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The most influential pharmacopoeia of the 16th and 17th century

CORDUS, Valerius.
Novum ... dispensatorium, hoc est, pharmacorum conficiendorum ratio: quam ab ipso olim auctam, nunc à quamplurimis mendis expurgatam in lucem edimus.
Venice, Vincenzo Valgrisi, 1563. 12mo. Contemporary blind-tooled calf, spine reinforced with white paper. [24], 444 pp.
€ 4,850
Early edition (the second printed by Vincenzo Valgrisi) of the first official city pharmacopoeia, first published posthumously in Nürnberg in 1546 with an appendix by Jaques Dubois (1478-1555), also known as Jacobus Sylvius. The city of Nürnberg adopted the first edition as the official standard that all city apothecaries were required to follow. The book's influence went far beyond Nürnberg, however, for numerous publishers in several countries produced dozens of editions in the original Latin and in German, Dutch and French translations. Many cities, especially in Germany and the Low Countries, either adopted it as their own standard or used it as a model to write their own pharmacopoeia. The present "Novum" edition follows Valgrisi's 1556 edition, but adds "Medicamentorum omnium compositorum, quae in hoc opere continentur, facultates" (pp. 1-65).
Cordus (1515-1544), physician and botanist, studied at Marburg and Leipzig, working in his uncle's apothecary shop in the latter. He lectured at the University of Wittenberg, basing his teaching on direct examination of live specimens, which was unusual at that time. He presented his Dispensatorium to the Nürnberg city council, which rewarded him for it, but he contracted malaria collecting plants in the Italian marshes and died before the book was published.
The text is preceded and followed by several leaves with manuscript text, dated 1569 (pastedown), some marginal notations in ink, occasional spots and thumbing. Binding rubbed and spine reinforced. A good copy. Durling 1029; Wellcome I, 1594; cf. Schelenz, Gesch. pharmazie, pp. 414-416; for Cordus: DSB III, pp. 413-415.
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Early printing & manuscripts  >  Medicine & Pharmacy
Medicine & pharmacy  >  Medicine & Pharmacy pre 1700