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Ophthalmoduleia, das ist Augendienst:...durch Georg Bartisch...

[Dreszden:Matthes Stockel], 1583


Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. The Mary and Edward Norton Library of Ophthalmology. Miami, Florida.

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, an integral part of the University of Miami School of Medicine, is one of the world's leading research and treatment centers of ophthalmology. Rare books are housed in the Dr. and Mrs. Ralph Kirsch Room in the Mary and Edward Norton Library of Ophthalmology. The collection consists of over two thousand rare and historical works and is considered to be one of the world's largest collections on the subject of ophthalmology. The collection contains books dating back to 1496 including the first German textbook on ophthalmology, written in 1583, and the rare second edition published one hundred years later; a 1613 book on depth perception for which Peter Paul Rubens prepared the drawings for the etchings; and books on optics by Johann Kepler (1611), Rene Descartes (1665), and Sir Isaac Newton (1704). The collection has prospered with the support of many individuals, particularly Dr. Edward W.D. Norton, founder of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

The medical specialty of ophthalmology is the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders of the eye. It is one of the oldest branches of medicine. Early oculists in Egypt and ancient Greece recognized and successfully treated eye disorders. In the eighteenth century European research led to a greater understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the eye and the optics of vision. Ophthalmology as an accepted science began in the nineteenth century. Classes were first taught in 1803 in Germany and the first medical eye clinic, the London Eye Infirmary, opened in 1805. Further advances in technology and surgical techniques led to the establishment of the field as we know it today.


Georg Bartisch.

OFQALMODOULEIA [Ophthalmodouleia], das ist Augendienst: newer und wolgegrundter Bericht von vrsachen und erkentnus aller Gebrechen, Schaden und Mangel der Augen und des Gesichtes, wie man solchen anfenglich mit geburlichen Mitteln begegenen, vorkommen und wehren, Auch wie man alle solche Gebresten kunstlich durch Ar▀ney, Instrument und Handgrieffe curiren, wircken und vertreiben sol... durch George Bartisch... [Dreszden: Matthes Stockel], 1583.

Georg Bartisch was an uneducated, itinerant barber- surgeon and oculist who is now known as the father of modern ophthalmology. He was born in K÷nigsbruck, Germany in 1535 and received his training through various apprenticeships. In 1588 he became court oculist to the Elector of Saxony. Bartisch was the first surgeon to remove a complete eye from a live human patient with cancer of the eye. He was also known for his expertise with cataracts and for numerous ingenious inventions of ophthalmological instruments, such as a mask for treating strabismus. Ophthalmodouleia is based on Bartisch's years of experience and observation of diseases and treatments of the eye and is considered to be the first modern work written on ophthalmology. The book contains ninety-one woodcut illustrations believed to be by Han Hewamaul and based on Bartisch's own drawings of the structure of the eye, ophthalmological equipment and operation techniques.


Franšois d'Aguilon.

Francisci Agvilonii e Societate Iesv Opticorvm Libri Sex Philosophis iuxtÓ ac Mathematicis vtiles. AntverpiŠ, Ex Officina Plantiniana, Apud Viduam et Filios Io. Moreti, 1613.

Franšois d'Aguilon, born in 1566 or 1567, was a mathematician, scientist, and rector of the Jesuit College in Antwerp. He located the horopter, the point where an image is projected in the eye, coined the term, and described its importance in explaining binocular vision. Aguilon was assigned to organize the teaching of exact sciences for all of Belgium and developed a master treatise on optics. This classic work in six books deals with light and perception, with mathematics by Euclid, Alhazen (Ibn al-Haitham), Witelo, Bacon, Risner, and Kepler. In Book VI, Aguilon presents his own observations on stereographic projections, and describes them for the first time. The engraved illustrations are by Peter Paul Rubens, the great Flemish artist.