The Longest Poem on the Gout

Ritter Orden Deß Podagrischen Fluß: Das ist: Kurtze vnd eigentliche beschreibung, auß Mercurij der Götter Postbotten Munde selbst verfasset: Von deß zarten Jungfräwleins und Göttin Podagrae Herkunfft, Geburt, Namen, Complexion, Art, Aufferziehung, Unterweisung…an jetzten widerumb auffgelegt, und an vielen örtern mit fleiß ubersehen.

23 leaves. Small 8vo, attractive antique calf-backed paste-paper boards, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. N.p.: 1601.

Third edition; there were editions of 1594, 1596, our edition of 1601, and 1611. All are very rare, and there is no copy of any of these editions in North America. “Ritterorden des Podagrischen Fluss (Order of the Gouty Humor) is an allegorical poem which was composed in German by Georg Fleissner, a captain from Schoenberg, then residing in Schlackenwerth. These are two small Bohemian towns near Carlsbad. Its 1088 lines make this by far the longest poem about the gout. The story has two parts. The first 658 lines tell the origin of the goddess Podagra and of her Order, and the last 430 lines relate the ways in which she benefits mankind…

“The first portion of the poem, in which the tales of the origin of goddess Podagra and of the establishment of the Order of the Gouty Humor are told, was largely original. The device of an order of chivalry, whereby the victims of the evil which was the subject of an encomium are given a mock respectability, came into frequent use and was Fleissner’s chief contribution to the development of this literature. The latter portion, in which are related the ways that gout benefits its victims, was principally derived from two major gout encomia: Apologia seu podagrae laus by Willibald Pirckheimer (1470-1530) of Nürnberg, published originally in 1522, and Podagra encomium by Hieronymus Cardanus (1501-1576) of Pavia, published in 1562.”–Thomas G. Benedek, “The Gout Encomium of Georg Fleissner, 1594” in Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Vol. 43, No. 2 (March-April 1969), pp. 116-37.

Fine copy. Lightly browned throughout due to the quality of the paper.

Price: $2,500.00

Item ID: 6569

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