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Astrology, magic and medicine: an influential 15th-century work with health advice for scholars

FICINO, Marsilio.
De triplici vita.
[Basel, Johann Amerbach, ca. 1497]. 4to. 16th-century(?) antiphonal leaf over boards, bound in the 20th century, with black writing, a large blue initial on the back and red staff lines. [100] ll.
€ 8,000
First Basel edition of a popular work from an important early humanist philosopher, published during his lifetime. This influential work, which continues to be printed in the 21st century, is a mixture of different sciences of those times, including medicine, philosophy, astrology, hermeticism and magic. It focuses on the health and well-being of scholars, who, according to this work, were naturally prone to melancholy. Although Marsilio Ficino (also known as Marsilius Ficinus, 1433-1499) was not the first to write specifically about the health of scholars, his work on the subject was the most extensive.
De triplici vita, complete with the Apologia, is divided in three parts, which each focus on a different aspect of health. Book 1 is about physical health, book 2 about prolonging life and book 3, which is heavily influenced by Plotinus (ca. 204-270), discusses astral influences on human life.
Marsilio Ficino was a Catholic priest, humanist, Neoplatonist, astrologer and physician. He spent a large part of his life in the household of his patron, Cosimo de' Medici (1389-1464).
With a 16th-century(?) owner's inscription on the top of the title-page, a second one underneath and a note on the verso of the title-page. Another owner's inscription on the back pastedown. Further with 16th-century manuscript annotations, manicules and nota signs in the margins throughout, in the same hands as the two owners' inscriptions on the title-page, with mostly comments about the structure of the text. The boards are slightly warped from the pulling of the parchment, the parchment is slightly rubbed and creased. The title-page and last two leaves are somewhat browned and stained, all leaves slightly warped from past moisture. Otherwise in good condition. GW 9885; Goff F-160; Hain-Copinger 7063; IDL 1812; ISTC if00160000; Oates 2806; Proctor 7650; cf. Fumaroli, The republic of letters, 2018, pp. 191-211; Walker, Spiritual and demonic magic: from Ficino to Campanella, 1958, pp. 3-29.
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Related Subjects:

Early printing & manuscripts  >  15th Century | Medicine & Pharmacy | Natural History & Science
History, law & philosophy  >  Philosophy & Esotericism
Medicine & pharmacy  >  Medicine & Pharmacy pre 1700
Science & technology  >  Alchemy, Astrology & Occult