National Library of Naples: manuscripts and illuminated manuscripts, exhibits of masterpieces of ancient medicine

Magnificent illuminated manuscripts of incredible beauty, but also of high scientific value, are exhibited in the National Library of Naples: the images, which testify to the role they played in allowing the circulation of medical science, are still of great importance and rarity, a reference for health science until modern times. Exhibition “Illustrated Medicine. Art and Science from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern Period. Manuscripts and Printed Books of the National Library of Naples “will open Sunday December 4, 11:30 am: it will be presented to the public by Maria Iannotti, Director of the National Library of Naples, curators Daniela Pacca, Teresa Dr.. Orso, Claudia Greco, Andrea Imbrutta and Sandra Pericioli. Showcasing real marvels before the eyes of the visitor: the famous and extremely rare Napolean Dioscorides, the famous manuscripts of the School of Salerno that played a leading role in the development of medical studies throughout the Middle Ages, among them are Galen’s (c. 129-201) Commentaries on the Works of Hippocrates (circa 460- 377 BC); and Celso’s De Medicina which is among the medical texts produced in Naples in the fifteenth century, probably made for Ferrante d’Aragona, Duke of Calabria (1455-1458). The exhibition track (open until February 5, 2023) documents the dawn of medicine and its gradual development and highlights the emphasis from ancient times on an ultra-modern vision of care that looks at the human being in a whole way and examines the concept of staying healthy for a long time starting with help, spa treatments and rules of hygiene.
Among the interesting objects on display is the registration number of the Neapolitan fraternity of the Hospital Santa Maria del Popolo degli Incorabile. At the beginning of the file, the coat of arms of Emperor Charles V, who was among the first rulers of the Brotherhood, appears together with the rulers of Pope Leo X and the city of Naples. The course of the exhibition allows us to understand the development of artistic languages ​​between the early Middle Ages and the modern era, and at the same time documents the importance of book illustrations in the transmission of health care, among the interesting things on display “Therapeutic benefits of books The thermal waters of the Zona Flegrea ”known since the 16th century, Protagonists of elegant woodcuts illustrating the enlarged version of Pietro da Eboli’s “De Balneis puteolanis” and the “Parteneope Register”, printed in Naples respectively in 1507 and 1526. On the occasion of the extraordinary opening of the Places of Culture, edition 2022, set by the Ministry of Culture on Sunday 4 December The National Library of Naples Vittorio Emanuele III opens the huge rooms on the first floor to the public from 10 to 14 with free guided tours of the departmental and collection libraries (info

Phil Schwartz

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