AULUS CORNELIUS CELSUS (25 B.C.-50 A.D.). De medicina. Venice: Philippus Pincius, for Benedictus Fontana, 1497.
Aulus Cornelius Celsus was a Roman encyclopaedist, known for his extant medical work, De Medicina, which is believed to be the only surviving section of a much larger encyclopedia. The De Medicina is the oldest medical document after the Hippocratic writings. It was written about 30 A.D. De Medicina was one of the first medical books printed after printing was invented.
Celsus has left the best account of Roman medicine; he was the first important medical historian. The manuscript of the De Medicina was lost during the Middle Ages and rediscovered in Milan in 1443. Celsus was probably not a professional physician–his work seems to be a compilation of the work of others–echoing the Greeks and especially Hippocrates. Nevertheless, it is an extremely able and interesting history of medicine and surgery, including descriptions of symptoms and treatment of disease as well as descriptions of plastic surgery, goiter operations, tonsillectomies, treatment of fractures, and dental procedures.
This Celsus volume is one of few volumes in the John Martin collection which has been completely digitized. View the book online: http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/jmrbr/id/6326/rec/1.
The John Martin Rare Book Room copy is in Latin and bound in Eighteenth-century half calf and floral boards.