Works of Medical Science


Opera medicinalia (Works of medical science) is a collection of pharmacological treatises by several authors. The main work, Canones (Canons), was attributed to an Arab physician in the 11th century and was later published in Europe under the name Johannese Mesue of Damascus. Also known as Mesue the Younger, the Pseudo-Mesue, and Yahya Ibn Masawayh, he was a monophysite Christian who died in Cairo in 1015, and who is said to have written pharmacological works. The first part of this book, Canones universalis (Universal canons), deals with treatment regimens. The second part, De simplicibus (On simple medicines), is about the properties of various drugs. The book also includes works by various authors of the 12th–14th centuries, such as Petrus de Abano, Nicolaus Salernitanus, and Mondino dei Luzzi. Canones was an influential medical text, used in Europe until the 17th century. This edition was printed in Venice in 1495 by Bonetus Locatellus, a priest from Bergamo, Italy, for the publisher Octavianus Scotus. Locatellus and Scotus formed an important partnership in the Venetian printing industry in the last two decades of the 1400s.

Last updated: January 4, 2016