Geology & Earth Science

Falloppio, Gabriele | De Medicatis Aquis

  • First edition of two lectures on fossils and mineral and thermal springs, originally presented at the University of Padua in 1556 and 1557, and published posthumously by Falloppio’s student Andrea Marcolino. From the library of geologist and radical politician Mario Cermenati (1868–1924), who taught geology and palaeontology at the University of Rome, was a founder of the Museum of Lecco, and served as president of the Italian Geological Society.

    Though Falloppio is better know as an anatomist, this work is geological, resulting from his investigations of the origins of springs and fountains, the nature of subterranean fire and generation of heat within the earth, and the vexing question of the origin of fossils. “Falloppio, as one of the great line of Paduan anatomists, would have been well aware of organic resemblances in whatever fossils he was familiar with; yet he felt that their occurrence on hilltops far from the sea made their organic origin unacceptable. It would have entailed changes in geography that were literally incredible, even with an Aristotelian view of continuous terrestrial change; and an explanation in terms of spontaneous generation therefore seemed preferable” (Rudwick, The Meaning of Fossils). Falloppio also describes many individual springs, their geology, the nature of their waters and their medicinal virtues. He performed analyses to determine the mineral contents of various springs.

  • ...atque de Fossilibus. Tractatus pulcherrimus, ac maxime utilis: ab Andrea Marcolino Fanestri medico ipsius discipulo amantißimo collectus... Venice: Giordano Ziletti, 1564.

    Octavo (204 x 150mm). Contemporary limp vellum with yapp edges, recased. Woodcut printer’s device to title, woodcut of a furnace and still on E3, head-pieces and historiated initials. Contemporary manuscript notes and underlining, small, 19th-century library ticket and manuscript “F” to the upper cover, 20th-century ownership ink stamp of Mario Cermenati to the front free endpaper. Vellum a little yellowed and wrinkled, small spots to the spine, which is also rolled, ties lacking, contents clean. Very good condition.