Adam Huber of Riesenpach (1545-1613) and his Translation of the Book on Regimen within the Context of the Prague Medical Milieu

in Early Science and Medicine
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This paper outlines the life, work, and views of Adam Huber of Riesenpach (1545-1613). Huber was one of the personal physicians to Rudolf II in Prague, a pharmacist, translator, pedagogue, progressive academic and chancellor at Prague University, aiming to re-establish its medical faculty. Here, I will first appraise Huber as a distinguished translator of medical books published by the prominent Prague printer Daniel Adam of Veleslavín (1546-1599) and as a scholar who helped establish Czech medical terminology, most notably through his new translation of the great Herbal of Pietro Andrea Mattioli (1501-1577), which he reworked and expanded. In the second part, the article focuses on a popular book on regimen, the De conservanda valetudine (1576) by the German humanist author and politician Heinrich Rantzau (1526-1598),translated into Czech by Huber in 1587. The text and its translation are analysed against the backdrop of the new, more specifically Paracelsian, approaches in medicine. The author’s views are compared with Huber’s own ideas expressed in his foreword and in several of his other texts. His distinctive emphases and views are analysed, particularly in relation to Paracelsian medicine, Renaissance (and notably Piconian) concepts of man, and astrology.

Early Science and Medicine

A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period




 Truhlář, Rukověť, 365.


 Urbánek, Eschatologie, vědění a politika, 215; Howard Hotson, „Johann Heinrich Alsted‘s Relations with Silesia, Bohemia and Moravia: Patronage, Piety and Pansophia,” Acta Comeniana, 12 (1997), 13-35.


 Winter, O životě, 354-355; cf. Tomáš Nejeschleba, Jan Jessenius v kontextu renesanční filo­sofie [Johannes Jessenius in the Context of Renaissance Philosophy] (Prague, 2008), 119.


 Bohatcová, Obecné dobré, 155; Robert J.W. Evans, Rudolf II and His World (Oxford, 1973), 149; Truhlář, Rukověť, 364 f.;for Dornau, see Robert Seidel, Späthumanismus in Schlesien: Caspar Dornau (1577-1631). Leben und Werk (Tübingen, 1994).


 Procházka, “Předmluwa,” 70; for Balbín’s appraisal, see Bohuslav Balbín, Bohemia Docta, vol. 2 (Prague, 1778), 214.


 Drábek, “Farmacie,” 697; Evans, Rudolf II, 206.


 Purš, “Tadeáš Hájek,” 437; Purš and Smolka, “Martin Ruland,” 587-588.


 See Bohatcová, Obecné dobré, 410-411; Voit, Minulost, 65.


 For the mistaken year 1620, instead of 1602, cf. Mirjam Bohatcová, České tištěné herbáře 16. století [Czech Printed Herbals of the Sixteenth Century] (Prague, 1991), 68. For the promised edition of Wirsung, see Apatéka domácý, dedication, A 8b.


 Joachim Camerarius, “Vorred an den günstigen Leser,” in Kreutterbuch (Frankfurt, 1602). – The original plates were taken by Mattioli when he followed Ferdinand of Tyrol to his castle Ambras in Innsbruck (see Herbář aneb Bylinář, dedication to Petr Wok of Rosenberg, [*] 4b).


 Mattioli, Herbář aneb Bylinář, 459v - 460v.


 See Paul O. Kristeller, “The School of Salerno. Its Development and its Contribution to Learning,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 17 (1945), 138-194.


 Balbín, Bohemia Docta, 214.


 See Drábek, “Farmacie,” 692.


 Pico, De dignitate hominis, 132 v; idem, Heptaplus IV, 5-6, in Opera omnia, 32-33; cf. similarly Boëthius, Consolatio philosophiae 2, 5 and 4, 3.


 Cf. Nejeschleba, Jan Jessenius, 120-123; cf. also the beginning of Mathesius’ Oratio, mentioned above.


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