DE MORBO NARONIANO TRACTATUS Feltriae [Feltre], Typis Seminarii, Apud Dominicum Bordoni,
1747. 4to, pp. xii, 252, ; with attractive woodcut vignettes, head and tail pieces; some occasional light spotting and marginal browning, otherwise clean and fresh; with contemporary ownership inscriptions at head of both front and rear paste downs (though rather illegible), and on front free end paper ‘(Greek) Severini Cioccui (?) Vivo Clavis.mo, Gregorio Barbettio’; First edition, and a most attractive copy, of this early and detailed study on malaria as observed in the Neretva delta in Dalmatia by the noted Paduan physician, Giuseppe Pujati (1701-1760). Now a popular Croatian tourist destination, recognised as an area of great natural beauty, diversity of landscape, and ecological importance, at the time of publication the region was an inhospitable marshy valley, beset by a fever that was particularly prevalent during the autumn. In this detailed treatise on the ‘Neretva disease’, Pujati first presents a brief history of the fever, before examining its’ nature and progress, and concluding with an account of a number of historical outbreaks. In this erudite work Pujati makes frequent reference to both contemporary and historical sources, citing authors such as Lancisi, Ramazzini, Boerhaave, Morgani, Winslow, Haller, Heister, Hoffman, Hippocrates and Celsus. Pujati concludes that he believes the disease to be some kind of plague, from which there is little chance of survival, and believed too that the pestiferous stagnant water in certain places could also kill fish, and that marsh birds were also poisoned by the lethal evaporations.
Pujati’s work was later referred to by Alberto Fortis in his account of his early voyages to Dalmatia in 1774. Indeed Pujati’s dire warnings ‘were enough to frighten anyone who had a mind to go there’ according to Fortis. By taking some sensible precautions however, Fortis and his reluctant crew survived a fifteen day stay in the region in October, and his observations note the possibility of it being a mosquito-transmitted disease.
Pujati first studied in Venice and then at the University of Padua, where he was a student of Morgagni and Vallisneri. After graduation he practised in Venice, Dalmatia, Polcenigo and Pordenone, before obtaining in 1737 the post of Senior physician in Feltre, where he spent 12 years. In 1754 the Venetian Senate called him to the Chair of Ordinary Practice Medicine in Padua University, a post he held until his death. Blake p. 366; Wellcome IV, p. 447; OCLC locates a number of additional copies including Yale and Michigan in the US, and Berlin, Göttingen, and Edinburgh.
Condition: stitched as issued, uncut and partially unopened in the original drab paste-paper boards, spine lettered in mss in brown ink, small nick at head of upper joint, some light rubbing and wear to spine, old accession number in brown ink at head of upper cover, covers a little foxed and soiled, extremities rubbed and bumped; an attractive wide-margined copy.