Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional de España, I/51

Compendio de la Salud Humana Facsimile Edition

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It is an unnamed translation to Castilian from the Latin work Fasciculus medicinae, a compilation whose partly author and partly compilator, known as Johannes de Kethan in the first edition of the Latin text in Venice, in 1491, has been tried to identify, not very convincingly yet, with Hans von Kircheim (active between 1455 and 1470), a teacher of Medicine in Wien, used this compilation of texts for his lessons and as recommended reading for his pupils.

We know that this compilation, as a manuscript was going around from the start of the XV century. It's been also mentioned that von Kircheim lived in Venice, where several editions were made.

This copy belongs to the first edition, made in Castilian, and printed in Spain, printing finished, as it said on the colophon, on the 15th of August 1494 in Pablo Hurus' Zaragoza workshop.

The text is displayed in double column, gothic typescript, with xylographic initials, however it shows provisional small letters for initials, and with small prints on the text and on the side margins. The chapters are preceded by prints.

On the back of the front cover a print  in the shape of a wheel can be seen with the 'Tabula primera de las vrinas', in the front page of the second sheet there is a print showing two seated doctors, having a scientific conversation; then there are some double page prints (in this copy one of them is missing).

It includes as well a praying to Saint Sebastian, against the plague, in Latin, with a xylographic print of the Saint, just before adding the Tractado de la peste of Vasco de Taranta.

The restored copy, shows on the front cover, a note saying: "Reconocido y aprouado por el Ldo. Pe. frai Xabierri, fraile de Santo Domingo en predicadores en Çaragoça año 79", and  two prescriptions in writing of the style of XVI and XVII centuries; another prescription appears at the end of the work. It is the second known copy in this edition, sadly it does not have the descriptive print of the anatomy of a female body, preceding the sheet signed C3, and with the sheet signed e2 incomplete.

It has just lost its known condition of uniqueness, as there is another also missing parts Dr. Francisco Guerra’s private library, added recently to the Biblioteca Histórica de la Universidad Complutense in Madrid.

This book was among the works exhibited in The New York Public Library, in 1985’s exhibition “Tesoros de España: Ten Centurias of Spanish Books”.

We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Compendio de la Salud Humana": Compendio de la Salud Humana facsimile edition, published by Vicent Garcia Editores, 2008

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Printed book description compiled by the publisher.
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Compendio de la Salud Humana

Valencia: Vicent Garcia Editores, 2008

  • Limited Edition: 3160 pp.
  • Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document, Compendio de la Salud Humana: the facsimile attempts to replicate the look-and-feel and physical features of the original document; pages are trimmed according to the original format; the binding might not be consistent with the current document binding.

The facsimile, printed on specially made laid paper, is contained in a cloth-lined presentation case with gold engraved leather spine.

This edition does not include an accompanying commentary volume. A book in Spanish, "Bibliofilia antigua XIII," includes a monograph on the original document and is sold separately.


Parchment on wooden board.

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