Submitted by KAMIL5000 on October 20, 2016 - 1:47pm
Medical Knowledge through Books
In the early modern period of Europe, the survival of books was rare and "hinged on the occasional copy being made by interested scholars who acted as their own scribe." (Defining the initial Shift, page 65). While visiting the Osler Library, my group was introduced to a book by the title The Work of Ambrose Parey, written by an intellectual author called Ambrose Parey.
Miroir des Urines, written by Jean Davach De La Rivière, was first published in 1696. The edition in my possession was the original one from 1700. It is roughly 9cm x 16cm x 2.5cm and is light weight - maybe weighing a few hundreds grams. The book tells us how we can figure out different temperaments, dominating humours and causes of certain sicknesses through a person’s urine. It was printed in Paris, France and written in the vernacular (French). The font of the book is pretty plain and in black. It almost has this cursive handwriting look to it.
During a visit to the Osler Library of the History of Medicine, we had the pleasure to examine from up close a book of the 18th century called Cheselden’s anatomy, Osteographia or the anatomy of the bones by William Cheselden. Right from the start, one thing is obvious: the book is large. Indeed, it was almost 20’’ in height, nearly 15’’ in width and weighed about 20 lbs. The cover was crimson with ornate gold designs that faded into the background color.