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Medical and Scientific Library of W. Bruce Fye Part IV / MERCURIALI, GIROLAMO. 1530-1606. De arte gymnastica libri sex. Venice 1573.

LOT 1124
MERCURIALI, GIROLAMO. 1530-1606.
De arte gymnastica libri sex. Venice: 1573.
20 – 29 June 2022, 12:00 EDT
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MERCURIALI, GIROLAMO. 1530-1606.

De arte gymnastica libri sex. Venice: 1573.
4to (240 x 179 mm). Woodcut illustrations in text. 20th century quarter red morocco with marbled boards. Repairs to outer margins of first 8 gatherings, ink ownership inscription with erasure on title page, some early marginal notations.

First illustrated edition, a fine wide-margined copy. "One of the earliest books to discuss the therapeutic value of gymnastics and sports generally for the cure of disease and disability, and an important study of gymnastics in the ancient world. The second edition, De arte gymnastica libri sex, Venice, Juntas, 1573, is the first illustrated book on gymnastics. It contains 20 woodcuts by Coriolan" (Garrison-Morton-Norman 1986.1). Mercuriali "was called to the first chair of ordinary practical medicine at the University of Padua in 1569.... The six books entitled De arte gymnastica (1569), the result of almost seven years of study and research in the museums and libraries of Rome, and Mercuriale's most original and well-known work, are in effect the first complete treatise on medical gymnastics, in which the gymnastics of the ancients were closely linked with their modern counterparts, of which Mercuriale was the true forerunner. The gymnastics were examined from a historical, medical, and finally a hygienic point of view. He recalled the exercises in agility, strength, and dexterity practiced by the ancient Greeks and Romans; he also explained various athletic exercises and the best way to perform them. discussing the beneficial effects on individuals, both healthy and diseased. Mercuriale valued gymnastics as a therapeutic instrument" (Giuseppe Ongaro, Dictionary of Medical Biography 4: 871-873). Durling 3088.

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