Berengario da Carpi, Jacopo, ca. 1460-ca. 1530
80 leaves; 21 x 15 cm.
Berengario, whose family name was Barigazzi, was a native of Carpi near Modena. Once a pupil of Aldus Manutius, he received his medical degree at Bologna in 1489. He later taught surgery at Pavia and Bologna, and also practiced in Rome, where he is credited with being the first to use mercury in the treatment of syphilis. His close study of the fourteenth-century manual on dissection by Mondinus resulted in Commentaria cum amplissimis additionibus super anatomia Mundini, published in 1521, which corrected many of the errors of Mondinus, and includes many new observations by the author. The following year he issued a condensed version of his anatomical compendium, the Isagogae breves, intended for use by students. The work contains many of the woodcut llustrations first used in Commentaria, and adds several new ones, namely of the heart and brain, including the first published illustration of the cerebral ventricles. The second edition, published in 1523, adds another three woodcuts. Berengario's illustrations represent an important stage between the anatomy of the ancients and Vesalius. They are believed to have been based on actual dissection. The full-length figures are posed and drawn against a background of nature - a style that is strikingly evident in the Vesalian woodcuts. Berengario also wrote a treatise on head injuries, entitled Tractatus de fractura calve (1518)
Choulant, p. 136-142; Heirs of Hippocrates 93; H.F. Norman 189; Roberts & Tomlinson, p. 70-77.