In 1542, by order of the Strasbourg City Council, Johann Winter von Andernach, physician to François Ier and professor of anatomy at the Faculté de Medecine de Paris, composed his De victus ed medicinae ratione cum alio tum pestilentiae tempore observanda commentarius, a compact work on medical and dietary guidelines in times of plague, in reponse to an outbreak of the disease in Strasbourg the previous year. In 1544, it was translated into French by Antoine Pierre de Rieux and published in 16mo at Poitiers under the title Le regime de vivre & de prendre medecine, que l’on doibt observer en tout temps: & principallement en temps de peste. Winter, perhaps dissatisfied with Pierre de Rieux's work, translated the text into French himself, and published the fresh translation as Instruction tresutile par laquelle un chacun se pourra maintenir en santé tant au temps de peste at the Strasbourg press of Remy Guédon in 1547. Winter, who had taught anatomy to Vesalius, and Galenic medicine to Servetus, worked as a plague doctor during outbreaks in Strasbourg and Reims; his practical Instruction tresutile is a result of direct experience and acumen acquired in the field. Most compelling are Winter's dietary recommendations, which he argues will work as a natural defense against plague. He champions a well-rounded diet comprising a variety of meats and fishes (though not in combination!), as well as eggs and cheeses, breads, vegetables, vinegars, herbs, and even sweets. He places great faith in fowl, especially lark, pheasant, pigeon, and chicken, but saves his most earnest blessing for fruits, which he maintains can be beneficial in both prevention and cure. Winter's straightforward, almost rudimentary French was most certainly designed to be easily read by les pauvres, not only during public health crises, but during non-plague times as well—the author stresses in the title that his vade mecum has value tant au temps de peste, comme en autre temps.
Strasbourg: Remy Guedon, 1547.
Octavo, 157 x 112 x 13 mm (binding); 154 x 110 x 10 mm (text block). A-F8; 90 pp. Last three leaves blank and present. Modern brown morocco gilt, unlettered, AEG. Interior: Title and following leaf with tail fore-corner paper mend, far from text; a single wormhole pierces the text block; small, transparent damp-stain to last blank.
VD16 W3550; Chrisman (Strasbourg imprints) S1.4.12; Turner, Edouard "Jean Guinter d'Andernach, 1505-1574," Gazette hebdomadaire de medicine et de chirurgie, 2nd series., XVIII (1881), pp. 441-8; not in Pettegree.
Status: On Hold