull, brain, eyes, ears; and (6) the peripheral parts, bones, spinal column, extremities. This organization was not the result of any philosophical approach to the subject but rather derived from the necessity of dissecting the most perishable organs first ...
“Mondino should be regarded as the restorer of anatomy if only because his popular textbook and his experimental teaching were instrumental in preparing the revival of the subject. His text was the first book written on anatomy during the Middle Ages that was based on the dissection of the human cadaver; his efforts consolidated anatomy as a part of the medical program at Bologna and encouraged further study. His book also dominated the teaching of anatomy, and no real improvements were made upon it until 1521, when Berengario da Carpi wrote his famous commentary on Mondino” (DSB IX, pp. 468-9).
“Mondino’s book soon became a classic text; he was venerated soon after his death as a divine master and anyone who was found differing from his book was regarded as monstrous. For three centuries the lecturers on anatomy were required to use his book in their teaching, as may be seen in the statutes of many medical schools” (Castiglioni, pp. 344-5).
“Dryander’s notoriety as a consummate plagiarist was created in the years following the publication of the Anatomiae pars prior. In 1537, his publisher, Christian Egenolph, moved to Frankfurt, which had developed into one of the major publishing centers in Europe. In 1541, the Anatomia Mundini was published: this was the translation of the anatomical text of Mundinus which Dryander had anticipated in the Anatomiae pars prior. Although the text contained his earlier prints, it also used illustrations from Berengario, Phryesen and Versalius’ Tabulae sex … Within the following year, Dryander wrote to Vesalius requesting his opinion concerning a Hippocratic aphorism. This professional contact and Dryander’s favourable standing led Vesalius in 1543 to include his name in the first edition of the Fabrica as a prominent anatomist, even though he ridiculed Dryander’s use of a circular saw for opening the skull … “not round as certain mathematicians illustrate in their books on anatomy.” In a letter to his publisher, Oporinus, prior to the printing of the Fabrica, Vesalius chastised an unknown anatomist, who was “the slave of the sordid printer at Marburg and Frankfurt”, for plagiarizing the plates of the Tabulae sex. As Vesalius later admitted, he was unaware at the time of the printing of the Fabrica that Dryander was responsible for the plagiarism. Sometime after this, Vesalius examined a letter written by Dryander to Dr. Eck, a mutual friend in Frankfurt, and learned that Dryander had criticized him for belittling Guenther, their former teacher at Paris. In 1555, Vesalius irrevocably discredited Dryander by omitting his name from the second edition of the Fabrica …
“Although they may have used woodcuts without the author’s permission, Dryander and his publisher were not isolated practitioners of the art … Even Vesalius’ illustrations of the heart and pericardium are similar in conception to Dryander’s and the “hourglass” and “inevitable fatum” seen in the Anatomiae pars prior were used in the Fabrica. Muddied by the turbulent publishing waters of the early 16th century, Vesalius’ lasting charge of plagiarism was not completely one-sided” (Hanigan et al).
I. BM/STC German p. 255; Choulant-Frank, pp. 148-149; Flamm, The Dawn of Neurosurgery 18; Garrison-Morton 371; Heirs of Hippocrates 139; NLM/Durling 1215; Stillwell Science 621; Norman 657. II. Garrison-Morton 361 (original edition); Durling 3233 (this edition); Choulant-Frank, pages 95 and 149; DSB IX, 467-69; Persaud 129; Sarton III, 842-45; not in Norman. See also: Hanigan, Ragen & Foster, ‘Dryander of Marburg and the first textbook of neuroanatomy,’ Neurosurgery 26 (1990), 489-98; Sitwell, p. 195, nos. 619 and 620; P. Oldfield, Vesalius at 500, pp. 34-6, no. 10; Printing and the Brain of Man, p. 24, no. 14; Norman Library of Science & Medicine, p. 238, no. 657; Garrison & Morton, p. 72, no. 371; R. J. Durling, Sixteenth Century Printed Books in the National Library of Medicine, p. 153, no. 1215, and p. 412, no. 3233; H. Cushing, A Bio-Bibliography of Andreas Vesalius, pp. 28-30 R. Herrlinger, History of Medical Illustration from Antiquity to A.D. 1600, pp. 83-5; L. R. Lind, Studies in Pre-Vesalian Anatomy, pp. 12-3, 297-8, and 299-303; K. B. Roberts and J. D. W. Tomlinson, The Fabric of the Body: European Traditions of Anatomical Illustration, pp. 84-91; L. J. Choulant, History and bibliography of anatomic illustration in relation to anatomic science and the graphic arts, M. Frank, trans., pp. 148-9; C. Singer, “Brain Dissection before Vesalius,” J. Hist. Med., 1956, vol. 2, pp. 261-74; E. Turner, “Les planches anatomiques de J. Dryander et de G. H. Ryff,” Gaz. Hebd. Méd. Chir., 1976, vol. 33, pp. 785-91 and 817-23; E. Clarke and K. Dewhurst, An Illustrated History of Brain Function : Imaging the Brain from Antiquity to the Present; E. M. Duffy, The Return of Hans Staden, especially chapter 3, pp. 77-102; Heirs of Hippocrates, 99.
4to (193 x 151 mm). I. ff. , with letterpress folding table. Roman type, title within woodcut border, 23 woodcuts, of which 19 full-page (including two repeats) and 4 half-page, the full-page cuts printed on rectos and letter-keyed to letterpress descriptions on facing versos, printer’s device on verso of last leaf one half-page woodcut fraktur initial, one 10-line and six 4-line woodcut historiated initials (minor marginal dampstaining, border of f. c1 slightly cropped, repaired minor tears where folding table connects to binding). II. ff. [iv], 67, , with 46 woodcut illustrations, most full-page (minor loss upper blank corner of tp., printers crease to f. 5, small tears to ff. 35, 38 and 49, small blank corner loss f. 50, printer’s crease in text of p. 51). Contemporary limp vellum, minor restoration to one corner, ink splotch on front cover.