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The Diffusion Of Learned Medicine In The Sixteenth Century Through The Printed Book

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Chapter Summary

This chapter undertakes a survey of the diffusion of learned medicine in the form of an ideal type which will be adequate as a general guide to the period 1525 to 1625 in Europe, but concentrate on the period from 1565 to 1625. Three institutions play a predominantly important role in the operation of the market for learned medical books: the universities, the book fairs, and the publishers. The first consolidated Frankfurt book fair catalogues appeared in 1564. Printer-publishers made decisions about which books merited reprinting. This was a speculative activity which reveals particularly clearly the symbiosis of commercial and intellectual interests in the medical book market. In terms of a percentage of book production as a whole, there are many more law books published in folio throughout the period which were a sort of externalisation of their knowledge and of the competence and of the dignity of their profession.

Keywords: Frankfurt book fair catalogue; learned medicine; medical book market



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