Lexicon medicum, Graecolatinum... ex Hippocrate, et Galeno desumptum

Autore CASTELLI, Bartolomeo (d. ca. 1607)..
Tipografo Brea Pietro
Dati tipografici Messina, 
Prezzo 1.650,00
Lexicon medicum, Graecolatinum

8vo. (16), 434, (22, of which the last 2 are blank) pp. With the author's device on the title-page.17th century mottled calf, marbled edges, some foxing in the margins, but a very good copy.

VERY RARE FIRST EDITION of what was to become the most popular medical lexicon of all times.

It was preceded by works as Otto Brunfels', Onomastikon medicinae (1534), Henri Estienne's Thesaurus vocabulorum medicinalium (1560) and his Dictionarium medicum (1564), Jean de Gorris', Definitionum medicarum libri XXIII literis graecis distincti (1564), and Anuce Foes', Oeconomia Hippocratis alphabeti distincta (1588). Whereas these earlier authors concentrated only on the terminology of the ancients, Castelli also considered also modern and contemporary authors.

The medical terminology was at that time very confused, so that it was not easy for the physicians to agree on the meaning of a word. With the purpose to fill that gap, Castelli sketched a history of medicine from ancient Egypt, where it was built as an autonomous science, and from ancient Greece, where the discipline received its foundations with Hippocrates, to early modern Europe passing through the Arabic physicians. Castelli shows how the medical lexicon has continuously changed and grown over the centuries thanks to the contribution of the alchemists and Paracelsus. Castelli's lexicon covers all branches of medicine, including chemistry and physics.

The Lexikon was reprinted many times until the end of the 18th century: Venice, 1607 and 1626; Basel, 1628; Rotterdam (revised by A. Ravenstein), 1644, 1651, 1657, and 1665; Lyon, 1667; Nürnberg, 1682 (augmented and edited by J. Bruno under the title Castellus renovatus); (all subsequent editions bear the title Amaltheum Castellanum Brunonianum:) Padua, 1699, 1713, 1721, 1746, and 1755; Leipzig, 1713; Genève, 1741 and 1746; Amsterdam 1746; etc.

“Das entscheidende Novum und damit das eigentliche Erfolgsgeheimnis von Castellis Werk ist wohl vielmehr darin zu suchen, daß sich sein Verfasser erstmals in der Geschichte der medizinischen Lexikographie, oder doch zumindest wesentlich stärker als die Autoren vor ihm, nicht ausschließlich auf die antiken Texte stützte, sondern die alte und die zeitgenössische medizinische Begrifflichkeit gleichermaßen behandelte. Das widersprach bis zu einem gewissen Grad den Idealen des philologischen Humanismus, erhöhte jedoch die praktische Nützlichkeit des Werks, das auf diese Weise die medizinische Fachsprache in ihrer Gesamtheit erschloß” (M. Stolberg, Das ‘Lexicon medicum graeco-latinum' des Bartolomeo Castelli, in: “Castellus renovatus: Hoc est lexicon medicum. Nürnberg, 1682. Archiv der europäischen Lexikographie, Abt. 3: Geschichte der Medizin; 10”, Erlangen, 1994, passim).

Born in Messina, Castelli studied theology, philosophy and medicine and taught medicine for many years in his hometown. He probably died around 1607 (cf. A. Hirsch, ed., Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Ärzte aller Zeiten und Völker, München & Berlin 1962, I, p. 852).

Edit 16, CNCE 10022; Adams, C-921; Durling 884; Index Aureliensis 133.514; Universal STC, no. 819437; A. Bonifacio, Gli annali dei tipografi messinesi del Cinquecento, (Vibo Valenzia, 1977), p. 54; G. M. Mira, Bibliografia siciliana, (Palermo 1875), I, p. 193.

  • Lexicon medicum, Graecolatinum