Texts by Ububchasym de Baldach, Mario Salmi
1970-71 / vol. I: 204 pagine, vol. II: 152 pagine, vol. III: 164 pagine PAGES
Art and the history of medicine in an impressive corpus of 15th-century Lombard miniatures that illustrate the era’s medical knowledge with writings by the Arab doctor Ububchasym.
In the 14th and 15th centuries, works that we might define today as “illustrated medical encyclopaedias” were called “Tracuini” or “Theatra Sanitatis”.
The European aristocracy, which until shortly before then had left the monopoly of literature to the clergy, now discovered its pleasures and commissioned sumptuous codices which summarised the culture of the era. Attributed to the Arab Ububchasym de Baldach, the Theatrum Sanitatis of the Casanatense Library in Rome is a cross between art and history of medicine: in both registers the Theatrum is of extraordinary interest. While the 208 splendidly reproduced plates are an enchanting example of the 15th-century Lombard miniature, the captions that Prof. Pazzini translated, adding information taken from other coeval texts to the Latin text of the Theatrum, are surprising not only for what might appear bizarre, but help facilitate an understanding of the system of knowledge of ancient medicine.