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Reisch, Gregor (d. 1525)

Margarita Philosphica.

Freiburg, Johannes Schottus, 1503.

"One of the most delightful of all encyclopedias is the little Margarita philosphica. In some 200 pages he contrived to cover in a very pleasing style the whole university course of the day, both the trivium and the quadrivium. Prior of the Carthusian monastery of Freiburg, Reisch wrote for young people, addressing himself to 'Ingenuous Youth" (Encylopedia Britannica Online).

"In the Margarita Philosophica (Philosophic Pearl) of Gregory Reisch, the well-known encyclopedia of all sciences, diagrammatic anatomic illustrations, mostly contrary to nature, appear. This work, edited by Reisch, prior to the Carthusian monastery in Freiburg-im-Breisgau and confesssor to the Emperor Maximilian, was widely read. The oft-copied illustration of visceral anatomy, which appeared in the edition of 1503 and in subsequent editions, demonstrates particularly the diagrammatic crudity of most anatmical illustrtations of this period. This work also contains an illustration of the three 'cerebral cells,' or ventricles. The anterior cell bears the legends Sensus communis, Fantasia and Imaginativa, the middle cell Cogitativa and Estimativa, the posterior cell Memorativa. This localization of the senses in the cerebral ventricles was an accepted medieval teaching..." (A History of Medicine, Ralph H. Major).

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