Monday, July 30, 2012

Adrian von Mynsicht - Thesaurus et armamentarium medico-chymicum

Last Friday we received a wonderful donation of 17th-20th century medical books from Dr. Ugo Carpentieri. A highlight is the third edition of Thesaurus et armamentarium medico-chymicum by the German alchemist Adrian von Mynsicht (1603-1638), also known as Henricus Madathanus. Published in Venice in 1696, our copy has a well-worn vellum binding, and suitably mysterious inscriptions from previous owners.

Mynsicht was best known for an allegorical text, Aureum saeculum redivivum, which communicated his alchemical philosophy in symbolic language. But like many alchemists, Mynsicht also made contributions to scientific chemistry: This book, first published in 1631, contains information on pharmaceutical remedies, as well as an appended alchemy text.

Dr. Carpentieri has previously donated a collection of medical artifacts, as well as an Italian translation of Leo Testut's Traité d'anatomie humaine. Items from this gift will be cataloged for our rare book collections, and available for research in the History of Medicine Room.

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