De puella Germanica, quae fere biennium vixerat sine cibo, potuque. Ad Paulum III. Pontificem Maximum [...] disputatio

Autore: PORZIO, Simone (1497-1554)

Tipografo: Lorenzo Torrentino

Dati tipografici: Firenze, 1551


4to (205x140 mm). 16 pp. Collation: A-B4. Woodcut initials. Modern boards, red edges. Some foxing, but a good copy.

Rare first edition (an Italian translation by Giovann Battista Gelli appeared in the same year) of this account written by the Neapolitan physician and philosopher Simone Porzio around 1542.

The work narrates the prodigious event, which took place around 1542 near Speyer, of an anorexic German girl named Margarete Weiss, who remained without eating or drinking for over two years. Porzio tries to explain the medical reasons of this case, concluding that the phlegmatic nature and the frigidity of the girl, together with her “raw humors”, made this prodigy possible. The girl had been shown in public during the Diet of Speyer of 1542 and then entrusted to the doctor Gerhard Bucholtz, who a few weeks later drew up a report attesting the authenticity of the case (cf. D. Castelli, Simone Porzio e il “De puella Germanica”: l' ‘inedia' mirabile di una fanciulla tedesca, in: “Studi filosofici”, XXX, 2007, pp. 71-89; and also, by the same, Simone Porzio e il “De puella Germanica”: echi italiani di un dibattito europeo, in: “La donna nel Rinascimento meridionale”, M. Santoro, ed., Pisa-Rome, 2010, pp. 107-119).

Porzio, a pupil of Agostino Nifo and a follower of Pietro Pomponazzi, taught medicine at the University of Pisa from 1545 to 1552.

Edit 16, CNCE 34589; Durling, 3746; Wellcome, I, 5222; Osler, 3726; D. Moreni, Annali della tipografia fiorentina di Lorenzo Torrentino, Florence, 1819, p. 179, nr. XXXI.