Libro de Medisina por orden alfavetico, compuesto por el Venerable siervo de Dios Gregorio Lopez. Mexico, late 17th century
Manuscript, 8vo (8 ½ x 5 7/8 inches; 218 x 150 mm). 108 leaves, written in six hands, in brown ink, after leaf 10 an autograph letter, signed by Mariano Sanroenan? to Don Domingo Rafael, Mexico, 30-31 November no year, 2 pp.; first leaf browned, some worm holes on first leaf and a few bottom margins, a few fore-edges bumped or frayed. Modern red cloth, gold-stamped title on spine.
The most influential work of popular therapeutics in Hispanic America, commonly attributed to Gregorio Lopez (1542-1596), a Spanish hermit who lived most of his life in Mexico, but now seen as a compilation from Mexican and European sources, put together by the editors of the first edition. First published in Mexico in 1672, it appeared again in 1674, and then in Madrid in 1708. These editions, not commonly available, were transcribed and widely kept in homes as compilations of popular remedies with a variety of arrangements and contents added to by the family owners. Over one hundred such compilations were seen by Guerra.
The present manuscript contains notes citing "Salcedo" and "Brizuela" and so must be based on the 1674 edition which contained notes by the doctors Mathias de Salzedo Mariaca and Joseph Dias Brizuela. The alphabetical order of the entries exhibits two ranges of A-Z, and starts again at the end, suggesting a possible misbinding. The letter bound in by Mariano Sanroenan[?] refers to the Colegio de San Ignacio, but makes no reference to the manuscript.
Lopez did evidently write an herbal of native plant remedies, which Guerra has identified in the autograph manuscript, and in a transcription prepared for the canonization process at the Vatican in the 18th century, but it was generally unknown until its publication by Guerra in 1982.
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