The Book of Questions: Remarks on a Cultural Itinerary

Olivio Galeazzi, Gian Luigi Zigiotti


The Book of Questions derives form the Problemata, a treatise wrongly included in the Corpus Aristotelicum and ended in the V-VI century A.C.; the Authors examine two versions (XVI century) of the Book, entitled Liber de Homine and printed under the auspices of Gerolamo Manfredi, physician of the University of Bononia. The two version have been found in the Town Library of Ancona: one was printed in Ancona (1512) and the other in Venice (1588). The first Book consists of 326 questions about foods, beverages, sleep and waking, physical exercise, environment and soul impulses and 242 questions about anatomy and physiology: the aim is divulgative and not scientific. The Book printed in Venice suffered the expulsion of 110 questions, so to reduce the size of the manual (which now is a pocket book): of these questions 18 concerned sexual arguments, 82 concerned astrology and 10 minor arguments. Between the two editions there was the Council of Trento and the difference between the two Books may be due to the different aim (general divulgative book and pocket book, respectively) and to the influence of role of the two Cities and the political time: Ancona was a small town without restrictions of freedom of thought, Venice was an important center, more controlled for the possible influence outside and related at that time to the christianity policy. 


Key words: Problemata - Liber de Homine - XVI Century medicine - Medical questions 

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