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[GALEN] — LEONHART FUCHS
Cl. Galeni, Pergameni medici praestantissimi, De curatione per sanguinis missionem libellus. Lyon: Joannem et Franciscum Frellonios, 1546
8vo (6 9/16 x 4¼ in.; 167 x 108 mm). Woodcut printer's device to title, historiated woodcut initials, text in Latin with Greek vocabulary, one woodcut diagram: minor marginal dampstaining (A3-A4), damp staining origination in gutter (E1-E8), minor worming to upper inner margin, expertly repaired, terminal leaf with some marginal loss and expertly backed with tissue. Later cream paper covered boards; rubbing to extremities.
First edition by Leonhard Fuchs — an exceptionally rare edition of Galen's work on bloodletting, with only one other copy having been offered at auction
Galen's understanding of anatomy and medicine was principally influenced by the then-current theory of humorism (also known as the four humors – black bile, yellow bile, blood, and phlegm), as advanced by ancient Greek physicians such as Hippocrates. His theories dominated and influenced Western medical science for more than 1,300 years.
Galen believed each part of this tripartite soul controlled specific functions within the body and that the soul, as a whole, contributed to the health of the body, strengthening the "natural functioning capacity of the organ or organs in question". The "rational soul" (which controlled higher level cognitive functioning in an organism — for example, making choices or perceiving the world and sending those signals to the brain) was where "imagination, memory, recollection, knowledge, thought, consideration, voluntary motion and sensation" could be found. The "spirited soul" was responsible for "growing or being alive," and also contained our passions, tp include anger. Such passions were considered to be stronger than regular emotions, and thus more dangerous. The third part of the soul, or the "appetitive spirit," controlled the living forces in our body, most importantly blood.
Galen's anatomical reports were based primarily on the dissection of monkeys, especially the Barbary macaque, and his findings remained unchallenged until the 1543 publication if Andreas Vesalius's De humani corporis fabrica.Galen's most significant contribution to medicine was perhaps his work on the circulatory system. He was the first to recognize distinct differences between venous (dark) and arterial (bright) blood. His anatomical experiments on animal specimens led to a more complete understanding of the circulatory, nervous, and respiratory system, though his work did contain some rather grave errors. Galen believed, for example, that the circulatory system was made up of two independent structures of distribution: venous blood was generated in the liver, and arterial blood in the heart. This and other theories related to the circulation of blood were later shown to be incorrect.
Leonhart Fuchs was a German physician and botanist.
OCLC lists only one other copy of this edition (University of Toronto, catalogue key: 495785)