PLAZZONI, Francesco.

De Partibus Generationi Inservientibus libri duo… Item ARANTII De Humano Foetu Libellus. Item Gregorii NYMANNI De Vita Foetus in Utero. Dissertatio.

Lugduni Batavorum [Leiden]: Ex Officinâ Felicis Lopez de Haro, .1664

12mo, 3 parts in 1 volume, 4 leaves (including the engraved title), pp. 184; 50 [i.e. 52]; (viii), 84. Separate title-pages to the second and third parts. Contemporary mottled calf, spine gilt in compartments, one corner and head of spine worn, otherwise a nice copy.

Third edition of Plazzoni’s work, published here together with Gregor Nymann’s work on the foetus, and the only seventeenth century edition of Aranzi’s important book on the foetus (see G&M 464, the first edition of 1564). Aranzi believed the maternal and foetal circulations (or blood supplies, since he lived before Harvey) to be separate. He described the ductus arteriosus and ductus venosus of the foetus, and the corpora Arantii in the heart valves. He was the first to delineate the uterus, the foetus, and the placenta in the various stages of development, and was the first to record a pelvic deformity. He also made the first valid pronouncement on pelvic contraction in the history of obstetrics, a clear description of its effect on labour. Plazzoni, who was a contemporary of Spigelius at Padua, is not mentioned by either Cole or Needham. His book, which is quite rare in all its editions, was first published in 1621. Nymann’s work on the foetus is described by Needham (p. 136) as not without interest, and written in a beautiful Latin style. He proposed that the foetus has a life of its own, and that the lungs and heart are not inactive, having their own pulse. Appended to Nymann’s work in this edition is Spigelius’s Epistola de Incerto tempore partus, pp. 61–84.


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