Roma: Tipografia delle Scienze, 1839. First Edition. Slim octavo (22cm.); contemporary green and decorative gilt textured paper-covered boards, contemporary manuscript private library label mounted to upper cover, red gilt spine label; 31pp.; engraved frontispiece. Light wear to extremities and spine, else Very Good, internally fine. Item #1565
Brief historical and technical introduction to the practice of vaporous alcoholic "baths," presented by Timotéo Cavalsassi Romano of the Medical Society of Livorno (though dedicated to the members of the Medical Surgery Academy of Ferrara). The baths, a technique in which the patient is laid out on a bed with a tent fixed over the body from the neck down while alcoholic vapors are fed into the tent through a tube attached to a lit stove, were first introduced in the 17th century by the German-Dutch alchemist Johann Rudolf Glauber, best known for his discovery of sodium solfate as a relatively safe laxative. By the time of Romano's writing, the baths were popularly used to treat rheumatism and syphilis, and the bulk of the text describes the treatment of soldiers of varying temperament and physiques (some "robust and sanguine," others "nervous and irritable" (our translation)), who experienced some form of alleviation after a series of ten baths. According to Romano, only one case did not respond well to the case, a woman suffering from rheumatism. Despite his whole-hearted endorsement of the procedure, Romano does offer some words of caution, urging his readers to take into account the patient's sex, age, social circumstances, temperament, habits, previous illnesses, and the season. Above all else avoid taking an alcoholic vapor bath during the hotter months: find another form of treatment instead.
Unlocated in OCLC as of November, 2021.