Patin, Charles. Quatre Relations Historiques, par Charles Patin Médecin de Paris. A Basle, 1673. No publisher’s name. In-12. 15.5 cm x 8.5 cm. 336 pages. Bound in white lap-edged vellum. First edition. French text. With an allegorical frontispiece engraved by H. Durant of a bearded male figure from antiquity writing an inscription on the base of a monument, “VITA HOMINIS PEREGRINATO EST.” Over his shoulder is seen a city view. There is an engraved allegorical vignette on the title page, with the motto, “Patitur Nec Dissoluitur.” Shelf mark “537” inked on the title page. Fine condition.
A remarkable book by a doctor in political exile, Charles Patin records Roman ruins as well as noting Dr. Kercringius (Theodore Kerckring) in Utrecht for his skill in dissection, mentioning his observations of a fetus and describes in detail a human in the early stage of development. He saw three-ventricle heart. Citing Kerckring’s Spicilegium Anatomicum. Of interest to students of inscriptions from antiquity, are his deciphered abbreviations. (p. 197)
There are two engraved plates between pages 140-141. On the left, the second is of a Roman arena with gladiators and wild animals in combat, with this inscription on a stone in the foreground: “D.M. LABERIAE TRENE V A. XI. DIEBUS XXVII VETVRVS HELIX ET LABERIA SYNTICHE TILIAE PIENTISSIMAE FECERVNT,” with “M.IVLI” on a stone in the foreground.
Double page map, p. 4, of Dr. Patin’s travel area.
Between pages 144-145 is an engraving of Greek jewelry.
Between pages 176 -177 is an engraving of a Roman column from the time of Severus Alexander (222-235 AD) commemorating his death near Mainz.
Between 198-199 there is a double page engraving of an enthroned male figure with two young male attendants, with the inscription, “D[is] M[anibus] VALENTI BITITRALI VET. EX. N. ALAEI. ACHV. M. H. F. C.”
At p. 266, there is an engraving of Egyptian funerary artifacts.
At page 329, are three pages of in-text memorial inscriptions.
Accounts of Dr. Patin’s travels in Europe: the first in Vienna, Hungary and Bohemia, where he explores painting and art galleries; the second in Germany, to the cities of Ulm, Augsburg, Munich and Bavaria, where he also visited art galleries; the third account begins in Basle, then Heidelberg, Manheim, the Rhine villages, Utrecht, Amsterdam and the Hague; and, the fourth, Swabia, Württemberg, Nieuwstadt, Nuremberg, Saxony and other German provinces. Each trip, Patin describes his visits to look art collections, medals and antiquities. Each account is addressed to a German Prince.
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