De medica historia mirabili libri sex. Marcello Donato serenissimi, Mantuae et Montisferrati principis a secretis & consiliario authore [...] Cum duplici indice

Autore: DONATI, Marcello (1538-1602)

Tipografo: Francesco Osanna

Dati tipografici: Mantova, 1586

4to (199x142 mm). [10], 96, 185-312 leaves. Collation: *44 *4 A8 B-Iii4. Ll. 97-184 omitted in numbering and other errors in numbering. Woodcut coat-of-arms of the dedicatee Vincenzo Gonzaga on title page. Woodcut initials and ornaments. Recently rebound in old vellum with inked title on spine. Old ownership's stamps on title page. Some scattered browning and staining, some marginal foxing.


First edition of this work which describes the first case of gastric ulcer and contains the first anatomical-pathological description of angioneurotic edema (Quincke's edema) and rectal calcinoma. “In 1586, meanwhile, Fr. Osanna printed in Mantua the 6 books of De medica historia mirabili, his [Donati's] major work, a large collection of clinical cases and personal anatomical observations of ancient, Arabic, medieval and contemporary authors, among the first of its kind, anticipating the trend to the compilation of extensive clinical and anatomopathological case histories that in the eighteenth century will have its greatest author in Giovanni Battista Morgagni. Donati was the first, among other things, to describe the gastric ulcer in a corpse and the so-called Quincke's edema. The work had considerable success: first reprinted in Venice by Valgrisi in 1588, it had a third augmented edition in 1597 (Venice, Giunti). The German doctor Gregorio Horst edited two other editions in Frankfurt in 1613 and in 1664. The book has a considerable importance also from the point of view of social history, as it contains several peculiar clinical cases that match the taste of the time for the wonderful” (D.B.I., s.v.).

Garrison-Morton considers the De medica historia mirabilia as the second most significant work in the history of medicine after Champier's 1506.

The physician Marcello Donati, born in Correggio in 1538, was tutor, secretary, and finally advisor to Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga. He had the title of Count of Ponzano and was a member of the Accademia degli Invaghiti with the name of Segreto. He died in Florence in 1602 (cf. A. Zanca, Notizie sulla vita e sulle opere di Marcello Donati da Mantova (1538-1602): medico, umanista, uomo di stato, Pisa, 1964).


Edit 16, CNCE17630; Garrison-Morton, 3417, 4011.2 and 6377; Osler, 2482; Wellcome I:97 (second edition).