The manuscript codices of Girolamo Mercuriale's works kept in municipal libraries in Cesena, Forli and Ravenna

Cerasoli, G.; Garavini, B.; Mercuriale, G.

Medicina Nei Secoli 17(2): 293-341

2005


ISSN/ISBN: 0394-9001
PMID: 17152189
Accession: 050668880

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Abstract
Girolamo Mercuriale (Forli 1530-1606) was a celebrity in his day, not only in the medical field, but in any other branch of humanist learning. He exerted his widespread contacts outside medicine with philological humanists, antiquarians, architects, and artists interested in ancient material and social culture. He studied in Bologna and Padova and taught at Padua (1569-1587), Bologna (1587-1592) and Pisa (1592-1606). He wrote more than twenty printed books, a lot of them derived from lessons gathered by his students. He wrote prolifically on all sorts of subjects, from psychiatry to gynecology, pediatrics, dermatology, toxicology, infectivology, epidemiology, history of medicine. In the Municipal Libraries in Cesena, Forli and Ravenna are kept twelve codices concerning Girolamo Mercuriale's works handwritten between the sixteenth and the seventeenth century. The main body of these works concerns the lectures dictated in Padua, which will merge with the printed texts of the Medicina Pratica and the De morbis mulieribus praelectiones, printed both in Venice respectively in 1603 and 1587. Two codices are autographed and includes notes and reflections on Hippocrates works, a translation into Latin of two Polibio's works (Problemata and De fraterna benevolentia) and the Constitutio of Padua from 1577 till 1578. These codices bear witness to the importance of Mercuriale's work and to the diffusion of his lectures. Moreover, their analysis enables us to understand the difficult passage from the lectures by Master to their transposition into the printed works.