Published in Spain by a German printer: the translation and supplementation of the *Fasciculus medicinae*, the first printed work with anatomical studies

Compendio de la Salud Humana

Compendio de la Salud Humana

Compendio de la Salud Humana

  1. The church had long banned “interfering” with the human body, making dissection virtually impossible

  2. The 1491 *Fasciculus medicinae* was the first printed book to contain anatomical illustrations

  3. The first Spanish edition was published in Zaragoza on August 14th, 1494 by the German printer Pablo Hurus (active 1484-99)

Compendio de la Salud Humana

Compendio de la Salud Humana – I/51 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

This codex is both an early specimen of the science of anatomy and a testament to the then-new process of book printing. The church had long banned “interfering” with the human body, making dissection virtually impossible, but this gradually began to change in the High Middle Ages before becoming commonplace during the Renaissance. The spirit of Humanism dictated that examining the dead should be done for the sake of the living. Long practiced in secret, this codex shows how dissection began to become a standardized practice in the late 15th century.

Compendio de la Salud Humana

A fascinating look inside the human body from an early anatomical textbook, the Spanish translation of the Fasciculus medicinae, the first printed book to contain anatomical illustrations and was published in Vienna in 1491. An anonymous Castilian is responsible for the translation of the Compendio de la Salud Humana, which was published in Zaragoza on August 14th, 1494 by the German printer Pablo Hurus (active 1484-99). It has been theorized that the author is either a certain Johannes de Kethan or perhaps Hans von Kircheim (active 1455-70), who used the compendium as a teaching aid while a professor of medicine in Vienna. Although the original manuscript is from early in the 15th century, this printed book is the first Spanish edition. The text is neatly presented in two columns with engraved initials and woodcuts preceding the chapters, which can also be found elsewhere in the text and include some double-pages. Aside from the purely anatomical, the contents include a prayer to Saint Sebastian to guard against the plague along with a woodcut of him, and the Tractado de la peste by Vasco de Taranta, which also concerns the plague. Unfortunately, the page detailing the female body was mutilated, and thus the codex is incomplete. Nonetheless, this is an important early contribution to the emerging science of anatomy.

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Compendio de la Salud Humana“

Compendio de la Salud Humana
Compendio de la Salud Humana – I/51 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
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Compendio de la Salud Humana

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Vicent Garcia Editores – Valencia, 2008
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