De abditis nonnulus ac mirandis morborum et sanationum causis. Edited by Girolamo Benivieni.Florence: P. Giuntae, 1507.
Antonio Benivieni's The hidden causes of diseases was the first book on pathological anatomy, presenting the first reports of autopsies made specifically to determine the cause of death. The work records twenty post-mortem examinations performed by Benivieni or his colleagues, in which he observed gallstones, urinary calculi, scirrhous cancer of the stomach, fibrous cardiac tumor and peritonitis from intestinal perforation. Benivieni was the first physician known to have requested permission from his patients’ relatives to perform necropsies in uncertain cases. He was also one of the first physicians to study syphilis and opened his work with an account of that disease, noting its superficial manifestations (including syphlitic periostitis), and transmission of the disease to the fetus. Benivieni died before he could complete this work or arrange for its publication. His text was edited and revised from Benivieni’s manuscript by his brother Girolamo, a Florentine poet and musician, with the aid of physician Giovanni Rosati. Facsimile reproduction and English translation, 1954. Digital facsimile of the 1507 edition from the Medical Heritage Library, Internet Archive, at this link.
Subjects: INFECTIOUS DISEASE › SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES › Syphilis, PATHOLOGY