Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Hippiatria sive Marescalia (1532)
by:  Lorenzo Rusio aka: Laurentius Rusius

The full title of this is actually:
Hippiatria sive Marescalia Laurentii Rusii ad Nicolaum sancti Hadriani diaconum Cardinalem, in qua praeter variorum morborum plurima, ac saluberrimaremedia, plures quam in priore editione comodissime frenorum formae excusaesunt, vt nullum tam nouo oris vitio laborantem equum inuenias, cui non hincoccurrere facilime possis. -

Below is a summary written about this book:
"The horse has been an important animal throughout human history. The healing of injured or sick horses took a dominant place in early veterinary literature. Theories about equine physiology mirrored those about humans. Literature on both subjects was inherently linked. Many discoveries, including the circulation of the blood, developed in tandem. Astrology was an important ingredient to medieval and Renaissance human healing. The influence of the stars on the body was studied and carefully charted. Veterinarians did the same for horses. The signs of the zodiac were associated with different parts of the body. Do not, for example, treat the head while Aries is in the sky.

Medieval and Renaissance veterinary medicine looked to ancient texts for support. In the case of horses, veterinarians relied on a set of Classical and Byzantine Greek texts which are collectively known as the ‘Hippiatrica’. The most noted of ancient authors was Absyrtos, a military veterinarian in the service of the Roman Emperor Constantine I. Italian veterinarian Lorenzo Rusio (1288-1397), using the Latinized name of Laurentius Rusius, published his Hippiatria sive Marescalia in 1532. The book was published in Paris by Christianus Wechelus. The links to ancient veterinary practices are evident. Absyrtus had described a disease in the horse which appears like influenza. It was the earliest record of such an affliction in animals. Rusius recorded a similar occurrence of equine influenza, describing the symptom in these terms: ‘The horse carried his head drooping, would eat nothing, ran from the eyes, and there was a hurried beating of the flanks. The malady was epidemic, and in that year one thousand horses died.’

The Hippiatrica is a rich source of information about horses, medicine and magic, which was transmitted to the medieval scriptorium and ultimately to the printed edition. By the mid-1500s, sumptuous anatomical studies of human anatomy began appearing as dissection yielded new perspectives on the human body. Soon after, veterinarians started publishing similar studies of the anatomy of the horse."

Also inside are a number of drawings of various types of bits. Below are just a few examples:

La Mascalcia Di Lorenzo Rusio Volgarizzamento Del Secolo Xiv.: Della Cura De' Cavalli (Italian Edition)

"De medicina equorum, by Giordano Ruffo, farrier to Frederick II (1194-1250), Holy Roman Emperor and King of Sicily.

An early witness in a single, later 13th-century hand to the foundation text of medieval equine medicine, composed soon after the Emperor's death, in either Latin or Italian. The format of the text and evidence of the script suggest an early copyist's exemplar.

There follows a table of fifty-seven chapter headings on accidents and specific diseases although the text finishes at the end of chapter 55; the last few words have been erased and the word finis inserted in a later hand."

The language part of this book makes it a challenge. It is a hand written script/cursive text. The Latin, French, Italian hand and style all make this is a very difficult read. Although it seems the content could be quite interesting, the difficult nature of reading this is a challenge in itself.

The title at the top of the page is a link to Amazon to obtain a paperback copy of the book. The quote provided is a paraphrased summary from the The Library at Wellcome Collection.  They have the text digitized and available for download.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Works on Horses and Equitation: A Bibliographical Record of Hippology

By Frederick Henry Huth (1887). The dedication of the book is to The Duke of Cambridge.

What does an author and collector of research do in the 1800’s when they cannot stand up a blog? Well, it seems they index their books on a topic and write it into a book so that they know how to guide others doing research.

Fredrick Henry Huth was such a researcher on the topic of hippology – or rather, the study of the horse. In his own words “By far the greater number of books collected in these pages are monographs on the Horse but I have not thought it wise to exclude other works on Natural History dealing with the Horse Ass or Mule in any very distinct degree.”

He was a collector of rare books on the subject and put together an index of his own collection. He was later guided to do so for as much of the collected works on the topic as he could. This compiled index has the material listed by date, then later by author and then again organized by subject matter. In the preface of this book he cites that he only included works that were of hippography specifically and not works that made just casual mention of horses. Again in his words “I have endeavoured to condense this volume to the utmost limit of its utility by the excision of all superfluous matter”.

The first- thus earliest record he cites- is a partial work from Kimon of Athens circa 430bc. That is a record 50years prior to the famous Xenophon in 380. There are summaries of 77 works from Kimon up to Bernardo deVargas in 1600. There are another 500+ works of books, journal writings and articles ranging from 1602 until 1886. 

This is not a book full of beautiful pictures and artwork. This is a researchers dream to be pointed to sources many did not even know existed. This index is a free eBook online ...